Federal Antimonopoly Service Uncovers 5 Price-Fixing Agreements

UrBC, Yekaterinburg, January 26, 2018. Sverdlovsk Oblast's division of Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service uncovered five price-fixing arrangements on the local markets last year. Thirteen legal entities had to face administrative liability, Head of the division's Antitrust Enforcement Department Ekaterina Vorobieva said at a recent press conference in Yekaterinburg.

According to Vorobieva, two price-fixing agreements had to do with supplying surgical suture materials and two more – with highway construction and repair. Yet another arrangement was related to catering services for foreign nationals and apatrides.

'The most common price-fixing scheme is when two legal entities agree to have one company make a bid at an auction that brings the price down as low as possible (by as much as 90%). This means other companies that are not in the know will decide not to make their bids, since the contract turns inexpedient, money-wise. Then, the highest bidder's offer gets rejected because of a (knowingly made) mistake in the papers. Which results in the second company in the cartel agreement winning in the auction,' says Vorobieva.

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