ArmInfo. The application for the transaction for the sale of the "MTS Armenia" telecommunications company is under consideration. Garegin Baghramyan, Chairman of the RA Public Services Regulatory Commission, stated this to journalists on March 30.
According to him, an application for the transaction has been sent to the Ministry of High-Tech Industry. The department, in turn, in accordance with the current legislation, will have to discuss the issue with the National Security Service in order to determine whether the upcoming transaction is in line with the state interests and national security of the country. "When the assessments are made, the transaction process can be continued," Baghramyan said, declining to name the buyer due to trade secrets. He only added that the transaction could be fully completed by April 10. At the same time, there is no talk of acquiring "MTS Armenia" by one of the operating operators, because in this case there may be market centralization. "But in any case, the buyer must apply to the Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition to obtain an assessment that there will not be centralization of the market", said the head of PSRC.
MTS Armenia telecommunication company (VivaCell-MTS trade mark) holds the leadership among Armenian communication operators in the list of the largest taxpayers. According to the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia, in 2022, MTS Armenia paid 15.9 billion drams to the state treasury (10th place against 8thplace a year earlier), of which 13.7 million drams - for customs duties, 5.6 billion drams - for direct taxes (including profit tax, income tax), over 6.9 billion drams - VAT.
It is noteworthy that, according to CivilNet, the list of potential buyers of the telecommunications operator includes Hayk and Alexander Yesayan, owners of another operator, "Tim Telecom", as well as foreign owners of "Armbusinessbank". The former director of this company, Ralph Yirikian, who was recently appointed general director of another operator, Ucom, was also interested in buying MTS-Armenia.
"Viva-MTS" entered the Armenian telecommunications market in 2005. From that moment until now, the company has paid taxes to the state budget of Armenia in the amount of 258 billion drams. The number of employees is more than 1200 people. The number of Viva-MTS subscribers, according to the company itself, exceeds 2 million. "Viva-MTS" occupies the first place in the mobile communications market. Now the main shareholder of the company is the Russian MTS, owned by Vladimir Yevtushenkov.