The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is keeping a tab on various MSOs for any activities against broadcasting channels. CCI has imposed a penalty of Rs 8.40 crore against Fastway Transmissions, an MSO operating in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.
“The Competition Commission of India has found Fastway Transmission abusing its dominance in the cable TV service in the territory of Punjab and Chandigarh in violation of the provision of the Competition Act, 2002,” CCI said in a statement yesterday.
The penalty imposed is at the rate of six per cent of the company’s average turnover for the last three financial years. The order was passed after CCI carried out an investigation based on information filed by Kansan News that broadcasts news and current affairs TV channel ‘Day & Night News’ in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, the statement said.
Talking to exchange4media, Kanwar Sandhu, Managing Editor, Day & Night News said, “We are denied on the cable platform and they are having monopoly in the state. I hope after the matter will close in the court we will get a better rate and a good platform to broadcast our channel.”
He also felt, Day & Night News is available on the DTH platform but the subscribers are not in large number. If one has to be in the TAM rating then cable presence is a must because without cable presence TRP doesn’t pick up.
The Commission held that the group has more than 95 per cent of total subscribers in Punjab and Chandigarh and due to this not only every broadcaster but also the informant is dependent on its network. Also, the consumers of cable TV in Punjab and Chandigarh have huge dependency on Fastway Group.
Talking to exchange4media, Rajdeep Singh, General Manager, Fastway Transmissions said, “All these talks that we are troubling people and using the power of our monopoly is totally incorrect. We have got the order letter today and we are all set to take legal actions.”
He also said, “We have also planned that if the matter is not solved, we will move to higher courts.”
According to the CCI order, Fastway has to deposit the penalty amount within 90 days. It has also directed the contravening entities to ‘cease and desist’ from indulging in anti-competitive practices which have the effect of denial of market access.