Rostelecom to absorb NTC

Russian service provider Rostelecom is to absorb the country’s leading cable operator NTC into its own operation following the merger between the pair, according to local reports.

Rostelecom president Aleksandr Provotorov will head the combined company, while former NTC CEO Sergei Kalugin will leave the company.

Rostelecom is said to believe that combining the two operations will deliver synergies, including over the acquisition of content rights.

NTC’s content unit, which comprises seven channels including Mother and Child, Techno 24 and Doc 24, could be put up for sale, according to the reports, with Rostelecom possibly seeking to take in a stake in whoever acquires them.

Separately, the Court of Arbitration in the city of Smolensk has found in favour of Rostelecom in a dispute over access to its network with local telco Smoltelekom. According to local reports, the court found in favour of Rostelecom, which had refused to grant access to its infrastructure to Smoltelekom, on the grounds that this Rostelecom had not broken antitrust laws and that granting access would compromise its commercial objectives.