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Reliance Jio’s free offer creating unfair competition: Airtel chief Mittal

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal today said Reliance Jio’s free offer is hitting the sector adversely and has created unfair competition in the market which his firm has challenged before court.

“There is a problem. Any big thing if given for free or at less price then it becomes very difficult to compete with. It is unfair competition which is being discussed through you (media) and in courts,” Mittal said in response to impact of Reliance Jio’s free 4G service on Bharti Airtel.

He was speaking to reporters after launching Airtel Payments Bank in partnership with Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Airtel has filed petition against extension of Reliance Jio free 4G service beyond December.

In its 25-page petition before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), Airtel had asked the quasi-judicial body to direct TRAI to ensure Jio does not provide its free voice and data plan beyond December 3.

In the petition, Airtel had alleged that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in its decision dated October 20 “erroneously” concluded that since Jio’s promotional offer of free services was only valid till December 3, it is consistent with the direction for 90 days.