26 Nov 2009 11:49

MTS not yet planning return to Euroset stores, despite settlement

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) - Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is not yet planning to resume sales via Euroset (RTS: RTS: TDEV) stores, despite the amicable agreement reached between the cellular provider and mobile phone retailer.

"Talks on this matter are not yet being held," MTS PR Manager Yelena Kokhanovskaya said on Wednesday evening evening, commenting on the settlement.

Further business between the two companies remains open. "We're prepared to discuss all possible options for cooperation, as if we were starting all over again, with a clean sheet," said Alexander Malis, the president of Euroset.

MTS and Euroset said they had signed an amicable agreement to resolve all disputes and end litigation. The companies will offset mutual claims and Euroset will pay MTS 501 million rubles debt in equal monthly installments over a period of 24 months, starting in December 2009.

MTS canceled a dealership agreement with Euroset and an agreement on accepting payment from subscribers in April. The conflict came to a head in March, when MTS demanded that Euroset switch to different billing terms. MTS suspected that Euroset, in which VimpelCom had bough a 49.9%-stake, was trying to lure customers away to its competitor. MTS also demanded that Euroset pay off more than 1 billion rubles in debt, including money owed for iPhones, approximately 500 million of an advance of 1.2 billion rubles for connecting MTS subscribers at Euroset and 322.6 million rubles in payments the retailer had allegedly accepted from MTS subscribers but not transferred to the operator.

Euroset itself filed two claims for a total of 499 million rubles against MTS for commission, the use of its money and other fees.

The companies later filed more claims against each other.