In a complaint to CCI (Competition Commission of India), BSNL had alleged that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had acted as a cartel while bidding for 3G spectrum auctions held in 2010.
BSNL had accused the trio for selective bidding in different circles and later entering into illegal roaming arrangements to provide PAN India coverage. CCI in its order said that there is no prima facie case to investigate the matter. CCI observed that 33 licenses were issued in place of 22 circles and it was natural for companies to bid in profitable markets. Apart from this BSNL did not provide any other inputs to prove that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had formed a cartel, CCI said.
This ruling would have brought in a sigh of relief amongst Indian telecom majors, particularly when auctions are scheduled to be held. What do you think at this move by CCI as a reader? Do you think there was a CARTEL between the trio? Do let us know via comments.