MOSCOW, 12 Oct — PRIME. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) recognized MTS as a violator of antimonopoly law: the telecom operator unreasonably increased the cost of services for subscribers – by more than 20% this year with an inflation of 10.5%, the agency ordered the company to reduce tariffs to an economically justified level, and the amount of the fine will determine in the course of an administrative investigation, the FAS said.
According to the FAS, in January 2022, the company increased the cost of cellular services for more than 28 million subscribers by an average of 9.5%, justifying this with an increase in its costs, but did not provide FAS with confirmation of the increase in costs in an amount sufficient to justify the price increase. . In August, September and October, the company also raised prices for different tariff plans. “Thus, the total increase in tariffs for 28 million subscribers in 2022 amounted to more than 20%, while the consumer price index at the end of August was 10.5%,” the message says. According to the latest data from Rosstat, inflation from the beginning of the year to the end of September amounted to 10.46%.
“The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia came to the conclusion that the increase in tariffs in the absence of a technological, economic or other justification violates the interests of consumers. Today, the agency’s commission found the operator guilty of setting and maintaining a monopoly high price for its services. The service issued an order to MTS on the need to reduce tariffs, as part of of which there have been increases, to an economically justified level,” the statement said.
It is specified that the size of the fine for the company “will be determined during the administrative investigation.”
In mid-April, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation published methodological recommendations for the phased indexation of telecom operators’ tariffs, taking into account the current level of inflation, developed to ensure the development of the Russian economy under sanctions. The validity of the change in the tariffs of operators is determined by the service in connection with the correspondence to the change in inflation according to the weekly published data of Rosstat. The change is recognized as justified if the level of tariff changes corresponds to inflation since the beginning of the year as of the last week of the month.