28 December 2020

Companies of Ostchem group won the case against the AMCU about the forced unbundling of the group

Today, three Ostchem companies – PrJSC “Severodonetsk Azot Association”, PJSC “Azot” (Cherkasy) and PJSC “Rivneazot”) – all members of Group DF, won the case against AMCU in the court of second instance.

 On 28 December 2020, the Northern Economic Court of Appeal ruled illegal the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine decision of 5 September 2019 on the forced unbundling of the Ostchem group and to apply the maximum possible fine of UAH 107 million.

The court upheld the decision of the Kyiv Economic Court to rule illegal the accusations of the Ostchem group nitrogen businesses in the abuse of their power in the market of nitrogen fertilizers.

“In fact, we were expecting such a court decision, as all the accusations of the previous composition of AMCU were based on inaccurate information and distorted data. We will receive the court decision in few days,” commented Oleg Arestarkhov, Communications Director, Group DF.

“A group of our lawyers proved to the satisfaction of the court that the AMCU, in making its decision, distorted the market shares of our producers and took an illegal decision. The AMCU had no legal grounds to conclude that the Osthem enterprises had a monopoly position and, accordingly, the AMCU was unable to prove in court the abuse of market power. It was also proved in court that the AMCU used biased information and very subjective arguments in making the decision. Methods and practices were used to determine the commodity, geographical and temporal limits of the market, which did not correspond to and contradicted the AMCU’s own methods and the practices of the EU Antimonopoly Office. This conclusion was also confirmed by the leading international experts in the field of competition law, including the Chairman of the Competition Committee of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),” commented Mr. Igor Golchenko, GR Director, Group DF.

We should remind that on 29 July 2020 the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine decision on abuse of monopoly position and forced unbundling was successfully appealed by Ostchem’s lawyers in the Kyiv Economic Court.