OREANDA-NEWS. March 21, 2013.  The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) initiated a case against Skartel Ltd. upon signs of violating the antimonopoly law (Clauses 8 and 9 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law On Protection of Competition). The company created discriminatory conditions and prevented access to the market of communications services in LTE-standard. The case against Skartel Ltd. will be considered on 22nd April 2013.

In August 2012 Skartel Ltd. published in the Kommerssant newspaper, at Kommersant.ru web-site and at Yota.ru web-site the conditions for use of radio access infrastructure of the communications network of Skartel Ltd. in LTE-standard by Mobile Virtual Network Operators working in LTE-standard and its further modifications.

According to the published information statement, the condition for concluding a contract is that filing an application for concluding a contract each applicant must offer Skartel Ltd. a guaranteed total contract value by 31st December 2014 as follows: no less than US\\$ 150 million including VAT, in Ruble equivalent (the guaranteed volume of federal business); no less than US\\$ 70 million including VAT, in Ruble equivalent (the guaranteed volume for the Central Federal District) and no less than US\\$ 20 million including VAT, in Ruble equivalent (the guaranteed volume for any federal district, except the Central Federal District).

At the same time FAS established that earlier Skartel Ltd. had concluded agreements for using radio access infrastructure with Megafon OJSC and MTS OJSC under more favourable conditions that the conditions specified in the published information statement.

We believe that Skartel Ltd. providing radio access infrastructure under less favourable conditions than specified by the contracts already concluded with Megafon OJSC and MTS OJSC puts potential users of radio access infrastructure of communications networks in LTE-standard in an unequal position and, accordingly, creates discriminatory conditions, pointed out Deputy Head of FAS Department for Control over Transport and Communications, Dmitry Routenberg.

Also, according to FAS, the conditions under which Skartel Ltd. is prepared to provide the radio access infrastructure prevent entry to the market of communications services in LTE-standard. Particularly, by fixing a considerable guaranteed payment without taking into account the needs of operators in the traffic volume and the actual traffic volume, requiring payment of the guaranteed total contract value by 31st December 2014 regardless of the actual date when the contract was concluded, and by fixing a guaranteed contract value based on an area, regardless of the actual geographic coverage of the communications network in LTE-standard.

Clauses 8 and 9 Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law On Protection of Competition prohibits actions (omissions) by economic entities with market dominance that lead or can lead to preventing, restricting, eliminating competition and (or) infringing the interests of other persons, particularly the following actions (omissions): creating discriminatory conditions; preventing entry / exit of other economic entities to / from the market.