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Updated: Airtel, Idea approach telecom tribunal challenging TRAI’s predatory pricing order

Photo showing an Airtel board atop a shop

Update: TDSAT refused to pass an interim stay ruling against TRAI's predatory pricing order, and instead gave the regulator three weeks' time to file a response to why the predatory pricing order should not be stayed, reports ET. Airtel and Idea will have two weeks of time after that to file their rejoinders. Following this, TDSAT will hear the case again on April 17, 2018. Earlier (March 5): Airtel and Idea Cellular have approached the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), challenging the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) predatory pricing order, reports ET. The order was part of TRAI's latest telecom tariff amendments. Idea Cellular confirmed to MediaNama that they have filed a petition with TDSAT, but didn't divulge any further details. We have also written to Airtel for a confirmation of this move, and to learn more about their specific arguments against this order. We will update as and when we hear back. In regards to predatory pricing, TRAI's order said that if a telecommunication service is provided at a price below the average variable cost in a relevant market, and if this is done in order to either reduce competition or eliminate competitors in that market, then it will be considered as predatory pricing. And equally importantly, TRAI said that a telecom services provider with at least 30% share of the total activity (either subscriber base or gross revenue) will be considered a Significant Market Power (SMP). Plus the regulator will have the authority to examine the tariff plans of service providers identified as…

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