This week the Ninth Arbitral Court of Appellate Jurisdiction has dismissed reclaiming bill of OJSC Rostelecom and left invariable judgment made by justice of a peace on adjudication of granting access to Skartel LLC (Yota trademark) LTE (4G) network.
Claimant requested the Court to adjudicate the award of Moscow Arbitral Court and try a case according to the rules for proceedings in a court of the first instance. Rostelecom stayed unsatisfied with the fact that Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (FAS) was not invited to court in the first place. Proxy of Skartel contradicted that this trial does not infringe on FAS’s rights at all.
During judicial sitting the court rejected series of motions on remit of the appeal hearing. One of them was motivated by the fact that the claimant needs time to settle peacefully a controversy with the defendant. However, the representative of Skartel answered it is impossible.
At the same time, as Forbes mentioned, Skartel announced that the company started negotiating with Rostelecom but without any specific results, yet. On the other hand, Rostelecom stated that only allegation of appeal was divulgated and they still think about further actions including taking the trial to the Court of Cassation.
Rostelecom brought an action against Skartel in September 2012. Moscow Arbitral Court dismissed Rostelecom’s demand for Skartel restraint to conclude a treaty on granting an access to technological infrastructure in order to render a 4G service based on mobile virtual network operator model (MVNO).
The cause for legal actions was given by celebration of a preliminary contract, which allowed Rostelecom to use such network. The company was planning to start working in September, but principal contract was never concluded.
Representative of the defendant recorded that preliminary contract included only subject. In addition, the defendant was not satisfied with the conditions of the principal contract draft. The court declared that draft does not meet the conditions of an offer and the claimant cannot appeal to it.
Nevertheless, why is this case so important for judicial practice of Russian Federation? Point is that Skartel has placed a public offer to conclude a contract on granting an access to its network to any operator. By the way, Skartel is a major player in this field and due to FAS’s order the company must provide an access to operators based on MVNO. The problem is that there are only 2 out of 4 public land mobile networks (PLMN) left. With this entire Skartel itself and OJSC Megafon, which constitute Garsdale corporate group, already use network. Such situation forms a very strong competition at 4G network market. That means Rostelecom is not the only one who fights for this contract and the climax is yet to come.