ARBITRATION CONFIRMED THE CARTEL AT THE AUCTION FOR THE SUPPLY OF X-RAY DEVICES
The manufacturing plant could reduce the initial maximum contract price by 15 million rubles, but refused to compete in favor of the reseller company
The Saratov Regional Office of the FAS Russia recognized CJSC "Research and production company" Electron" (Saint Petersburg) and LLC "SMS-Technologies" (Saratov) as violating the Law on Protection of Competition1. Companies supported prices at auctions for the supply of x-ray devices for the Ministry of Health of the Saratov region. The initial (maximum) contract price (hereinafter – the IMCP) for two auctions was 51 million rubles.
The Saratov RO of the FAS Russia found that in each purchase, two participants submitted price offers with minimal difference from the IMCP. At the same time, CJSC "RPC Electron", being a manufacturer of x-ray equipment, offered a higher price than LLC "SMS-Technologies". After recognizing LLC "SMS-Technologies" as the winner of the auction, the companies concluded the agreement at a price lower than the price offered by the production company at the auction for 15 million rubles.
The Regional Office of the FAS Russia proved the existence of the anti-competitive agreement prohibited by antimonopoly law. The Saratov Arbitration court supported the position of the Authority. Offenders face fines of up to 50% of the IMCP.
"Collusions for the supply of medical equipment have been taking one of the leading positions in our practice for many years. The Arbitration court’s decision which supported the position of the Antimonopoly authority, once again emphasizes the legality and professionalism of the decisions made by the FAS Russia. I hope this case will serve as a signal for potential violators-the punishment for the crime will still come," said Andrey Tenishev, Head of the Anti-Cartel Department of the FAS Russia.
"We are working to identify, stop and disclose cartels prohibited by antimonopoly law in compliance with the Decree o the President of the Russian Federation. 2 Such work is undoubtedly essential for saving the state budget, for supporting honest market participants, and for developing competition in the region," added Lyudmila Borisova, Head of the Saratov Regional Office of the FAS Russia.
1 Paragraph 2 of the Part 1 of the Article 11 of the Law on Protection of Competition
2 Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 618 "On the main directions of state policy for the development of competition"