DELHI HIGH COURT DIRECTS AIRTEL TO MODIFY ITS ADVERTISEMENT THAT CLAIMS TO OFFER FREE ACCESS TO T20 CRICKET COVERAGE TO ITS SERVICE PROVIDERS

On a plea filed by Reliance Jio, Ld. Sr. Counsel for the Plaintiff Reliance Jio Dr. Abhishek Manusinghvi stated that Airtel Advertisement offers live and free access to IPL T20 Matches is deceptive, misrepresenting and misleading in nature. The Ld. Sr. further stated that such misrepresentation is aimed at luring viewers to subscribe to Airtel’s Telecom Service and will impact a large number of unsuspecting subscribers.

The Ld. Sr. Counsels for the Plaintiff relied upon the judgment of Dabur India Limited vs. Colortek Meghalaya Pvt.Ltd. and Hindustan Unilever Limited vs. Reckitt Benckiser India Limited where similar questions of law were decided in favour of the proposition put forth by the Plaintiff.

The Ld. Sr. Counsel for Airtel Mr. Rajiv Nayar despite stating that Reliance Jio is a jealous competitor conceded that if a consumer intends to watch the game, one has to subscribe to the Data Plan of Airtel. Thus, the Sr. Counsel for the Defendant conceded before the Hon’ble Court that Airtel would include the following in its Advertisement in BOLD LETTERS–

  • The subscription of HOTSTAR shall only be free; and
  • The Data Charges will be as per subscriber’s tariff plan

The Ld. Single Judge J Yogesh Khanna vide its Order dated 13th April 2018 directed that the said changes be made immediately.

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