MTS facing fines of $80 million in Uzbekistan
ALMATY, Kazakhstan — A Russian-owned mobile communications company in Uzbekistan says it is facing $80 million in fines from the Central Asian nation's authorities.
Moscow-based MTS said Wednesday that its Uzbek subsidiary, Uzdunrobita, is accused of violating anti-monopoly rules, consumer protection laws and advertising regulations.
The company said the charges are unwarranted and that Uzdunrobita has become victim of an expropriation campaign engineered by influential entities in Uzbekistan.
Communications authorities in July suspended Uzdunrobita's license for three months, accusing the company of providing poor service and illegally using cellphone towers.
Around 10 million of Uzbekistan's 25 million mobile phone users are MTS-Uzbekistan customers.
Numerous foreign investors have reported experiences of harassment by state bodies and seizure of assets by business interests close to the ruling elite.
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