Scatmag.com

November 2019

CCI TO REVIEW BROADCAST SECTOR



Antitrust agency - Competition Commission of India (CCI) plans to conduct an assessment of the country's Media & Broadcasting sector.


GOVERNMENT DICTATE

In early October, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked the CCI to initiate more cases on its own to investigate antitrust practices and conduct market studies. This will be first such investigation by the CCI following the FM's instruction.



THE STUDY

The assessment of the media and broadcasting sector will assess the regulatory frameworks, ownership patterns, and market trends related to viewers and advertisers.

The study will cover print, electronic and online media, broadcasting companies, content providers and industry bodies. It will point out effects of rapid technological change on the sector's competitive landscape.

"This (study) would ensure that new practices and technologies in this dynamic sector, which may be affecting competition adversely, are identified quickly and remedial measures are adopted fast," the CCI said.

The study is not linked to any ongoing investigation.

The CCI is in the process of choosing an independent agency to conduct the study on its behalf.



STUDY NOT PROBE

It must be noted that the CCI is only undertaking a study, not a probe against any erring company. As indicated in our article "Court Rejects CCI Probe Against Star & Sony" in this magazine, the courts have ruled that the CCI can ruled that CCI can exercise its jurisdiction only if & when TRAI or the TDSAT found that parties have indulged in anti-competitive practices.


OTHER STUDIES

The CCI is already reviewing the booming e-commerce industry. However, industry observers feel that Amazon and Flipkart are unlikely to participate fully in that study for fear of revealing confidential details of their operations. n