ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Vikas KathuriaSubscribe to Vikas Kathuria

Equity Stake of Government in Vodafone

Vodafone Idea, a key telecom player in India, risks closure thanks to its massive commercial debt and the substantial levies and penalties it owes to the government. Its exit would weaken competition and hurt exchequer revenues. The government has offered to accept equity in Vodafone Idea as part payment to mitigate this risk. With its existing equity in BSNL/MTNL, the government faces a serious confl ict of interest through ownership in competing companies. Merging these companies would help them and promote policy objectives better.

Conflict between Regulation and Competition Law in the Indian Telecom Sector

The debate regarding the respective realms of competition law and economic regulation is not new. In the Indian context, complaints filed against the telecom incumbents Airtel, Vodafone and Idea by Reliance Jio before the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the Competition Commission of India bring to the fore such an example. This case is analysed primarily through the legal standpoint, and it is argued that competition law intervention is warranted only in “gap” cases: where the regulatory regime cannot account for consumer welfare. Where the regulatory and competition agency reach conflicting decisions, the issue can be resolved by a third body whose decision is binding on both the regulator and the competition agency.
Back to Top