Anti-trust body ordered to check abuse by major media groups

31 January, 02:51 PM
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Network Lanet (Photo:Nabil Saleh / Unsplash)

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Network Lanet (Photo:Nabil Saleh / Unsplash)

The Supreme Court has found in favor of Internet service provider Lanet in a dispute with Ukrainian media groups, reported on Jan. 30, with reference to the court’s ruling.

The highest judicial body ordered the Antimonopoly Committee to consider Lanet's complaint regarding the abuse of monopoly position by the largest Ukrainian media groups.

Earlier, Lanet filed a statement with the committee accusing 1+1 media, Media Group Ukraine, StarLightMedia, and the Inter Media Group of abuse.

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In particular, Lanet accuses the media groups of having coordinated the package sale of popular and unpopular programs, coordinated their actions, and unilaterally terminated contracts with some providers.

Lanet also accused the media groups of abusing their collective monopoly by demanding that providers increase the cost of their subscriber packages.

In particular, in March 2021, StarLightMedia and Media Group Ukraine announced the termination of the agreement with the Lanet provider. The media groups did not disclose the reasons for the termination of cooperation. Later, 1+1 Media and Inter Media Group also terminated their contracts with the provider.

At the time, the Antimonopoly Committee noted that Lanet's complaint did not meet the requirements of the law and did not contain copies of documents confirming the circumstances set out in the complaint.

The committee then refused to consider the complaint on the merits, so the provider appealed to the Commercial Court. In January 2022, the court ruled in favor of Lanet and ordered the committee to conduct an investigation.

On appeal, that decision was overturned, but on Jan. 19, 2023, the Supreme Court ordered the Antimonopoly Committee to consider a complaint against media groups for abuse of dominance.

The publication also notes that Lanet will file separate lawsuits against each of the four media groups for damages due to the termination of contracts for broadcasting the channels of its holdings. The company estimated losses at UAH 30 million ($813,600) for all four media groups.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is filed under case No. 910/13222/21.

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