The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has refused to grant any relief to Tata Sky and issued notice to DishTV for further hearing in the case regarding the ‘Free Set Top Box’ ad by DishTV. Tata Sky had filed a complaint on May 29, 2008 before the MRTPC, stating that the ad was misleading and had prayed for an injunction against DishTV’s ad campaign.
In their complaint to MRTPC, Tata Sky had also admitted that because of this campaign, the sales of DishTV had gone up to double that of Tata Sky sales. Faced by the tough situation of decreasing sales, Tata Sky had approached the Delhi High Court by way of a Writ in appeal against the order of the MRTPC. The appeal was heard by the Court on June 4, 2008. At the hearing, Tata Sky contended that DishTV’s ad campaign was misleading and that it was not offering the set-top boxes free and prayed to the High Court to award an injunction against DishTV. The counsel of DishTV explained that it was currently running three schemes out of which, a set-top box is free under the 3990 Scheme and the same had been very clearly brought out in the advertisements as well.
Another important factor that was brought before the High Court by the DishTV counsel was that there were two petitions filed in the MRTPC, which were absolutely same and the same prayer was made in both the petitions. The first petition was filed by a consumer organisation, which was represented by the same counsel who was representing Tata Sky. In this matter also MRTPC did not grant any relief to Tata Sky and did not issue notice to DishTV. Thereafter, Tata Sky made a second attempt by filing the same petition in which MRTPC again refused to grant any relief to Tata Sky. In fact, it was found that Tata Sky was behind both the petitions.
The High Court, on hearing the parties, decided that at present there was no relief required to be granted to Tata Sky, and ordered the DTH service provider to withdraw the petition since it was inclined to dismiss it. The said appeal has been withdrawn by Tata Sky.