OREANDA-NEWS. June 08, 2012. The Main Investigation Department of the Ministry of Interior for Moscow has initiated a criminal case upon signs of violating Clauses a and b Part 2 Article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (preventing, restricting or eliminating competition). The case is opened against the persons who formed a cartel on the market of liquid caustic.

In December 2011, FAS found that 23 participants of the market of liquid caustic violated Clauses 1, 3 and 4 Part 1 Article 11 of the Federal Law On Protection of Competition (prohibiting competition-restricting agreements). Competitors concluded and participated in an agreement that resulted in fixing and maintaining prices on the wholesale market of liquid caustic, dividing the market according to the volume of sales, categories of sellers, buyers, a geographical principle, as well as economically unjustified refusals to conclude contracts with buyers of liquid caustic.

In April 2012, FAS fined United Trading Company OJSC (ETK) over 912 million Rubles and forwarded materials to the Ministry of Interior in order to initiate a criminal case under Article 178 of the Criminal Code.

Already seven criminal cases have been initiated upon signs of violating Article 178 of the Criminal Code for organizing nationwide cartels. Initiating yet another criminal case against cartel organizers on the market of liquid caustic confirms that restriction of competition can turn not only into fines but also into criminal prosecution. Administrative cases against other cartel participants are continued, informed the Head of FAS Cartel Department, Alexander Kinev.