The Competition Commission has ordered a fresh investigation against public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on complaint of alleged abuse of dominance with regard to infrastructural facilities for FM radio broadcasting.
In an order published on its website, the fair trade regulator also said the allegations in this case are "substantially similar" and are connected with the issues in an earlier matter being probed by the CCI's investigation arm and therefore the two cases can be clubbed and "a consolidated investigation report" can be filed.
The CCI, however, rejected similar complaints against the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, saying it was a government department responsible for framing rules for operation of FM radio broadcasters without any involvement in any economic activity and therefore no case of contravention was established against it.
The CCI order follows a complaint filed by one Clear Media India Pvt Ltd, which provides Frequency Modulation (FM) radio broadcasting services in various cities, against Prasar Bharti and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The complainant had entered into an agreement with Prasar Bharti over a decade ago in 2006 for use of its Common Transmission Infrastructure in Delhi. While the tower apparently collapsed in 2014, differences emerged between the two parties subsequently, culminating into a complaint at CCI.
Finding prima facie evidence of violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act by the public broadcaster, CCI has asked the Director General (DG), its investigation arm, to carry out a probe.
Section 4 pertains to abuse of dominant position.
Earlier in July also, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had ordered a detailed investigation against the public broadcaster for alleged abuse of dominance with respect to draft FM radio licensing agreement.
Following order, both the cases would be combined and the DG has been asked to submit a combined probe report. – Money Control