Russian ad market comes under spotlight

Gazprom Media has accused Russiaís leading ad sales house Video International (VI) of unfair competition.

Reports in Vedomosti and Moscow Times say the group, whose interests include the national commercial station NTV and DTH platform NTV-Plus, has filed a complaint with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service.

According to Gazprom Media, VI and the channels it serves is secretly agreeing pricing policies and thereby violating the law on competition.

VIís clients include Channel One, VGTRK, CTC Media and Prof Media. It will also represent Ren TV and St Petersburg Channel 5, both of which are owned by National Media Group, from next year.

The investigation now being undertaken by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service is expected to take at least three months.