Competition agency establishes facts of possible abuse of monopoly by Group DF's nitrogen plants
The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has established facts of possible abuse of monopoly by nitrogen plants incorporated in Group DF of businessman Dmytro Firtash, Committee Head Yuriy Terentiev has said on his Facebook page.
So, on May 24, the committee sent preliminary conclusions on the results of the investigation to four companies of the group – three nitrogen fertilizer plants, as well as the NF Trading Ukraine company. According to them, the group has signs of a monopoly position on the national market for the primary sale of nitrogen mineral fertilizers.
"Facts that may indicate a monopoly abuse have been recorded. Gas costs 70% of the production cost for ammonium nitrate. It is this link between the raw material (gas) and the final product (mineral fertilizers) that has become the object of abuse by the said companies," Terentiev wrote.
He said that the group's enterprises purchased gas for production from related companies, resold it inside the group, as a result of which the price of gas that reached the final consumers, the factories producing the products, significantly exceeded the initial price, which, as a result, led to an increase in the cost of nitrogen fertilizers.
In addition, during 2017, enterprises stopped production due to the cessation of gas supplies due to the lack of payments for it. Legally, this can be qualified as an artificial restriction of fertilizer production, the head of the committee added.
"The probable consequences of the case are not only the imposition of a fine, but also the implementation of the forced separation of the chemical assets of the group," Terentiev said.