There are rising concerns over maintaining equal access to Internet amid some service providers entering into tie-ups for offering free access to certain mobile apps and websites.

Against this backdrop, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) member U C Nahta said here that it is looking into whether entities are abusing their dominant position.

The regulator is trying to understand whether such practices are just sectoral or tariff issues or whether they violate competition norms.

It is looking into whether telecom operators and internet service providers are indulging in unfair business ways by extending preferential treatment to select mobile applications and websites.

CCI, which keeps a tab on unfair business practices across sectors, orders a detailed probe into a matter only if there is prima-facie evidence of fair trade norms.

The principle of Net Neutrality implies equal treatment to be accorded to all Internet traffic, without discrimination or priority for any person, entity or company.

Recently, Bharti Airtel launched 'Airtel Zero' - an open marketing platform that allows customers to access a variety of mobile applications for free, with the data charges being paid by start-ups and large companies.

Over the past few months, operators like Reliance Communications and Uninor have tied up with players like Facebook, WhatsApp and Wikipedia to offer free usage to consumers.

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