FAS EXPOSED A CARTEL IN SCHOOL CATERING
St Petersburg OFAS found a violation in the actions of “Floridan” JSC, “Voskresenie” Ltd. and “KSP Vasileostrovsky District” JSC
The companies concluded an anticompetitive agreement that resulted in concerted actions in the course of 50 procurements for supplying food products and organizing hot catering in St Petersburg schools and day-care centres.
In the course of the 50 auctions “KSP Vasileostrovsky District” JSC took part in three auctions jointly with “Floridan” JSC, and in others - “Floridan” JSC jointly with “Voskresenie” Ltd.
As a result, in 2015 - 2017 “Floridan” and “Voskresenie” concluded contracts in total for over 65.5 million RUB, executing which the companies gained in total more than 52 million RUB.
The conduct model of the companies reduced to maintaining the initial (maximum) contract price*.
In the course of an unscheduled inspection, the antimonopoly body established that:
- All three companies are located at the same address and traded at auctions from the same ip
- “Voskresenie” Ltd. supplies food products for “Floridan”
- The staff of the tender department of “Floridan” combine jobs in two other firms involved in the agreement
- The sole shareholder of “Floridan” is a close relative of the founder of “Voskresenie” Ltd.
The Commission of the antimonopoly body concluded that all three companies had a common conduct model at the auctions based on the anticompetitive agreement, Thus, the company’s actions deliberately excluded competition and resulted in price maintenance**.
The companies will be fined under Article 14.32 of the Code on Administrative Violations.
* In accord with Clause 2 Part 1 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” agreements between economic entities – competitors, i.e., economic entities that sell goods on the same market are recognized as cartels and are prohibited if such agreements lead or can lead to increasing, reducing or maintaining prices at auctions.
** A violation of Part 1 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”