Uzbekistan, Tashkent, 1 May / Trend, D. Azizov /
Uzbekistan's State Committee for Privatization, de-Monopolization and the Development of Competition fined two of the largest mobile operators in the country, working in GSM standard for a violation of the competition legislation by committing a concerted action, the Committee stated.
According to the report, mobile operators Unitel ('Beeline') and 'COSCOM' Ltd. (Ucell) were concertedly increasing the monthly fees and rates.
According to the committee, 'Beeline' reported a daily subscription fee increase for basic rates from $0.02 to $ 0.03 effectıve January 20, 2013. Ucell also increased the daily fee for the basic rates from $0.02 to $ 0.03 effectıve January 25, 2013.
Since the beginning of the year, Unitel and Ucell increased subscription fees on almost all of the most popular tariff plans, the Committee's statement says.
The subscription fee was increased to $ 0.02 by both operators in April, 2012.
The concurrent increase of subscription fees by both mobile operators occurred twice within a short period of time.
"Unreasonable, simultaneous and synchronous increases of the subscription fees and different tariffs by Unitel and Ucell indicate a concerted action between the two above-mentioned mobile operators in a short period of time. Thıs leads to a restriction of competition and artificial price increases, which is a direct violation of Article 11 of the Law of Uzbekistan 'On competition', the report says.
In this regard, the Special Commission for Considering vıolatıons of Competition Law, Natural Monopolies, Consumer Rights Protection and Advertisement ıs fılıng a lawsuit resulting in the ımposıtıon of the approprıate penalty upon the company. The statement does not indicate the amount of the fine.
Four operators currently operate on Uzbekistan's mobile market: Unitel Ltd. (Beeline brand) and COSCOM Ltd. (TM Ucell), as well as RWC Ltd. (Perfectum Mobile) and 'Uzmobile's subsidiary OJSC 'Uzbektelekom'.
According to the conducted analysis, the market shares of the participants in terms of services provided as of January 1, 2013 were as follows: 'Beeline' - 54 percent, Ucell - 41 percent, Perfectum Mobile - 3 percent, 'Uzmobile' - 1 percent.