Public Joint Stock Company Rostelecom (MISX:RTKM) is holding negotiations to acquire Public Joint Stock Company MegaFon (MISX:MFON) from USM Holdings Limited with other investors also interested, business daily Kommersant reported on January 30, 2023 quoting sources. USM has already started restructuring its telecommunications assets, the daily said. A source close to USM said that the offers to buy MegaFon have been coming for years.

“It is logical that there are always bidders for the company. Any offer, certainly, and sale options will be considered, but, of course, everything depends on conditions," the source said. The Federal Antimonopoly Service told the daily it has not received an application from Rostelecom to acquire MegaFon.

Mobile Research Group leading analyst Eldar Murtazin told PRIME that the country's laws would hardly allow Rostelecom to acquire MegaFon that will result in creation of a monopolist and restriction of competition. “The deal is impossible in the framework of the existing laws," Murtazin said, adding that the limitation may be lifted in theory, but is complicated in practice. “If the government wanted to back its efforts in the telecoms sphere, it would be easier for them to buy any operator with the help of other firms. Creation of such a `champion' in Rostelecom is pointless," the analyst said.