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MegaFon given green light to acquire Scartel

The deal gives Megafon a substantial lead in the Russian LTE market.

Third placed Russian cellco MegaFon has had its proposal to acquire 4G operator Scartel approved by the competition watchdog.

Scartel is a WiMAX turned LTE licensee that operates under the Yota brand in Russia selling direct to consumers but also sells wholesale capacity to operators.

In 2012, MegaFon and Yota signed an agreement on the joint development of an LTE network in Russia based on MVNO business-model. MegaFon provides LTE services through Yota’s equipment and Yota is able to use MegaFon’s network infrastructure.

Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service has granted MegaFon’s request to allow it to buy 100 per cent of Scartel. As it happens, Scartel is already majority-owned by MegaFon’s main shareholder, billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

Despite approval, there is still no certainty as to whether the transaction will go ahead as the boards of both companies will need to sign the deal off.


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