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TRAI suggests no control of broadcasters in distribution
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NEW DELHI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Wednesday recommended prohibiting broadcasters from having control in distribution and restructure stake holding, if they have, in three years, as part of its media cross-holding guidelines.

In its recommendations on cross-media ownership, the TRAI also said any entity having more than 20 per cent equity participation in a broadcasting company cannot have more than 20 per cent equity in a distributor, which includes multi-system operators (M SO), cable operators, direct to home (DTH), head end in the sky (HITS) and Mobile TV.

"The broadcaster should not have any control in the distribution and vice-versa... the existing broadcasters who have control in distribution (MSO/cable/DTH) (should) be given sufficient time of three years for restructuring,'' it said.

On consolidation in the media industry, it said there was a need to ensure that plurality and diversity of views were maintained while suggesting the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to conduct a detailed market study and analysis for identifying and determining safeguards.

After working out required safeguards, merger and acquisition guidelines for the sector may be issued to prevent media concentration and creation of significant market power, TRAI said. - PTI

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