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Lattelecom and MTG locked in carriage fee dispute

Latvian telco Lattelecom could cease to carry Modern Times Group-owned channel TV3 at the end of this month unless an increasingly bitter dispute over carriage fees between the pair is resolved.

Lattelecom has said it may pull the channel unless MTG modifies its terms. It has accused the Scandinavian programming group of dramatically increasing its price, forcing Lattelecom to pay over €1 million a year for the channel.

The telco has accused MTG of “aggressive commercial practices” and abuse of its dominant position in the country’s TV market, in which MTG holds a share of about 35%.

MTG in turn has counter-argued that Lattelecom’s basic package costs €9.32, while MTG is asking for less than €0.18 for carriage of the channel.

Lattelecom, which is owned by the Latvian state and TeliaSonera, has appealed to the country’s competition regulator for redress.