23.6 MILLION RUBLES FINE WAS PAID BY PC AQUARIUS FOR PARTICIPATION IN A CARTEL
Moscow Regional Office of the FAS Russia won a convincing victory over the company in the courts
In 2018, the Moscow Regional Office of the FAS Russiaconsidered a cartel case involving PC Aquarius LLC and other individuals and found they broke the Law on Protection of Competition1. The total amount of initial (maximum) contract prices for 11 auctions was 148 million rubles.
The company appealed the decision of the Antimonopoly authority in the court. However, the courts of three instances supported the position of the FAS.
PC Aquarius LLC fully paid the fine in the amount of 23.6 million rubles.
“The FAS Russia quite often faces attempts to evade responsibility by violators by trying to appeal the decisions of regional bodies in the courts. It is gratifying that the positions of the Antimonopoly authority and the courts usually coincide, confirming the rule of law of our legal state and fairly suppressing such actions of those guilty of offenses,” commented Ekaterina Solovyova, Head of the Moscow Regional Office of the FAS Russia.
Company PC Aquarius repeatedly participated in cartel agreements2, was caught and fined several times. 23.6 million rubles is one of the fines paid by the company. The total amount of fines for PC Aquarius and other individuals exceeded 200 million rubles.
"From our point of view, this is the worst offender who is not afraid of fines in the pursuit of profit, loss of reputation of fair market participant, or, probably, criminal liability, which can also follow a breach of the antimonopoly legislation. We sent the materials of all the cases considered in relation to this organization and a number of others to law enforcement agencies. According to the episodes confirmed by the courts, the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia instituted criminal proceedings3. I hope that those responsible will eventually receive a fair punishment,” added Andrey Tenishev, Head of the Anti-Cartel Department of the FAS Russia.
1 Paragraph 2 of the Part 1 of the Article 11
2 Auctions for the needs of Rosstat, Moscow state budgetary institution "Information city" (initial maximum contract price – 32 507 800); for the needs of the FBI at the CEC of Russia (initial maximum contract price -652 366 547,50); for the needs of LLC "Nornickel – shared services center" (initial maximum contract price -3 333 019, 83)
3 according to the Part 2 of the Article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation