CCI by its order dated February 25, 2016 has closed a case
alleging abuse of dominant position by the television audience
measurement services agency, TAM Media Research Private Limited, in
relation to the procedure adopted for measurement of Television
Rating Points (TRPs) or Television Viewership Ratings (TVR) since
The case was filed by the public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati,
through Doordarshan channel.
The methodology adopted by TAM to measure TRP includes meters
installed in TVs in areas/cities with a population of 1 Lakh or
more. TAM has installed a total of 8000 meters throughout the
country, which represents a very narrow statistical base. It was
alleged that the TRP/TVR generated by TAM actually underestimates
the actual viewership of Doordarshan as it primarily is being
watched by the population in rural areas. Thus, the TRP/TVR puts
the Informant in a disadvantageous position and gives undue
advantage to broadcasters who have programmes for urban areas
The DG Report considered that the market for provision of
services for audience measurement for channels and programs on
television in India, observing that audience measurement of other
media platforms like print, radio, and internet are not substitutes
of audience measurement of TV. Within this market, the DG Report
considered that TAM enjoys 100% market share (monopoly) since 2011,
and thus enjoys a dominant position.
The DG Report considered that the exclusion of semi-urban and
rural areas from the sample size results in imposition of unfair
and discriminatory conditions on those broadcasters who have
channels and programs focused to rural market as they are not duly
compensated by the advertisers in violation of Section 4(2)(a)(i)
and 4(2)(c) of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act). Secondly the DG
Report noted that the conduct of TAM in charging higher annual
subscription fees from advertisers and media agencies to provide TV
viewership data amounts to imposition of discriminatory price in
violation of the provisions of Section 4(2)(a)(ii) of the Act.
Thirdly, since TAM has been the only user of such measurement
meters in India, this has led to the limiting of technology and
scientific development for manufacturing of such meters amounting
to infringement of Section 4(2)(b)(ii) of the Act.
The CCI agreed with the delineation of the relevant market by
the DG. It considered that the market should be that of
'audience measurement for channels and programmes on television
in India'. The CCI is in agreement with the findings of DG that
OP holds 100% market share in the relevant market since August
2011, indicating market power of the OPs. The customers of TAM,
broadcaster and advertisers, are dependent on services provided by
the OP as it plays a crucial role in the decision making process.
Thus, the CCI considered that TAM is a dominant position in the
As regards non-coverage of viewership in rural areas in
measurement of audience viewership, the CCI notes that TAM has
clearly disclosed to its stakeholders and has also stated on its
website as well in every subscription contract entered between TAM
and the advertisers / broadcasters that its data is largely
representative of viewing preferences of the urban and semi-urban
population. Hence, no unfair and discriminatory condition was
imposed on any subscriber as all the subscribers to TAM's data
were well aware of the methodology used by the TAM and its
As regards allegation of discriminatory pricing by TAM,
the CCI noted that the broadcaster and advertising
agencies/advertisers are not similarly placed subscribers of TAM.
Since they are differently situated, the allegation that charging
higher subscription rate on broadcasters was discriminatory does
not hold any ground.
The CCI closed the case with a finding that no
abuse of dominant position was established by TAM.
(Source: CCI: Order dated February 25, 2016. For full text
see CCI website)
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