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Will continue to participate in legal process, says Trai on TDSAT predatory pricing order

New Delhi: Just days after a TDSAT interim order stayed elements of Trai's predatory pricing rules, the regulator has said courts are the right forum for dispute resolution, and that it will continue to participate in the due legal proceedings.
Trai Chairman RS Sharma said that the public debate and cacophony that had ensued after issuance of the regulator's predatory pricing order and before matter went to TDSAT was "uncalled for" and said the legal process being followed now is "correct".
"The public discourse which took place after issuance of our order and before matter went to TDSAT was uncalled for. That time also I had said the appropriate way will be to approach the competent court of law and challenge the regulation there," Sharma said.
He however refused to comment on the recent Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) judgement that stayed the new definition of significant market power (SMP), and the reporting requirements for segmented offerings.
"We will participate in legal process. That is the right way to do it. Whatever is happening now is according to process of law. Trai, as one of the parties, will participate in that process," Sharma added. In a relief to old operators, TDSAT on April 24 put an interim stay on reporting requirement of 'segmented offers' and the new definition for ascertaining 'significant market power' for predatory pricing by Trai. The order, however, placed a qualifier on the reporting requirements, saying Trai will be entitled to ask for details of segmented discounts or concessions "for analysis" but that "no penalty shall be imposed on that basis" till further orders are given in the ongoing appeals by Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular.
Segmented offers refer to plans that operators dish out to individual customers in an effort to retain them or counter the promotion effort of rivals.
"...the clauses in the impugned order related to the reporting requirements and definition of SMP are stayed," TDSAT order had said.
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