Court confirms State Committee’s decision on two mobile operators’ price fixing in Uzbekistan

ICT Materials 19 September 2013 18:53 (UTC +04:00)

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Sept. 19 / Trend, D. Azizov /

The Tashkent Economic Court confirmed the State Committee on Privatization, De-monopolization and Competition's decision about price-fixing by GSM-operators Unitel and Coscom and refused to grant their claim towards the regulator to cancel the decision, a representative of the court told Trend on Wednesday.

It was reported that in May of this year, an expert commission of the state committee accused Unitel and Coscom of informal agreement to raise rates on almost all the most popular tariff plans in April 2012 and January 2013.

The case on price fixing was filed and the company was fined.

Unitel and Coscom deny the price fixing while increasing the subscription fees. Representatives of the mobile operators do not agree with the court's decision and intend to challenge it in appeals instance.

Unitel company is a subsidiary of Russian VimpelCom ("Beeline" trade mark). "VimpelCom" completed the acquisition deal of Unitel in 2006, which is the second largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan, and also bought another GSM-operator - Buztel and merged these companies.

TeliaSonera acquired a 100 percent stake of the U.S. MCT Corp. in 2007, which owned telecommunications assets in Central Asia and Afghanistan, including 99.97 percent of the Uzbek-American Joint Venture "Coscom" (Ucell trademark).

Currently, four operators are operating in the market of mobile services: Unitel (Beeline trade mark) and Coscom, as well as RWC (TM Perfectum Mobile) and Uzmobile's branch of "Uzbektelekom."

The market shares of the participants in terms of the rendered services as of January 1, 2013 were as follows: Beeline - 54 percent, Ucell - 41 percent, Rubicon Wireless Communications (RWC, Perfectum Mobile trademark) - 3 percent and Uzbektelekom Mobile - Uzbektelecom'a branch - 1 percent.