FAS: TELE2, VIMPELCOM AND MTS VIOLATED THE LAW ON COMPETITION
Mobile operators created discriminatory conditions for private companies
On 13 May 2019, the Federal Antimonopoly Service found that “MTS” PJSC, “T2Mobile” Ltd. and “VimpelCom” PJSC violated the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”.
Based on the results of the investigation, the Antimonopoly Service established that contracts conditions for private companies were different from contract conditions for companies with state participation in their capital.
The Antimonopoly Service exposed that difference could reach up to 10 times, since companies with the state share can pay several times less than private companies. This circumstance creates discriminatory conditions and is violating the antimonopoly law.
One of the examples, in particular, informational, service and transaction SMS-messaging by banks.
FAS has recognized that “MTS” PJSC, “T2Mobile” Ltd. and “VimpelCom” PJSC violated the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” in the part of creating discriminatory conditions when consumers of sms-messaging service are put in unequal conditions (Clause 8 Part 1 Article 10).
FAS also established a violation of Clause 1 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”: fixing monopolistically high prices for sms-messaging service.
Apart from that, actions of “VimpelCom” PJSC to abolish transliteration of sms-messages from Cyrillic to Latin characters, doubled the costs of sms-messaging, while such actions of the operator were not justified. FAS classified them under Clause 3 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”.
The Antimonopoly Service will issue a prescription to “MTS” PJSC, “T2Mobile” Ltd. and “VimpelCom” PJSC to eliminate violations of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” that are also liable under Article 14.31 of the Code on Antimonopoly Violations.
The case against “Megaphone” PJSC is suspended until 16 May 2019.
“It is worth reminding that last year FAS issued a warning to the 4 big mobile operators to eliminate the signs of violations. Having analyzed the materials received form operators, FAS concluded that the companies failed to execute the warning, the result of which was confirming violations committed by three communications operators”, pointed out Deputy Head of FAS Anatoly Golomolzin.