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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Antitrust Watchdog Fines LUKoil $225M

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service fined LUKoil 6.5 billion rubles ($225 million) on Thursday for breaking anti-monopoly law, the service said on its web site.

The service said last month that the oil major had abused its dominating position in the gasoline market by restricting supplies and artificially raising prices during the first half of 2009. It also accused LUKoil of obstructing the investigation that the service had started.

TNK-BP, Gazprom Neft and Rosneft were also found by the watchdog to have colluded on price setting over the period and have been fined a combined 14 billion rubles.

The service currently has about 200 active court cases against oil companies and “will start a new series of cases if needed,” Igor Artemyev, the watchdog’s chief, said in June, adding that the current increase in oil prices was likely happening through agreement among the dominant companies.

LUKoil and Rosneft were both fined a cumulative 1 billion rubles by the service in 2008, but the companies were able to successfully contest the fines in court. The service has the authority to fine violating companies from 1 percent to 15 percent of their sales on the market where the violation occurred.

LUKoil plans to challenge the fine, a representative for the oil producer said Thursday, declining to be identified in line with company policy.

(MT, Bloomberg)