18 Sep 2023 13:03

Russia's Big Four cellular operators must cancel fees for distributing internet traffic from phones within a month - FAS

MOSCOW. Sept 18 (Interfax) - Russia's Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has sent MTS, MegaFon , VimpelCom , and Tele2, the country's largest and so-called Big Four cellular operators, a warning about the requirement to cancel fees for distributing internet traffic from mobile phone devices within a month, the watchdog said in a statement.

As stated, the FAS has received a large number of submissions from the subscribers of the cellular operators regarding the operators having set these fees.

The FAS in August sent inquiries to the Big Four operators in order to establish all the circumstances and details. "Meantime, the companies have not provided sufficient economic, technological or other justification to the service," the FAS indicates.

"The service has established that telecom operators have been imposing unfavorable terms and conditions in the contracts for providing communications services to subscribers by setting fees for distributing internet traffic from the subscribers' devices," according to the statement.

The FAS has also found that the actions of the cellular operators contain signs of violation of antimonopoly legislation.

"Russia's FAS has issued warnings to MTS, MegaFon, [VimpelCom's] Beeline, and Tele2 to cease these actions. The operators must comply within a month by canceling fees for distributing the internet from mobile devices, and by preventing restrictions on this functionality for subscribers," according to the statement.

The FAS indicates that the watchdog has the right to initiate cases of violation of antimonopoly legislation if the companies do not comply with the warnings.