Nine companies, a non-commercial organization and a government agency working in the fishing industry formed a cartel to divide the market in wholesale supplies of Norwegian salmon and trout to Russia, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said.
Representatives of nine companies, including the well-known brand Russian Sea, violated competition protection law by forming a cartel, the regulator said in a statement posted on its official website.
The NGO, the Association of Industrial and Trade Enterprises on the Fishing Market, and the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service are charged with violating anti-trust legislation by concluding an anti-competitive agreement.
The NGO is also accused of illegally coordinating economic activity banned by anti-trust law.
The offending companies will receive recommendations to bring their business activities into compliance with antitrust legislation and will have to pay a fine based on their business turnover, the statement said.
Based on the results of their investigation, the anti-trust service will ask the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee to open criminal cases against suspected officials on charges of abuse of power and stifling competition, deputy head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service Alexander Kinev said.
Meanwhile, the anti-trust body will look into information it has received on similar cartel agreements among Norwegian fish suppliers.