MegaFon cleared to acquire regional ISPs

24 Jan 2012

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has reportedly cleared NetByNet, the broadband unit of mobile giant MegaFon, to acquire the assets of two regional internet service providers (ISPs). Telecompaper reports that NetByNet is now poised to complete the 100%-acquisition of Kursk-based operator ZhGTK, alongside a 25% stake in Moscow’s Risenup. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MegaFon ended its long-running pursuit of NetByNet in May 2011, paying USD270 million for the cableco. The deal effectively paved the way for the cellco’s long-coveted entrance into the lucrative Moscow broadband market. Since then MegaFon has used NetByNet to snap up a series of regional broadband operators, including Kursk-based Luchshe.net in December 2011. TeleGeography notes that MegaFon’s strategy mirrors that of its chief wireless rivals – Vimpelcom and Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) – both of which have developed solid broadband footprints in recent years, via a number of strategic regional acquisitions.

Russia, MegaFon, NetByNet (owned by MegaFon)