Cassation drew a line in a dispute between FAS and the Ministry of Construction
A document issued by the Ministry of Construction creates advantages to particular developers of concrete products
In 2016 FAS verified legitimacy of some provisions of the Code of Rules “Reinforced concrete framing of underground constructions and utility systems. Anticorrosion protection”, approved by an order of the Ministry of Construction.
The document sets requirements that should be taken in to account in construction, operation, repair and reconstruction of underground constructs and utility systems (underground elements of residential and public buildings, underground parking, metro tunnels, underground crossings, etc.), and designing anti-corrosion protection.
In particular, the Code of Rules gives general information on using concrete modifiers to increase its anti-corrosion resistance. The analysis carried out by the antimonopoly body showed that the document specified particular names and brand marks of such modifiers (“MB” and “EMBELIT”).
Deputy Head of FAS Rachik Petrosyan explained: “FAS conducted a survey of organizations – members of the Russian Association of Water Supply and Drainage”. The survey showed that the Code of Rules is perceived by some addressees as binding, although the document is not mandatory. Therefore, references to the goods of a particular producer was understood by businessmen as a directive requirement and force them to purchase only these goods”.
FAS found that the Code of Rules of the Ministry of Construction creates advantages for developers of the specified concrete modifiers and prevents development of other producers, since it deprives them of some buyers. FAS recognized that the Ministry of Construction violated Part 1 Article 15 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”.
The violator disagreed with the decision of the antimonopoly body and filed a lawsuit. The Arbitration Court of the Moscow District, following the Court of First Instance and the Appeal Court dismissed the claim and supported FAS.
During the case investigation, the Ministry of Construction made amendments to the Code of Rules and removed references to the “MB” and “EMBELIT” markings.