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Evolving Principles of Dominant Position and Predatory Pricing in the Telecommunication Sector : Revisiting Bharti Airtel Ltd. v. Reliance Industries Ltd & Anr.

Arti Gupta and Ananya H.S.

Over the years, predatory pricing has become an important subset of abuse of dominant position in the global competition law regime. Particularly in the telecommunication sector in India, the issue of predatory pricing has acquired great significance with the entry of Reliance Jio into the market, and the
subsequent onslaught of allegations regarding anti-competitive behaviour. In this paper, we present a critique of the Competition Commission of India’s assessment of dominant position and predatory pricing in the judgment of Bharti Airtel Ltd. v. Reliance Industries Ltd. & Anr. We argue that CCI’s analysis in the case was flawed on three counts: first, what would be the relevant market in the case; second, the ascertainment of Reliance Jio’s dominance in the relevant marker; and third, whether or not Reliance Jio abused its dominant position by indulging in predatory pricing.

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