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Antitrust Fines Aeroflot for Sheremetyevo Deal

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service fined Aeroflot 100,000 rubles ($3,290) for breaching antitrust laws at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Vedomosti reported, citing the watchdog.

Under the terms of a deal signed by Aeroflot and Sheremetyevo October, the airline and its Sky Team partners had exclusive rights to terminals D, E and F and priority rights to landing slots, which was deemed anti-competitive by the watchdog.

The agency ruled that the agreement could lead to a restriction of competition in the market of air transportation services through the creation of conditions that put airlines in an unequal position when using Sheremetyevo's infrastructure.

With discussions between Aeroflot and the airport under way, it is unclear how the terms of the agreement will be altered.

A revision of the agreement will not save Aeroflot from being fined, said Dmitry Rutenberg, head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service's department for transport and communications.

Overloading of air traffic at peak hours is a routine problem at the airport, which awaits construction of a third runway expected to increase the airport's capacity 30 percent.

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