Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Aug.9 /Trend D.Azizov/
The Uzbek State Committee on Demonopolization and Competition Development filed a claim of violation of the antimonopoly legislation against the subsidiary of Russian JSC "Mobile TeleSystems" - LLC Uzdunrobita (MTS-Uzbekistan), a source in the committee's leadership told Trend on Thursday.
The source said that the decision was made based on conclusions of 16 regional offices of the State Demonopolization Committee on violation of antimonopoly legislation, legislation on consumer rights protection and advertising by the mobile operator Uzdunrobita,.
The total amount of filed claims hits over $80 million.
The General Prosecutor's Office filed a criminal case against some of the operator's officials. During an unplanned check which has been conducted for three months, additional evidence of gross violations of law were found involving the unlawful cashing of large sums of money, laundering of income derived from criminal activity, exercise of an activity without a licence, tax evasion and other matters.
UzACI suspended a licence issued to the Uzdunrobite in 2004 'on the right to engage in the activities of design, construction, operation and services of mobile radiotelephone (cellular) communications'. It was noted that the licence was suspended for 10 working days, and later by the court's decision it was extended for three months from July 30.
Uzdunrobita was formed in August 1991 and became the first cellular phone company in Uzbekistan. In August 2004, Uzdunrobita became part of OJSC Mobile TeleSystems. Following the rebranding conducted in June 2006, the company provided services under the brand name of MTS-Uzbekistan.
Network coverage of the company, the largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan, is covering more than 94 per cent of the population of the republic. The number of subscribers stood at 9.5 million in 2011.