Dow Jones said Russia’s competition authority has approved mobile operator Mobile TeleSystems’ (MTS) application to buy its fixed-line affiliate, Comstar United TeleSystems (CMST.RS). “We have approved MTS’ application without any conditions,” the article reported Konstantin Senichkin, head of the transport and communications department at the Federal Antimonopoly Service, saying.
MTS has 66 million subscribers in Russia, while Comstar owns the fixed-line telephone network in Moscow. The deal would also bring together the telecoms units of conglomerate AFK Sistema. To avoid a conflict of interest for Sistema, MTS has set up a committee of three independent directors to oversee the transaction. Sistema owns 51% of Comstar and 53% of MTS.