ArmenTel Fined For Abusing Dominance


July 31, 2008

YEREVAN, July 31. /ARKA/. On Wednesday, Armenian State Commission for
Protection of Economic Competition fined ArmenTel Telecommunication
Company (BeeLine brand) AMD 300 million (about $1 million) for abusing
dominance on domestic market.

This amount constitutes 2% of the company’s earning for 2007.

Russian Vimpelcom, the owner of ArmenTel, earned $235 million in 2007
against $27.4 million in 2006, according to the financial report.

Armine Hakobyan, chief of the commission’s analyses unit, said at the
commission meeting that the commission started considering ArmenTel
case after receiving complaints from Web, Arminco and CrossNet
provider companies.

The companies said that ArmenTel, abusing its dominance on market of
Hi-Line cheap Internet services, barred the companies from providing
similar services by refusing to lease lines.

Hakobyan said that the commission gave 15 days to ArmenTel for settling
the matter.

She said that ArmenTel hobbles development of the area."Providing
Hi-Line service to clients, which besides swift and cheap Internet
implies also the usage of cable television in the future, ArmenTel
creates unequal conditions for providers and operators", she said.

Andrey Birman, the director on operations of the company, said that the
commission was deceived, and the company made whatever necessary. But
the commission found the company’s arguments unconvincing. The
0Acommission fined ArmenTel and obliged it to solve all the problems
with providers.

The providers must change terms of the contracts to enable the
companies to provide Hi-Line services to third entities. ArmenTel is
the daughter company of Russian VimpelCom (Beeline trademark), which
is the owner of the company’s 100% shares. It provides stationary
services to 650,000 people, and the number of its mobile service
users exceeds 780,000.