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Predatory tariff: Telcos to be fined up to Rs 50 lakh a circle
Posted on 17th February 2018
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Friday issued regulations on predatory pricing, which imposes a penalty of up to `50 lakh per circle on mobile operators if they are found to indulge in such practices. While the regulator has defined predatory pricing for the first time, it won’t affect the existing players in any manner as far as their current tariffs have been designed. This is because Trai has said that a tariff will be considered predatory if in a relevant market an operator with over 30% market share offers services at a price that is below the average variable cost, with a view to reduce competition or eliminate the competitors in the relevant market. This clearly rules out any scope for a new player to be penalised if it disrupts the market by below-market tariffs because its market share will be below 30%.

In fact, this whole exercise by Trai to define predatory pricing was started after Reliance Jio entered the market with free services and incumbent operators protested calling the offer as predatory. However, the new regulations will not affect Jio’s pricing strategy because it still does not have 30% market share in any circle. Trai will determine “relevant market” based on relevant product against which it receives a complaint. It will arrive at “variable cost” after deducting fixed cost and share of fixed overheads borne by the company from total cost of incurred by it for running business during the period under review.

It also said that operators will have to provide services to all subscribers availing the same tariff plan in a non-discriminatory manner.

“No service provider shall, in any manner, discriminate between subscribers of the same class and such classification of the subscribers shall not be arbitrary,” Trai said. To ensure transparency, the regulator has imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 for every day of delay subject to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh on operators who fail to comply with the requirement of intimating Trai within seven working days of coming out with a tariff plan. Dealing with “promotional offers”, Trai has said that such offers are beneficial for consumers as they not only provide additional benefits to subscribers but also that such offers by an operator forces its rival to follow suit, thereby benefiting all subscribers. Promotional offers can vary from operator to operator and may include “free SMS, free/reduced/local STD/ISD rates, gifts, FMCG products/schemes/vouchers for other products and services etc.”

On the timeline and number of promotional offers, the regulator said that if such a plan has been offered as a regular plan then it will be counted as tariff plans under the cap of 25 plans and will have to comply with minimum 180 days of benefits to consumers, but such offers cannot remain open for subscription for more than 90 days.

Stating that there is no need to reduce the mandated 90-day period for promotional offers, the authority said, “Currently, while the offer period is restricted to 90 days, there is no restriction on the period of benefit to consumers. Regulatory principles applicable for regular tariff offers are equally applicable to promotional offers as well.”

It has also not put any restrictions on the number of promotional tariffs that an operator can launch, subject to meeting the regulatory requirements under Telecommunications Tariff Orders and Telecom Consumer Protection Regulations.


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HDFC Bank may rely on Indian market for $2.3 billion share sale
Posted on 18th June 2018
Mumbai: HDFC Bank Ltd, the world’s most expensive major lender, is considering relying entirely on the Indian market for a share sale that could raise as much as Rs 15,500 crore ($2.3 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Mumbai-based bank is weighing seeking all the capital through a qualified institutional placement in India, rather than its usual practice of splitting the fund-raising between an offering of local stock and a sale of American depositary receipts, according to the people.


Salman Khan’s ‘Race 3’ crosses Rs 100 crore milestone over opening weekend
Posted on 18th June 2018
New Delhi: The Salman Khan box office charm shows no sign of fading. The actor’s latest festival release Race 3 crossed the Rs 100 crore mark over its opening weekend, making Rs 106.47 crore in domestic box office collections. The action thriller has emerged as the second highest opening weekend earner of the year so far after period saga Padmaavat that had made Rs 114 crore, but it had a five-day extended weekend compared to Race 3’s three days.

Sebi plans to amend takeover regulations
Posted on 18th June 2018
New Delhi: Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is likely to change certain provisions in the takeover regulations, including those pertaining to revision of open offer price, a senior official said.

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Sensex slips over 30 points as Asian shares skid on escalating trade war concerns
Posted on 18th June 2018
Indian stock markets opened on a lower note on Monday following weak Asian peers after trade war concerns escalated between two major global economies. The BSE Sensex slipped 38.51 points to a low of 35,585.73 points during early trade. The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange fell around 10 points. Out of 1,166 trading companies on the BSE, 558 advanced as compared to 556 declines indicating a slightly bullish trend in the market.

More trouble for Vijay Mallya, Enforcement Directorate files fresh chagesheet against Kingfisher boss
Posted on 18th June 2018
In more trouble for liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a fresh chargesheet against him and his companies on charges of money laundering and allegedly cheating a consortium of nationalised banks to the tune of Rs 6,027 crore..

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