OREANDA-NEWS. August 08, 2013. The Federal Arbitration Court of the Urals District pronounced legitimacy of the rulings of lower Courts that dismissed the claim of Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg Ltd. The company attempted to invalidate FAS determination to hold it administratively liable for abusing market dominance: the monopolist withdrew gaseous helium (B grade) from production, which increased product prices, and prevented entry to the market of helium concentrate.

The Antimonopoly Service established that the only producer of gaseous helium (B grade) in the Russian Federation is the helium plant of Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg Ltd., which is included in Orenburg gas complex for gas production and processing. KRIOR Ltd. is the main consumer of gaseous helium (B grade) produced by Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg Ltd.

Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg Ltd. repeatedly initiated changes to the helium supply contract in the part of price increases. In response, KRIOR Ltd. reported that the offered price cannot be accepted due to its economic inexpediency. These actions by the monopolist coupled with terminating helium sales as well as preventing KRIOR Ltd. from acquiring services for transporting helium concentrate provoked increased production costs of gaseous helium (B grade).

Thus, Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg Ltd. violated Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law On Protection of Competition (withdrawing goods form circulation, which resulted in increased prices; preventing market entry).

Orenburg Regional Arbitration Court, supported by the Appeal and Cassation Courts, pronounced legitimacy of the FAS decision.

FAS imposed an administrative fine around 12 million Rubles.

Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg Ltd. disagreed with the determination of the antimonopoly body and approached Orenburg Regional Arbitration Court. The Federal Arbitration Court of the Urals District dismissed the cassation appeal by Gazprom Dobycha Orenburg Ltd. and upheld FAS determination.

The Court once again confirmed the rightness of FAS position with regard to the fine imposed for a serious violation of the antimonopoly law on the helium market, commented the Head of FAS Department for Control over Chemical Industry and Agro-Industry, Anna Mirochinenko.