Reliance Jio to TRAI: Happy New Year Offer Doesn’t Violate Rules
Jio has been maintaining that its latest ‘Happy New Year’ offer is substantively different from its ‘Welcome’ offer.
Reliance Jio has told the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that its latest voice and data offer does not violate any of the existing norms that requires promotional offers to be limited to 90 days.
Replying to the clarification sought by TRAI on Jio extending the free call and data offer till 31 March after the promotional 90-day period expired on 4 December, the Mukesh Ambani-owned firm sent a detailed note explaining how its 'Happy New Year Offer' was different from the inaugural offer.
Sources with direct knowledge of the development said the company explained in detail how the new offer cannot be termed as an extension of the promotional offer as it was different from the inaugural offer launched in early September.
The response was to TRAI’s letter dated 20 December, in which the regulator asked the company why its `Happy New Year Offer' should not be seen as "violation" of regulatory guidelines and also why the offer of free data under the promotional scheme should not be treated as "predatory".
Jio has been maintaining that its latest ‘Happy New Year’ offer is substantively different from the Jio ‘Welcome’ offer (that commenced on 5 September) as 4GB of free data per day was being provided under the initial offer, while the same was capped at 1GB (under Fair Usage Policy) in the new offer.
They have also emphasised that tariff plans have multiple components and if even a single component is altered, it cannot be construed as the same offer or its extension.
Jio has stated that while there was no option of renewal or payment after the 4GB limit was exhausted in the first offer, the new offer will allow users to recharge both data and the promised speed.
In terms of market dominance, Reliance Jio holds six percent of the installations in the country whereas the Competition Commission of India (CCI) norms specify 30 percent threshold to trigger the ‘misuse of market dominance’ clause.
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