Assocham opposes cross-media ownership, calls for regulations

December 4th, 2008 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) Industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) Thursday expressed its opposition to cross-media ownership that allows companies to own different branches of media, and urged telecom regulator to introduce fresh regulations for media.In a representation to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Assocham said the regulator in its new guidelines should take necessary precautions so that the media sector is regulated “objectively because of its sensitivities and of evolving nature”.

If same companies own print, broadcasting and radio channels, it will create monopolistic tendencies, it said.

“In order to avoid monopolistic situation and encourage competition in the entertainment and broadcasting sector, there ought to be certain restrictions,” the Assocham said.

The chamber added that “vibrant democracies” like the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and France have placed restrictions on cross-media ownership and urged the Indian regulator to come up with similar restrictions and regulations.

“There are no restrictions as regards to horizontal and vertical integrations between print media and television. Also, there are no existing restrictions to regulate media, especially print and radio so far,” it added.

The Assocham, however, said the TRAI should hold necessary deliberations with industry before introducing regulations.

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