This is in pursuance of a probe by a multi system operator (MSO) Thiruvananthapuram Entertainment Network (TEN), which has around 22,000 customers in Kerala.
The Director General (DG) has been directed to do an investigation into the matter to ascertain whether Star has indulged in any violation. The investigation must be over within a period of 60 days from the receipt of this order and submit its report to the Commission.
CCI has also directed an investigation into the role, if any, of any individuals/officials of the broadcaster who might have been in-charge of and responsible for the conduct of the business of the Opposite Party, at the time of alleged contravention.
As per the complaint filed by the MSO, the broadcaster is discriminating between MSOs by charging different rates for providing content. Star is allegedly charging more from it for the same content that is being provided at a lower rate to other MSOs.
In its response, Star contended that the provision of the competition act only requires dominant entities to treat similarly placed customers equally. It further argued that the rates for similarly placed MSOs are the same. It also placed the details of its agreement with one entity called Athulya Media. However, the commission found the information submitted by Star to be insufficient.