As reported by Reuters, Reliance Industries Limited’s telecom division has requested the Indian telecoms regulator to take necessary steps against rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd for allegedly orchestrating a false propaganda campaign to attract its subscribers. In a letter dated December 10, Reliance Jio reported that the two companies had created an impression that Reliance – which also manages retail operations – is a beneficiary to the three new agricultural laws introduced by the Indian government in September.
“We once again bring to your kind attention that as a result of aforementioned false propaganda of competitors to affect customer perception, we have been receiving a large number of port out (cancellation) requests,” Reliance Jio said in the letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which was seen by Reuters. Farmers have been demonstrating since nearly three weeks against deregulation of the agriculture sector that will permit them to make their produce available to buyers beyond government-regulated wholesale markets, where growers are guaranteed a minimum price.
Bharti Airtel said in a statement, “We wish to emphatically deny this baseless charge.” Bharti Airtel also reported that the company treats its competitors and partners with respect and Vodafone Idea said, “ It believes in doing business with ethics and Reliance’s allegations are baseless.”
The telecoms regulator could not be reached for comment outside regular business hours.