U.S.-Russian Business Blog

Monday, 6 of April of 2020

Russian Big Four oil companies accused of price fixing

The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has launched a suit against the country’s leading oil companies, Rosneft, Lukoil, Gazpromneft and TNK-BP,  accusing them of price fixing on the petrol market in late 2008 and early 2009.

FAS director Igor Artemyev says all four companies have failed to lower fuel prices to consumers despite the three-fold collapse in the oil price. “In my opinion the companies have challenged the government by increasing wholesale price by 30-60% in February. As the governments representative, today we accept this challenge” Artemyev says.

In December 2008 the FAS fined the four companies for setting high prices for petrol. On that occasion the fines were the lowest possible (Rosneft was fined 1.5 billion roubles, Lukoil 1.44 billon roubles, Gazpromneft 1.3 billion roubles and TNK-BP 1.1 billion roubles). The FAS warned the Big Four that if petrol prices increase again, new cases would follow immediately and penalties will be many times more.

The slump in oil prices in 2008 led to the oil price falling from US$147 in July to just US$40 in December, but petrol prices in Russia did not fall at the same speed, recording the biggest decline in the first month of winter – by 7.3%.

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