Indian Broadband Policy and Regulatory Resources

Anti-Competitive Conduct

The business or government practice that prevents or reduces competition in a market is called anti-competitive conduct. In most cases, monopolies, oligopolies, operators with significant market power or extensive backing from the government can engage into various anti-competitive practices. Company mergers, therefore are often examined very closely by the regulators as it can often reduce competition in the marketplace.

Various forms of anti-competitive practices are there, such as : dumping, exclusive dealing, price fixing, refusal to deal, dividing territories, limit pricing, tying, resale price maintenance etc.

The competition commission of India had launched a scrutiny into the recently concluded auction of airwaves for possible cartelisation by telecom operators. The probe follows an allegation made by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) that the 2G spectrum auctions in November and March had failed because the department of telecommunications (DoT) had “wittingly or unwittingly aided and abetted” cartelisation by these companies.

Links

Introduction to Anti-competitive conduct - This link discusses anti-competitive conduct issues and remedies. Specifically, it addresses Policy Issues, Key Concepts, Common Forms of Anti-Competitive Conduct and Mergers, Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures

Customer lock in - Various forms of lock-in may be used by mobile operators which may not be anti-competitive in some countries or situations. The practices have to be seen in the context of the prevalent use of handset subsidies (which have to be recovered) to promote adoption, high penetration rates (so that growth is sought by taking customers from other operators) and high churn rates (as customers switch operators to get better phones and deals).

Market Power – This link gives a summary of available quantitative tests for Market Power.

 

Articles

Will Internet privacy suffer in 2017?

Internet Security and Privacy Advice for 2017

Internet Censorship Used to Fight Against Fake News, Press Council Chairman Says

FCC Ignores Net Neutrality Talk At CES As The Policy Is Expected To End Under Trump Admin

Russia, China cooperating on Internet censorship, report says

Internet freedom is getting worse, and that’s bad news for Facebook

Facebook to give free Internet access to poor communities, freedom questioned 

Censorship in the 21st Century

OTT services telecommunications market trends and future outlook explored with latest research

Is winning net neutrality enough to save the internet?:

Buzzfeed Discovers Internet Censorship From Other Countries

The Netflix neutrality farce

Tech giants, government struggle with online speech policies

Zero rating: a boon to consumers, or a net neutrality nightmare?

After 1 Year, the Effects of the Net Neutrality Regulations - One year after the Federal Communications Commission decided to regulate Internet service as an essential public utility, the contentious net neutrality policy is being challenged in court, and Republican lawmakers are seeking to overturn it.

Expect walls to close in further on freedom of expression and information — Malaysians should be very concerned with the increased cases of Internet censorship by the government in recent months, signalling worse days ahead for freedom of expression and information in Malaysia.

New report shares details about the over-the-top (OTT) services: collaborative regulation can promote internet neutrality - Network providers are using traffic differentiation to manage the increased volume and distribute the cost of additional capacity, which has raised equal-access concerns among online content and service providers and consumers.

Facebook Censorship and the War on Free Speech - Free speech is under assault — not only in repressive dictatorships suddenly able to influence global conversations through the Internet, but across the Western world, and even in the American bastion of free expression.  Absolute protection for speech as an inalienable right has given way to bitter squabbling over how much free expression should be sacrificed for various, ostensibly noble goals, and who the censors will be.

 OTT Services Market: Regulatory Models for Net Neutrality Adopted Globally - Market research report titled ‘OTT Services: Collaborative Regulation Can Promote Internet Neutrality’ offers an in-depth examination of the main regulatory models and strategies adopted around the world to safeguard the neutrality of the Internet, highlighting the interests and viewpoints of the different stakeholders in the debate and the challenges facing regulators in establishing a system that works for all.

Net neutrality guiding principle of internet: IT expert Satish Babu - A neutral treatment of all content on the internet is an essential pre-requisite for fostering permission-less innovation, Satish Babu said.

Net neutrality proponents have joined forces with the greatest threat to free speech -  SubCommTech hearing on net neutrality focused on the economic impacts of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) decision to regulate the Internet as a “common carrier” service.

Controlling Market Power in Telecommunication – This article discusses the pros and cons of Anti-trust vs Sector Specific Regulation

Airtel Zero’s net neutrality problemAirtel has created quite a stir with its new Zero marketing platform that allows users to access apps of participating app developers at zero data charges. It looks like a step to compete with a similar platform announced by Facebook-Reliance partnership in the form of Internet.org. Apart from the common marketing strategy, both violate ‘net neutrality’.

TRAI consultation paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services: Telecom service providers (TSPs) offering fixed and mobile telephony are currently being overwhelmed by online content, known as over-the-top (OTT) applications and services. Therefore, TRAI is conducting a consultation paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services from 27th March 2015- 24th April 2015.

 

Country Studies

Lebanon Significant Market Power Regulation - The Telecommunications Law of the Republic of Lebanon ensures that an open, competitive market will bring pressure to bear on service providers, leading to increased penetration of telecommunications services, lower prices, improved efficiency, and enhanced quality and choice of services. Therefore they have approved Significant Market Power Regulation.