Regulators

Tata Sky vs TRAI: Delhi High Court lists matter for 15 January, asks regulator to produce documents

Interestingly, another leading DTH operator Sun Direct impleaded itself in the matter.

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MUMBAI: Tata Sky got a breather from the Delhi High Court today as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) assured that it will not take any coercive action against the direct to home (DTH) operator until 15 January, which is when the matter will be heard next.

Bharti Telemedia-owned Airtel Digital TV and Discovery Communication India, petitioners in the matter, too were handed a respite.

Interestingly, another leading DTH operator Sun Direct impleaded itself in the matter.

Kapil Sibal impressed upon the judges to ask TRAI to produce all documents on how it arrived at the decision to implement the new tariff regime. He also stated that implementing the present order will have an adverse impact on business.

The TRAI lawyer countered saying that while Tata Sky feels aggrieved, a big  DTH operator like Dish TV and all the MSOs seem satisfied and have complied with the new tariff framework.

Sibal went on to explain how the new tariff order is going to be cumbersome for subscribers to exercise their so-called options.

The court has now asked the regulator to file the documents and the data based on which the new regime is based. 

Tata Sky is unlikely to upload its RIO for now unlike Discovery, which has already published the same on its website.

Discovery, however, has complied with TRAI’s tariff order and regulations under protest.

In 2017, Bharti Telemedia, Tata Sky and Discovery Communication India had filed petitions against TRAI, challenging its tariff order and the interconnect regulations.

Unlike the position adopted by Star India wherein it questioned the regulatory powers of TRAI, the matter in the Delhi HC questions on the regulator’s power to wipe out deals that operators enter into to fix commissions and rates for customers.

While the fate of the two DTH operators hangs in the balance in this matter, all other distribution platform operators (DPOs) continue to be bound by the tariff order.

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