COMPAT by its order dated August 16, 2016 has upheld order of CCI whereby it declined to order an investigation into the allegations of abuse of dominance by Vodafone India for levying exorbitant charges for international roaming plan. The information was filed in CCI by Mr. Vishwambhar Marutirao Doiphode alleging that Vodafone India was in a dominant position vis-à-vis the consumer and by taking advantage of that position, it has levied exorbitant charges @ Rs.564/- per MB as against Rs.30/- per MB payable for international roaming plan. The appellant further averred that in India the data usage charges are 0.04 per 10 KB, which comes to approximately Rs.4/- per MB, but Respondent had charged Rs.564/- per MB and, thereby, acted in contravention of Section 4(2)(a)(i), 4(2)(c) and 4(2)(e) of the Act.
The CCI held that no prima-facie case was made out for directing an investigation into the allegation of abuse of dominant position by Respondent as besides Respondent, Airtel, Idea Reliance, Tata, Aircel and MTNL were providing wireless telecommunication services and offering international mobile data services too. Also, the Informant had not provided any statistics to show that Respondent had the largest share in the relevant market and held that in the absence of such material, Respondent cannot be said to be in a dominant position in the relevant market.
The COMPAT dismissing the appeal, held that the Commission did not commit any error by declining to order investigation into the allegation of abuse of dominant position levelled by the appellant because he did not produce any evidence to prima facie show that market share of Respondent is largest among the telecom service providers in the relevant market. In the absence of an affirmative finding that Respondent was in a dominant position in the relevant market, there was no warrant for ordering an investigation into the allegation of abuse of dominant position by the said respondent and the Commission rightly declined to entertain the prayer made in the information.(Source: Order dated August 16, 2016. For full text see COMPAT website-www.compat.nic.in)