Antitrust chief says may increase fine on Eurocement, Russia

Antitrust chief says may increase fine on Eurocement, Russia
Published: 01 March 2006

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) may increase Russian cement producer Eurocement Group’s fine to 8 billion rubles from the current 2 billion rubles, if the company continues violating antimonopoly law, Igor Artemyev, director of the FAS, told journalists. 
 
Eurocement has disputed in court the FAS’ decision to fine the company for unreasonably hiking cement prices, Artemyev said, adding that the company continues to violate the law. 
 
"If we win the case, then we’ll revise up the fine," Artemyev said. 
 
In November last year, the FAS obliged Eurocement to pay a fine of 1.915bn  rubles for antitrust violations. The company had used its monopoly market position to excessively hike cement prices and failed to substantiate these prices, the FAS said then. 
 
Eurocement Group was expected to lower its weighted average cement price to no more than 1,361 rubles per tonne and set its maximum cement price at 1,497 rubles per tonne, the FAS ruled in November. The prices exclude value added tax (VAT) and railway transportation tariffs. 
 
Eurocement Group was also required to inform the FAS if it wants to increase cement prices in the next five years, the FAS said. 
 
Currently, Eurocement Group controls nine cement plants across Russia and holds stakes in several plants in Belarus in Ukraine. The FAS says that the company’s cement market share exceeds 35%.