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DTH row: Panel likely to give its verdict soon
The Competition Commission of India is likely to deliver judgement within two months in the case against DTH service providers moved by a group of consumer forums and NGOs.

A senior official of the commission told Financial Chronicle on conditions of anonymity, “We are very close to giving our final verdict. It would take less than 60 days,” he said.

As reported in this newspaper, the forums and the NGOs had come knocking on the doors of the industry watchdog asking that the service providers be ordered to make their set top boxes interoperable.

At present, when a consumer changes a provider, he or she has to pay for a new set top box to receive the TV channels. Some of the leading DTH providers include DishTV (Zee Network), Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Reliance Big TV.

The official said the panel would deliver a “landmark judgement” in the case, but declined to reveal the findings. “We have gathered all the relevant information needed and all issues had been finalised, he said.

“This was one of the first cases we got and it took time for people to respond. Now, we would look to pass judgements far quicker,” he said. The complainants in the case had alleged cartelisation by the service providers, saying consumers could not shift to a new provider without incurring a cost on the set top boxes.

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