Kazakh mobile operator Kcell hit with $88 million antitrust fine
ALMATY, March 11 (RAPSI) – The court of Almaty has ruled in favor of Kazakhstan’s Competition Protection Agency in its case against Kcell, the leading mobile operator of Kazakhstan. Kcell is to pay a fine of 16 billion tenge ($88 million), the company’s press service announced on Tuesday.
Kcell was accused of abusing its dominant market position by imposing the Always Available service on customers and charging for it, thereby violating customers’ rights.
The company intends to appeal the ruling. It believes that the penalty should be 10% of its income in the violation zone, not of all revenues from all of its services, according to the amended Administrative Offenses Code of Kazakhstan.
Kcell has been on the Kazakh market of cellular communications and mobile Internet since 1998. In late 2012, it sold its GDRs on the London Stock Exchange and common shares on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange. Swedish TeliaSonera owns 61.9% of Kcell’s common stock (directly and indirectly).