OREANDA-NEWS  The Commission of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) recognized PJSC Megafon as violating the antimonopoly legislation, the violation was expressed in the establishment and maintenance of monopolistically high prices for services, the agency said in a statement.

In September, the FAS initiated a case against Megafon due to unjustified tariff increases. The company increased tariffs for communication services for more than 8.2 million subscribers by an average of 10.24% and did not provide the service with sufficient grounds for an increase, the agency clarifies.

"The commission of the department found the operator guilty of establishing and maintaining a monopolistically high price for its services," the report says.

The Company will be fined (in accordance with Part 1 of Article 14.31 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation), the amount of which will be determined during the administrative investigation. In accordance with this article of the Administrative Code, the amount of the fine can range from 300 thousand rubles to 1 million rubles.

The report notes that during the meeting of the antimonopoly case review commission, representatives of Megafon reported that they were reducing these unreasonably increased tariffs. The operator plans to do this by February 15, 2024, for which changes have already been made to the relevant regulations of the company, the FAS said.

The Megafon press service told Interfax that "after a lengthy dialogue with the regulator and discussion of its arguments," the company did agree to return the terms of a number of archival tariffs, changes to which were carried out in January 2023. The adjustments will take effect gradually, the operator plans to complete this process by mid-February 2024, the company said.

"At the same time, the process of gradual indexing of individual tariffs from the operator's archive has quite objective reasons, and the cumulative increase in the cost of our services for the entire subscriber base in 2023 was less than 3%," Megafon noted.

"We will continue the dialogue with the regulator on the very sensitive topic of pricing in the cellular market, because with the general increase in costs, it seems impossible to keep the price level unchanged, especially for those tariffs whose economy was relevant a few years ago," Megafon added.