In January 2022, by order of the FAS, Tele2 will reduce the prices for archived tariffs, which it inflated in May 2020 and January 2021. The increase forced tens of millions of Russians to overpay for communications. prices increased by 10-13%.
FAS forced to reduce tariffs
Tele2, a telecom operator from the Big Four, will reduce prices for archive tariffs, which it raised in 2020 and 2021, representatives of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) told CNews. The decrease will be a consequence of the FAS prescription issued in September 2021.
Tariff rates will be reduced to their original values from January 11, 2022. At the time of publication of the material, Tele2 representatives could not answer the CNews inquiry whether the operator plans to introduce new prices at the same time for all tariffs, or they will gradually decrease in price in a certain sequence.
Tele2 subscribers faced the first rise in the price of archived tariffs in mid-May 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, prices jumped by an average of 10%, and a total of 11.5 million subscribers were affected.
It is possible that some subscribers did not accept the rise in prices and changed their operator
The second increase, to which the Antimonopoly Service drew attention, occurred at the very beginning of 2021, literally on January 1. This time, prices soared by 13%, and more than 12.5 million Russians were forced to overpay for communications.
Justice has triumphed
FAS experts considered both cases of price increases for archive tariffs. In September 2021, as CNews reported, the Service issued an order to Tele2 on the need to return prices to their previous level.
Failure to comply with the FAS requirement threatened the operator with a fine of up to 500 thousand rubles. In addition, the operator could expect numerous lawsuits from subscribers demanding lower prices on an individual basis.
Tele2 announced its disagreement with the decision of the Antimonopoly Service and about its readiness to defend its interests “within the framework of appropriate legal procedures.” The operator drew up an appeal to the court, but he sided with the antimonopoly department.
Having lost, Tele2 did not attempt a second challenge. Instead, he decided to completely abandon further legal claims and comply with the FAS order.
It is not yet clear whether the reduction in the price of archived tariffs will lead to an increase in the cost of current prices.
Representatives of the operator told CNews that the decision was made taking into account the current market situation. “Taking into account the situation on the market, Tele2 made a decision to voluntarily fulfill the FAS order. The execution is formed in such a way as to satisfy the expectations of subscribers as much as possible, ”they told CNews.
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The FAS took control of the case on the rise in the price of archived tariffs for Tele2 in mid-June 2020. Moreover, the department was not at all interested in the fact of price increases, but in the fact that Tele2 did not provide any economic justification for this.
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On May 12, 2020, prices for Tele2 services increased in many Russian regions. On average, according to the Federal Antimonopoly Service, the amount of the subscription fee for unlimited Tele2 tariffs, depending on the region, increased by 20-100 rubles.
However, in this case, the FAS did not take into account the sudden rise in prices for other Tele2 tariffs, which happened just a few days later. On May 19, 2020, it became known about the operator’s plans for the forced transfer of subscribers from a number of archived tariffs to the current “Classic” plan, with a subsequent increase in prices. The changes came into force on June 3, 2020 and affected Tele2 users from Moscow and the Moscow region.
In mid-July 2020, CNews wrote that the FAS decided to check the Tele2 tariff increases from May 12, 2020.The operator provided economic justifications, but they did not satisfy the Service. The investigation could result in a fine of 15% of the annual proceeds.
At the end of October 2020, the FAS found Tele2 guilty of violating antitrust laws. “Based on the results of the consideration of the case, the FAS recognized the telecom operator as having set monopoly high prices for mobile radiotelephone services. This led to the infringement of the interests of an indefinite circle of consumers – subscribers of T2 Mobile LLC (Legal entity Tele2). An order will be issued to T2 Mobile LLC to bring tariffs, which have been increased since May 12, 2020, to the level that existed before the offense was committed, ”FAS representatives said.
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In January 2021, prices for Tele2 tariffs increased again. In February 2021, another case was opened against Tele2 on violation of Russian antimonopoly legislation. Representatives of the FAS that the operator did not provide a technological, economic and other justification for the growth of tariffs, which is an infringement of the interests of subscribers.
Representatives of the operator, for their part, indicated that they provided the FAS with an economic justification for the increase in prices for tariffs.
In mid-September 2021, the FAS ordered Tele2 to return unreasonably high prices for archived tariffs and threatened him with a half-million fine.