FAS files case against Yota over LTE discrimination

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The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has filed a case against Russian Long Term Evolution (LTE) operator Yota, local press reports have revealed. The order, which has been signed by the deputy head of FAS, Andrey Kashevarov, accuses the company of discrimination against other operators, most notably Rostelecom, which first lodged a complaint with Moscow’s Commercial Court in September 2012. Yota is obliged to offer its rivals access to its in-deployment LTE network via a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement, but has dragged its feet since being acquired by billionaire Alisher Usmanov in July 2012; the tycoon now owns 80% of Yota and 50% (plus one share) of mobile giant MegaFon, which has been given priority wholesale access and counted 130,000 LTE subscribers at 31 December 2012. If Yota is found guilty of discrimination it could face a fine of up to 15% of its annual revenue; according to estimates the fine could top USD20 million.

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