NEW DELHI :  The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is set to recommend an equity cap on cross-holdings by companies in media entities, both for horizontal and vertical integration, a senior official from the regulator said.

TRAI is working on finalising the recommendations, the official said without revealing the timeline for the announcement of the proposals. “Dilution of existing equity will take place within a stipulated time,” the official said adding that companies would be given time to reduce their equity in an entity if their current holding is above the limit recommended by TRAI.

TRAI will also suggest a equity cap on horizontal holdings, wherein entities or promoters hold stake in various media segments

Last year in February, TRAI had released a consultation paper on issues related to media ownership in the country, wherein it had asked the stakeholders whether ownership or control over a media entity should be measured in terms of equity holding.

It had also sought stakeholders’ view regarding the appropriate threshold. TRAI will give its proposals on what the norms should be in cases where an entity or promoter holds equity stake both in a broadcasting and distribution company, otherwise known as vertical integration.

TRAI had earlier said that in the case of vertical integration, where broadcasting companies have control over distribution of channels as well, any entity or promoter should not have control in both of them. There has to be an equity cap on vertical holdings, the official said.

TRAI is also expected to recommended an equity cap on horizontal holdings, wherein entities or promoters hold stake in various media segments, such as print, radio, broadcasting, web, etc.          -Cogencis

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