Data tariff war among major telecom companies is here to stay with Reliance Jio continuing to offer its free high-speed 4G data to its subscribers. Bharti Airtel has now filed a counter complaint with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), alleging that Reliance Jio Infocomm has resorted to "predatory pricing" with the intention of holding a monopoly in the telecom market in the country.
Reliance Communications introduced Reliance Jio in October last year, offering unlimited access to high-speed 4G data, HD voice call, HD video call, SMS, and Jio apps for three months for Jio SIM users. The offer has been extended to March 31, and three months after that, its users can avail 4G data and several other services till June 30 for just Rs 100. This has brought discomfort to its rivals that are at risk of losing its subscribers to Jio.
Bharti Airtel has alleged in its counter complaint filed with the CCI against Reliance Jio Infocomm that the Mukesh Ambani-led firm was "abusing dominant position" and resorting to "predatory pricing" with free internet service to eliminate competition from other companies.
The company said in its complaint that Jio's free internet service is predatory in nature according to Section 4 of the Competition Act. It went on to say that no telecom company in India or overseas has offered free internet service and free unlimited voice calling.
Reliance Jio had earlier moved the antitrust regulator, alleging that Airtel was into anti- competitive practises.
Responding to allegations by Airtel, Reliance Jio has said in a statement that Jio's tariff plans are non-predatory.
"This latest salvo by Airtel is a clear ploy to divert attention from its own violation of licensing conditions by having denied adequate Points of Interconnect (POIs) to Jio and the already announced censure proceedings by the TRAI against them," a Reliance Jio spokesperson told PTI.