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By Samuel R. Avro on Feb 17, 2009 with no responses

Russia Investigating 4 Oil Companies Over Alleged Price Fixing

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The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has launched an investigation into four major oil firms over allegations of price fixing which took place last year into early this year.

The four firms are Gazpromneft, TNK-BP, Rosneft and LUKOIL, according to a Reuters report.

“Today we began four investigations,” FAS head Igor Artemyev told a briefing.

“The companies simply threw a challenge to the Russian government by raising wholesale prices…against a backdrop of tax cuts,” he said.

According to an FAS press release, “the companies abused their dominant position by fixing monopolistically high prices for aviation kerosene distributed on the market in the Komi Republic in summer 2008.”

“Such antimonopoly violations are punishable by a fine in the amount from one hundredth to fifteen hundredth of the proceeds gained by the violator on the market where the violation was committed.”

Last year, LUKOIL and Rosneft received fines of more than $100 million for fixing prices on refined products. The anti-monopoly watchdog said that the companies used their dominant market positions to set and maintain high prices for jet fuel, gasoil and gasoline.