TK agrees to clear Dardafon dues within 24 months

19 Nov 2020

State-owned operator Telecom Kosovo (TK) – which operates under the Vala brand – has reached an agreement to pay its outstanding dues of around EUR25 million (USD29.7 million) to its former MVNO partner Dardafon, Kosovapress reports. Under the agreement, which was mediated and guaranteed by the government, TK has 24 months to fully clear the debt starting from 15 January 2021. The dues relate to a 2016 international court ruling on a dispute between TK and Dardafon – then offering services under the Z Mobile brand – over their MVNO agreement. The court sided with the MVNO and awarded the provider EUR32 million in damages and costs, and whilst a portion of that figure has been paid, in early 2019 Dardafon began escalating its efforts to recover the remaining dues. In the midst of a legal battle with the provider over the debt, TK opted not to renew its contentious MVNO contract with Dardafon when it expired in July 2019 and the provider ceased operations in November 2019. In mid-2020 a Pristina court approved Dardafon’s right to collect the dues and in mid-July TK’s accounts were temporarily blocked by a private bailiff, though they were unfrozen at the end of the month when senior government ministers agreed to clear the debts by 30 October. When this deadline was missed, however, the accounts were frozen again and emptied of their funds, prompting protests and strikes from TK’s workers and another round of frantic negotiations, which ultimately led to the new agreement.

Kosovo, Dardafon (Z Mobile), Telecom Kosovo (TK, Vala)