The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Services (“FAS”) has fined the oil company Lukoil over 6.5 billion roubles (approximately €179 million), for abusing its dominant position in the wholesale market for oil products. According to the FAS, Lukoil abused its dominant position by withdrawing goods from circulation and by creating discriminatory conditions in selling oil products. This led to increased prices in the wholesale segment of the market for motor petrol, diesel fuel and aviation kerosene in the first half of 2009.
In imposing the fine, FAS also took into account Lukoil’s actions in attempting to obstruct the antitrust investigation. The FAS also noted that most of the companies fined in relation to antitrust breaches attempt to challenge its decisions; but that in more than 80% of cases the Courts confirmed the legitimacy of the decisions made by the FAS.
FAS confirmed that it is currently considering proposals by the largest oil companies relating to the improvement of market competition. FAS plans to discuss these market issues through its Working Group and through a recently formed Expert Council on the Oil and Oil Products Markets.
5 November 2009