CASSATION CONFIRMED THE DECISION OF VORONEZH OFAS ON A CARTEL IN HIGHWAY DESIGNING
Center-Dorservis LLC and Geoinformation and Transport Technologies LLC colluded at the auction for engineering and technical design of highways
During the inspection, the Voronezh Regional Office (RO) of the FAS Russia found out that Center-Dorservis LLC and Geoinformation and Transport Technologies LLC participated in the auction for more than 137 million rubles. Economic entities became winners at auctions with a minimum reduction in the initial (maximum) contracts price. In order to avoid the prohibition on cartels, the companies entered into a trust management agreement among themselves.
“The defendants, referring to this contract when considering the case, tried to prove that they were a group of persons, and therefore believed that their actions were permissible. The presence of a trust management agreement at the auction is not evidence of the control of such persons over each other and the absence of a cartel agreement between such persons,” Sergey Mikhin, Deputy Head of the Voronezh RO of the FAS Russia - Head of the Antimonopoly Control Division said.
According to the results of the revealed facts, the Voronezh RO of the FAS Russia recognized Center-Dorservis LLC and Geoinformation and Transport Technologies LLC as violated the Law on Protection of Competition*.
The companies tried to appeal the decision of the Authority in court. The Arbitration Court of the Voronezh Region and the Nineteenth Arbitration Court of Appeal took the side of Center-Dorservis LLC and Geoinformation and Transport Technologies LLC. However, the Arbitration Court of the Central District revoke the judicial acts as illegal and unfounded and put an end to the case, supporting the position of the Antimonopoly Authority.
* paragraph 2 of part 1 of article 11