By October of the last year, TNK-BP fought off Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) in the three courts at their home, in West Siberian region, but officials filed a supervisory complaint. Now SAC is going to review those decisions, as it follows from the decision of three judges to transfer the case of TNK-BP in the Presidium of SAC. Moreover, the definition states clearly that the courts did not examine the arguments of FAS properly.
All the three courts found it basically impossible to prosecute "TNK-BP Holding», firstly, as it was a united group of persons, and secondly, because of its dominance on the national market. The was no wholesale market within the group of «TNK-BP Holding" and those operations did not affect the competition, decided the inferior courts. They also accepted the argument that plants of the group of individuals OAO «TNK-BP Holding» were located only in three regions therefore, for example, it could be "economically unfeasible"to buy their gasoline in the Far East. But TNK-BP is accused of collective dominance together with other companies; their activities may already cover the whole country, as the judges of SAC pointed out, and the inferior courts simply did not study this question. The combined share of the four companies in the wholesale gasoline market is 73.44%, the wholesale market of kerosene - 79.26%, FAS calculated.
Three judges of SAC supported anti-monopoly agents in the most fundamental question on how to prove the high monopoly prices for gasoline. According to the legislation on fines acting at the time of the decision a price could be recognized monopolistically high in excess of commercially reasonable costs and profits, as well as the price of the comparable markets. In the cases against the oilmen FAS applied only "cost-based criteria”, considering that a comparable market did not exist. But the courts of the West Siberian district considered that such a market could be petroleum products"produced by the Ufa group of refineries". The judges of SAC opposed such an approach, as Bashkirian team operates in the same market with the four oil workers.
Source: Vedomosti »? 58 (2576) on 02/04/2010