MOSCOW, January 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s TNK-BP oil company may face a fine of up to 1.8 billion roubles for breaches of anti-monopoly laws, head of the Russian antimonopoly authority Igor Artemyev told journalists on Tuesday.
“We have discussed the issue and the decision is to be taken soon,” he said. “The sum of a possible fine will be big enough – about 1.8 billion roubles.”
The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) took a decision to find TNK-BP guilty of overpricing oil products back in late December. “The company has created discriminatory conditions on the wholesale gasoline market, it fixed and maintained monopolistically high prices in the period of the second and third quarters of 2011. A relevant notice will be issued to the company,” the service said in a statement.
“TNK-BP Holding has acknowledged it had created discriminatory conditions, but still refuses to acknowledge monopolistic prices,” head of the FAS ad hoc commission Anatoly Golomolzin then said. According to the anti-monopoly’s data, however, the company’s prices were much higher than those of other oil companies and even higher than global prices. “More to it, gasoline prices in this period went up by about 30 percent whereas expenditures on gasoline production and sale grew inconsiderably,” the service said.
In December, as part of what it said was a third wave of anti-trust cases against vertically integrated oil companies, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service fined two more oil majors, Bashneft and Rosneft, to a sum exceeding 2.5 billion roubles.