FAS REVEALED PRICE COLLUSION IN THE METAL ROLLING MARKET
The FAS Russia found the largest suppliers of rolled metal guilty of entering into a cartel agreement.
Against the background of soaring prices for rolled metal, as well as in connection with numerous appeals from citizens and organizations, including the price increase for construction materials, the FAS Russia conducted inspections of metal traders in a number of regions.
Based on the results of the analysis of the information received, the antimonopoly authority initiated a case, according to the results of which JSC "Steel Industrial Company", LLC "Metal Rolling Service Center", LLC "Enterprise Stroytechcenter", LLC "A Group", LLC "Uralmetallstroy", LLC "Equipment and Supply Management", LLC "Metal Trading Company Kraso" were found to have violated the Law on Protection of Competition*.
The organizations entered into an anti-competitive collusion and, acting in concert for a long time, maintained prices at auctions for the supply of rolled metal with a cumulative initial price of 2,696,766,873 rubles.
The conclusion of a cartel agreement provides for the imposition of turnover fines on companies**. Administrative cases will be initiated against the defendants in the near future. Companies have also been issued an order to stop illegal actions.
The decision of the FAS Russia and the materials on the case will be sent to law enforcement authorities to resolve the issue of initiating a criminal case on the grounds of a crime under Article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
It implies liability in the form of imprisonment for up to 7 years.
* According to paragraph 2 of part 1 of Article 11 of the Law on Protection of Competition, agreements between competing economic entities are recognized and prohibited, that is, between economic entities selling goods on the same commodity market, or between economic entities purchasing goods on the same commodity market, if such agreements lead or may lead to an increase, decrease or maintenance of prices at auction.
** Article 14.32 of the Code of Administrative Offences