CCI to examine competition landscape in media, broadcasting sector: Report

MUMBAI: Antitrust watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) plans to conduct an assessment of the country’s media and broadcasting sector to ensure that any competition concerns are identified and resolved swiftly, news agency Reuters reported.

According to the government document seen by Reuters, the aim of the study is to examine the competitive landscape in the sector. A source told the news agency that the study is not linked to any ongoing investigation.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had last week asked the CCI to initiate more cases on its own to investigate antitrust practices and conduct market studies. This will be first such investigation by the CCI following the FM’s instruction.

“This (study) would ensure that new practices and technologies in this dynamic sector, which may be affecting competition adversely, are identified quickly and remedial measures … are adopted fast,” the CCI said in the document.

The assessment of the media and broadcasting sector will seek to assess the regulatory frameworks, ownership patterns, and market trends in terms of viewers and advertisers, the 19-page CCI document said.

The study will cover print, electronic and online media, broadcasting companies, content providers and industry bodies, it said, citing the effects of rapid technological change on the sector’s competitive landscape.

A source told Reuters that the CCI is in the process of choosing an independent agency to conduct the study on its behalf.

The CCI is already investigating the booming e-commerce industry. However, a Reuters report had earlier stated that industry leaders Amazon and Flipkart are unlikely to participate fully in that study for fear of revealing trade secrets.