Russia's PVC, caustic soda producers face antitrust penalties

07 June 2012 17:10  [Source: ICIS news]

MOSCOW (ICIS)--The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has fined some of Russia's PVC and caustic soda manufacturers and traders over claims of illicit cartel agreements.

The CEO of Caustic Sterlitamak was fined by a local court after failing to disclose information to the FAS auditors, the FAS said in a statement on Thursday.

In May 2012, the FAS announced the start of a probe into an alleged cartel formed by country's leading PVC producers and traders, including Caustic Sterlitamak, Plastcard, Sayanskhimplast, and the United Trading Company (ETK), to manipulate PVC prices.

The FAS also said the Russian Interiour Ministry had launched a criminal probe into an alleged cartel agreement to manipulate liquid caustic soda prices.

The criminal inquiry, launched in accordance with Article 178 of the Russian Criminal Code, comes as a confirmation that the restriction of competition may entail not only administrative fines but criminal penalties as well, the FAS said in a statement on June 6.

In January 2012, the FAS stated that Russia's producers and traders, including the ETK, Caustic Sterlitamak, Caustic Volgograd, Khimprom Volgograd and Khimprom Novocheboksarsk formed a caustic soda cartel.

In late April, the FAS decided to impose $30m (€24m) anti-trust fine on the ETK.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Sergei Blagov
+44 20 8652 3214

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