Significant market player? TRAI plans to name one for every circle annually
A list naming a dominant player in every circle will be a first, which will also help address the issue of antitrust or unfair trade practices
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is working on a plan to have a list of significant market players that it will declare for each of the 22 circles in the country on an annual basis, according to an official familiar with the development.
The regulator currently releases every month a list of subscriber base of all the operators but a list naming a dominant player in every circle will be a first.
“Such a list exists in Pakistan and now TRAI also plans to have something similar where it will mention the name of the company that has a dominant market share in a given circle,” the official said. He said there were countries which required the ‘significant market player’ to adhere to certain ‘dos and don’ts’ but no such condition would be imposed on the operators here.
Asked if only subscriber market share would be used to define a significant market player or other parameters like spectrum holding and revenue market share would also be used, he said it was still a matter of discussion.
While the department of telecommunications does not expressly have a definition for a significant market player, its guidelines on mergers and acquisitions in the sector address the questions on spectrum holding and revenue and subscriber market shares that a resultant entity – a combination of two or more companies – can have in a given circle.
The M&A norms specify that a combined entity of two or more players cannot have more than 50 per cent of a given band of spectrum in the circle and more than 25 percent of the total spectrum in that circle.
The list would also help to address the issue of antitrust or unfair trade practices, he said.
“It will also help avoid litigation and clearly define who is a significant market player and who is not so that there are no allegations of unfair trade against an entity which is not really in a position to do so,” the official said.