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Rostelecom drops plan to buy Sky Link

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MOSCOW, March 5 (Reuters) - Russian long-distance fixed-line telecom provider Rostelecom has withdrawn an application with the state anti-monopoly office to buy cellular operator Sky Link, its parent company said on Thursday. 
"It is too early to talk about acquisitions now that the new development strategy of the Svyazinvest group is still in the works. We will see when it is ready," said a spokeswoman for Svyazinvest, which controls Rostelecom.
Konstantin Senichkin, a department head at the Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS), said FAS had received a letter from Rostelecom seeking to withdraw its application. "They decided against the deal," he told Reuters. 
Rostelecom declined to comment.
Rostelecom, in which Svyazinvest has around 51 percent of voting stock, applied for regulatory approval to buy 100 percent of Sky Link in February.
Sky Link, half owned by Russian holding company Sistema , had more than 700,000 subscribers in July last year.
Sistema, whose main asset is Russia's top mobile operator MTS, last year expressed interest in raising its stake in Sky Link.

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