Monday, August 13, 2012 -
A court in Uzbekistan has annulled all licenses of mobile phone operator Uzdunrobita, wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia's largest telecoms firm Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Uzbekistan’s communications agency said Monday.
The Tashkent Economic Court backed the call from the State Agency for Communication and Information (SACI) to punish Uzdunrobita for allegedly failing to pay fees of up to $210 million by operating without individual licenses, the Interfax news agency reported.
The telecoms regulator said Uzdunrobita also generated $161 million worth of unsanctioned revenues.
SACI had asked Tashkent Economic Court to revoke the licenses in response to an appeal by Uzdunrobita against the court’s earlier three-month suspension of its operating licenses.
MTS has denied all charges which it says are legally baseless. According to the company, the current branch system was set up in 2002 by SACI when it was a shareholder of Uzdunrobita.
It further argued that two years later SACI signed a license agreement with Uzdunrobita that expressly authorized the company to open and operate current and future branches without the need for more licenses.
Earlier this month, Uzdunrobita suggested that senior officials close to the ruling family of President Islam Karimov were on a campaign to take over the company.