Court fines Koltsovo Airport

Sverdlovsk Region Arbitration Court ruled in favor of the Federal Antimonopoly Service’s decision to impose a 19.5-million-ruble fine on Koltsovo Airport of Yekaterinburg for the latter’s abuse of its market domination. The airport was accused of refusing ground handling contracts to Siberia Airlines.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) declared in September 2008 that Koltsovo Airport had violated Article 10 (part 1) of the Competition Protection Act by abusing its dominant position on the market. The Russian Federation Administrative Offense Code states this must result in a fine, so the FAS ruled the airport was to pay 19,543,752 RUR.

The proceedings were actually instituted by Siberia Airlines.

Koltsovo Airport of Yekaterinburg is a natural monopoly with the prevalent position on the local airport market, so any abuse of such a position leads to limited competition and makes airlines unable to operate on the market. This, in its turn, means the quality of service is not improving, while consumer prices remain uncompetitive.

In the end, the airport agreed to settle the issue peacefully but nevertheless appealed against the FAS’s ruling. However, both the first instance and the appeals courts supported the FAS’s verdict.


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