FAS recognized the largest mobile operators violators because of the prices on SMS

FAS recognized the largest mobile operators violators because of the prices on SMS

FAS recognized the tariffs for the service of SMS-mailing “MegaFon”, MTS, “VimpelCom” (operates under the brand “Beeline”) and “T2 mobile” (Tele2) violating the law “On protection of competition”. Service ordered the company to change the price of SMS-informing.

As stated in a report published on Tuesday, April 4, the Federal Antimonopoly service (FAS), the Agency acknowledged “MegaFon”, MTS, “VympelCom” and “mobile T2” (“a daughter” “T2 RTK Holding”) violated part 1, article 10 of the law “On protection of competition”. It prohibited the acts or omissions of the company occupying a dominant position, which can be a restriction, elimination of competition, infringement of interests of other persons in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities or of indefinite range of consumers.

Assessment of analytical company AC&M, these operators held a total of 99% of the mobile market as at 31 December 2016. At the end of 2014, “MegaFon” and MTS, and in 2015, “VympelCom” and “T2 mobile” have changed the tariffs for SMS-mailing.

New conditions have made impossible the Union of customers of such incidents, for example, banks, who thus advise their clients on transactions in the pools, which led to an increase in the cost of services. One of the customers, the insurance company “SOGAZ-Med”, complained the new fees to the FAS. The Agency came to the conclusion that the actions of the operators tariffs for customers for sending SMS to the network of “MegaFon” increased by 116%, MTS — on 176%, “VympelCom” — 77% and “T2 mobile” — 33%. While in cellular companies countered that the SMS is not the only way of informing. “We do not agree with the analysis, which was conducted by the FAS.

Market information and promotion includes not only SMS, such services are provided by e-mail, through instant messengers, apps, and other services”, — said earlier RBC representative of “MegaFon”.

However, FAS decided to give “the Megaphone”, MTS, “VympelCom” and “T2 mobile” the instruction about elimination of violations

As explained previously, the head of Department of regulation of communications and information technologies of the FAS Elena zaeva, to fulfill such requirement, the operators will need to revise the tariff policy for SMS-mailing.

In addition, operators must pay a fine. Its size is the representative of the FAS did not elaborate, but said it will be fixed. According to the administrative code, the fine can be from 300 thousand to 1 million rubles If operators ordered to pay working fine, it had to be from 1 to 15% of their revenue in this market. Based on the fact that AC&M estimated the market volume of SMS-informing in 2016 14,026 billion rubles excluding the shares of Sberbank, the total amount of the fine for the “big four” could be up to 2.1 billion RUB.