Rostelecom probed by comptroller over restrictions on regional telco traffic

10 Mar 2017

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has initiated a case against national fixed line operator Rostelecom as it suspects the state-backed telco of imposing unprofitable conditions on contracts with smaller operators in relation to regional domestic voice interconnection. As reported by Comnews, the investigation was prompted by cellco MegaFon which accused Rostelecom of abusing its dominant position by limiting the ability to carry intra-zone traffic via restrictions on interconnection agreements with telcos Atex Plus, SKV-Company, Telemir and MegaFon’s fixed network subsidiary NetByNet. Having apparently ignored a warning from the FAS to change wholesale contract conditions by a late-December 2016 deadline, Rostelecom now faces a further investigation, and a potential fine of up to 15% of revenues in the specific (zonal) market segment under review, with the report noting that total revenue from connecting/carrying voice traffic represented RUB30.4 billion (USD514 million), or 7.5%, of Rostelecom’s 2016 turnover.