Volia hits out against regulator bias

Ukrainian cable operator Volia has sharply criticised a decision by the countryís antitrust regulator, the AMCU, to impose penalties on the company over its tariff structure for TV services, and has alleged that officials have engaged in corrupt practices relating to the decision.

Volia said that comments leaked to the press in advance of the regulatorís official meeting to rule on the matter showed that a decision had already been taken behind closed doors to penalise the company. Volia has also accused public officials of engaging in corrupt practices and said it had been subject to endless requests and inspections, despite having engaged with the industry over a number of years and having provided detailed research into pricing of services.

In particular Volia said the regulator had worked within an extremely narrow definition of the market for services, refusing to consider other TV transmission systems including satellite and over-the-air transmission as substitutes. The operator said it would go to court to protect its legitimate rights.