MOSCOW, April 20 - RAPSI. The Moscow District Federal Commercial Court has adjourned until April 24 its proceedings over VimpelCom's appeal against court judgments which upheld the antimonopoly regulator's accusation of a breach in advertising law by sending out mass text messages.
In June 2011, the Federal Antimonopoly Service ruled that VimpelCom and Mobile Dialog had violated antitrust laws and fined each company 100,000 rubles ($3,400) for advertising the "SMS chance" lottery without first obtaining customers' consent.
The companies challenged the resolution in the Moscow Commercial Court, but the lower courts upheld the watchdog's decision. VimpelCom still disagreed and appealed the judgments.
The antimonopoly service found that the company advertised the lottery by sending text messages via the Beeline mobile network in May-June 2010. Subscribers were asked to send text messages in order to take part in the lottery.
The antimonopoly watchdog opened a case against the operator after it received a complaint from a customer. He claimed the mobile operator had sent him advertising messages without his consent.
Neither VimpelCom nor Mobile Dialog managed to disprove the subscriber's complaint, the watchdog said.
Therefore, the watchdog ruled that the companies had violated the law on advertising.
VimpelCom is one of Russia's largest integrated telecommunications companies offering a wide range of wireless, fixed, and broadband services. Its sole shareholder is Dutch Vimpelcom Ltd.