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Russian regulator rejects Dozhd case

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service has rejected claims that independent TV channel TV Dozhd fell victim to coordinated action by TV operators when it lost 85% of its carriage in January.

The FAS said it found no evidence of a cartel after it received a request to review the case from Presidential Council for Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights.

The regulator said there was no evidence that operators – including Akado, ER-Telecom, NTV+ and Rostelecom – had colluded or acted in their economic interests when they removed Dozhd TV from their channel line-ups.

The expulsion of the channel from the country’s biggest service providers’ programming line-ups came after the airing of a controversial survey on attitudes to the wartime siege of Leningrad, now St Petersburg that the channel quickly removed from its site.

The CEO of Dozhd TV, Natalia Sindeeva, has reportedly said that the channel is likely to close within the next two months after losing over 80% of its revenue.

Separately, a case brought by consumer rights group OZPP in a Moscow court alleging that Tricolor TV, Akado, NTV+ and VimpelCom violated the rights of consumers by dropping the channel is currently in pre-trial preparation.