The Competition Council considered the support package for internet businesses to be anti-competitive
Internet restrictions have taken the breath away from many businesses in the past month. Outages, Internet slowness, and the intensity of filtering disrupted the communication of many virtual businesses with domestic and foreign audiences and closed various businesses. In contrast, the government, which had not taken any steps to remove the restrictions, promised support packages to compensate the losses of businesses. One of these packages was the Ministry of Privacy’s support plan, which was provided by The director general of the business services office of this ministry announced: Allocation of two thousand billion tomans advertising package in radio and social networks. Amirhossein Esadi announced about this: “We are going to allocate 1,000 billion tomans special advertising packages for radio and television and 1,000 billion special advertising packages for social networks to support businesses affected by internet outages.” In a situation where there is no trace of foreign social networks, he means local messengers and social networks.
Now, the Competition Council has requested more detailed information about this two thousand billion tomans support package from the Ministry of Security. According to the public relations report of the National Competition Center, following the announcement of the Director General of the Business Services Office of the Ministry of Privacy and some information obtained regarding the support decisions of this ministry for businesses affected by the internet outage, the Competition Council has emphasized compliance with the competition rules in the implementation of this support measure. . The Competition Council refers to the competition development and anti-monopoly regulations in Chapter 9 of the Law on the Implementation of General Policies, Article 44 of the Constitution.
It is stated in the public relations news: “This support, which will be carried out in the form of an advertising package, has many beneficiaries; On the one hand, there are many small, medium, and large businesses, each of which has suffered in some way from the interruption of access to the virtual space, and on the other hand, in addition to the Broadcasting Organization, many other platforms are active for advertising; Therefore, there is a possibility of committing some anti-competitive practices in the discriminatory implementation of this support, and it is necessary to observe the competition rules mentioned in Chapter 9 of the Law on the Implementation of General Policies, Article 44, especially the subject of Article 52 of this law, and any government aid to businesses through a transparent process and Based on conventional, balanced and competitive rules and criteria, support packages should be awarded to the beneficiaries.
In a situation where many institutions related to virtual businesses have spoken about the losses and disadvantages of this sector and asked for the removal of restrictions, the government support packages, whether the support plan of the Ministry of Privacy or the plan presented by the Ministry of Communications under the pretext of supporting virtual businesses, are special government facilities. They are intended for radio and domestic platforms. The letter of the Competition Council is a nod to this.
After the publication of this news, Asadi announced in an interview with ISNA that this plan At the moment, it is only at the proposal level, and its figure is the sum of the discount amount and the figure that the Ministry of Security will pay as a facility, and it may be less or more in the final plan. According to him, if the competition council wants, the necessary reports will be available to this organization.
Of course, the Competition Council has emphasized on its website that “it is requested to provide a detailed report and complete information on the implementation of the steps and process of the said support and mention the legal bases and documentation of the amounts allocated to the beneficiaries of this support.”