In a relief for telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal on Thursday strike down Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) order related to predatory pricing and discounted tariffs.
Trai cannot impose penalty, and has asked the regulator to reconsider the provisions within six months, the telecom tribunal said.
“Segmented offers and discounts offered in the ordinary course of business to existing customers without any discrimination within the targeted segment do not amount to a tariff plan and therefore need no reporting in the manner prescribed for regular tariff plan,” TDSAT said in an order.
Instead on reporting of all segmented offers/ discounts not falling within the cap of 25 tariffs, Trai may call for details of any segmented offer about which it may receive complaints, the order said.
In February this year, Trai had issued new norms which required telecom operators to transparently disclose on their websites segmented offers aimed at retaining customers.
Trai's predatory pricing rules have sparked off a furore in the industry with the older and established telecom carriers as well as industry body Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) slamming the new norms.
Airtel in its petition to TDSAT had said that the tariff order "virtually permits a telecom service provider who is an effective significant market player (SMPs) to indulge in predatory pricing to the severe detriment of the appellants and the other operators".
With inputs from PTI.
First Published: IST