India’s largest ISP faces regulatory probe over ‘anti-competitive practices’

India’s biggest internet provider has faced an investigation by the government’s telecom regulator over allegations it used anti-competitive tactics to drive down prices.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday announced it was looking into allegations that Indian ISP NetFlix was engaging in “unfair and deceptive conduct” that would affect consumers.

The ED said in a statement that the ED had opened an investigation on a complaint by the Indian Telecom Regulatory Authority (ITRA) over NetFlice’s “anti-competition practices”.

“The ED has received a complaint on behalf of an internet service provider regarding unfair and deceptive practices,” the ED said.

“The complaints focus on the activities of NetFlices ‘unfair competition policy’, which prohibits the use of differential pricing or the use or promotion of differential terms or services.”

The ED did not elaborate on the nature of the complaint, but NetFlite said it was the first time the regulator had been contacted about the issue.

NetFlix, which has a 30% share of the Indian internet market, said it has been cooperating with the ED for the past several months.

“We stand ready to cooperate fully with the government in any investigation that may be conducted, including the ED investigation,” a company spokesperson told The Hindu.

The government’s probe into NetFlise comes after the telecom regulator said earlier this month it would initiate a probe into a $10 million payment to a company which the ED accused of engaging in anticompetitive practices.

NetFlice said it will cooperate fully and that it had not been made aware of the ED probe.