Happy end for Pollock Catchers Association in anti-trust case
The Federal Antimonopoly Service has stopped the case against the Vladivostok-based Pollock Catchers Association (PCA) and its members, the proceedings initiated last year at the request of the Russian Fishery Company (RFC), reports Megafishent.com.
According to Fishnews, the case of violation of competition legislation against the PCA and its members was initiated in December 2020. The defendants were the Pollock Catchers Association and 18 fishing companies. The companies were charged with violating paragraph 3 of part 4 of Article 11 of the Federal Law on Protection of Competition (prohibition of agreements between economic entities on creating obstacles to other economic entities' access to the commodity market or exit from the commodity market).
The plaintiff in the case, the Russian Fishery Company, has been in conflict with PCA since late last year. The RFC appealed to the antimonopoly service after the PCA general meeting excluded the group's companies from the association in September 2020.
As a result of the case investigation, the FAS specialists did not find any violations of the antimonopoly legislation. "According to the results of the analysis of the materials of the case on violation of antimonopoly legislation, as well as information obtained during unscheduled onsite inspections, the FAS of Russia did not find a sufficient set of circumstances that could indicate the achievement of an anti-competitive agreement in written or oral form between the defendants," reported the press service of the FAS.
"From the very beginning of the proceedings, the position of the association was that neither the association nor the participants of the general meeting of the association pursued the goal of restricting competition, and the voting of the participants at the general meeting was not the result of collusion or agreement," PCA President Alexey Buglak commented on the decision.
The RFC did not comment on the conclusions of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, but noted that "a few months ago, the Pollock Catchers Association independently made a fair decision to restore the legitimate interests of the RFC group and its membership in the association."
The decision to exclude companies of the RFC group from the PCA was considered in court (including in the appeal and cassation instances at the request of the association) and was eventually declared invalid.