Uzbekistan court leaves Vimpelcom's Unitel on list of monopolies
MOSCOW, September 19 (RAPSI) - A court in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent has rejected an appeal launched by Vimpelcom Uzbek subsidiary Unitel seeking its removal from the country's monopoly registry, the court's representative told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
In July, a lower-instance court dismissed Unitel's lawsuit against the federal privatization and monopoly agency's decision to put the company on the registry. Notably, the court satisfied in full a similar lawsuit filed at the same time by TeliaSonera subsidiary Coscom.
In early May, the federal privatization and monopoly agency opted to place two cell operators on the monopoly registry. The regulatory agency explained during court proceedings that the Unitel market share was reported at 54% and Coscom's at 41%.
Under Uzbek law, companies that occupy more than 50% of the market, or 35% to 50% with certain stipulations, are included in the monopoly registry.
The operators filed lawsuits in response, saying that their market share exceeded 40% in the second half of 2012, when Uzdunrobita, an MTS subsidiary in Uzebkistan ceased operation after revocation of state licenses and following bankruptcy. Operators insist that until that, their respective market shares fell below 33%. Both Unitel and Coscom believe that with an arrival of a new operator their shares of the market will drop further.