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SUEK Denies Collusion Claim

Siberian Coal Energy Company, the country’s largest producer of coal for power stations, said it isn’t involved in price collusion on the domestic market after the antitrust watchdog accused three of the country’s biggest coal mining companies of acting as a cartel.

“The company didn’t carry out any coordinated actions within a cartel and in violation of anti-monopoly regulations, which would impede competition or breach the rights of consumers,” Siberian Coal Energy, known as SUEK, said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has determined instances of collusion by SUEK and two competitors, earning 5 million rubles ($165,000) of extra revenue, Anatoly Golomolzin, deputy head of the watchdog, said Tuesday in a briefing broadcast on its web site. Golomolzin said other producers of coal for power stations are being investigated.

The service said other members of the cartel include Russian Coal and Stroiservis. Kuzbass Fuel and Kuzbassrazrezugol are also being investigated, he said.

Meanwhile, Interfax reported that the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and the Natural Resources ministry propose raising the limit on the stake of strategic deposits that a foreign investor can buy, with antitrust approval and without seeking permission from a special government commission, to 25 percent from 10 percent.

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