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Monday, February 02, 2009

Gazprom Neft wins FAS fine appeal

MOSCOW, Feb. 2, 2009 (UPI) -- Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian monopoly Gazprom, won its appeal of a $37 million fine imposed by a national antitrust service, regulators said Monday. The Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service said the St. Petersburg Arbitration Court overturned the fine challenged by Gazprom Neft. The FAS said, however, the court did not have jurisdiction over the case and said it would appeal the measure, RIA Novosti reported. In July FAS regulators, acting on concerns from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, cautioned Russian energy producers over inflated prices for domestic fuel oil. Gazprom Neft and Anglo-Russian venture TNK-BP stood accused of fixing prices on gas, diesel and aviation fuel. FAS in November slapped both firms with $39 million in fines for exploiting their market positions. FAS followed suit on the state-run Rosneft and independent LUKoil in December to the tune of $51 million. The anti-monopoly service said the oil companies had kept their prices inflated, while markets in Europe and the United States witnessed 20 percent declines during the summer of 2008.

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