Star and Zee not conspiring to drive Hathway out of business: Star India counsel Rakesh Dwivedi

NEW DELHI: Admitting that Star India and Zee Turner had created MediaPro, Star counsel Rakesh Dwivedi said that the arrangement had been dismantled and “MediaPro is dead in the sense that it is no longer an authorised agent of Star India.”

Arguing before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal in the cases linked to Taj TV signals for Turner and Zee TV and Star India signals to Hathway and other multi-system operators, Dwivedi said that Star had no stake in Den Networks or Zee and had no problems with Siticable.

Referring to the Regulations which refer to being non-discriminatory and reasonable, he said the petitioners (Hathway and the other MSOs) had not been able to show how Star India was discriminatory.

In any case, he said Star India was treating all MSOs at par, adding that there was no challenge to the reasonableness of the Reference Interconnect Offer agreement. He said it was also incorrect to say that the RIO was not in consonance with market rates.

He also pointed out that on the one hand Star India had been accused of only offering packages and not giving the channels on a la carte, the petitioners themselves then bundled some channels into various packages.

He quoted both the Regulations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the Competition Commission of India to show that MSOs hold a more dominant position in the cable industry.  

Dwivedi also said that the previous agreement with MediaPro cannot form the basis of the agreement with Hathway or other MSOs as “they proceed on different methodologies.”

He again denied the charge that Star and Zee were conspiring with other MSOs to drive the petitioner MSOs out of business.   

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