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Slovak Telekom may contest regulator’s decision in court

Slovak Telekom, Slovakia’s dominant fixed-line telecom operator, is considering turning to a higher court following a second-instance decision by the industry regulator, the Telecommunications Office, in which it again rejected a compensation claim by the company for losses it incurred providing the so-called universal service in 2005 and 2006.

Slovak Telekom, Slovakia’s dominant fixed-line telecom operator, is considering turning to a higher court following a second-instance decision by the industry regulator, the Telecommunications Office, in which it again rejected a compensation claim by the company for losses it incurred providing the so-called universal service in 2005 and 2006.

Slovak Telekom spokesman Andrej Gargulák told the SITA newswire that the telecommunications regulator did not present new arguments and turned down the firm’s objection on the grounds that rendering universal services in the period in question did not impose an inappropriate burden on Slovak Telekom. He added that the Telecommunications Office did not calculate net costs for provision of the universal service in 2005 and 2006 and again based its decision solely on the argument that provision did not represent an excessive burden for the fixed line operator.

Meanwhile, unions representing Slovak Telekom workers have been on strike alert since Monday, April 11. They object to company plans to lay off as many as 730 employees this year, instead of 280, as originally planned. “We also want [the company] to stick to the Labour Code, limit overtime work and stop hiring through recruitment agencies,” the head of the Post and Telecoms Union, Milan Brlej, told the Hospodárske Noviny daily. The Economy Ministry, which owns a 49-percent share in Slovak Telekom has said it does not intend to intervene in the dispute.

Sources: SITA, Hospodárske Noviny

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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