British American Tobacco wins appeal against Antimonopoly Committee over UAH 450 mln fine
The Northern Commercial Court of Appeal on February 23 upheld a complaint of PJSC A/T B.A.T. – Pryluky Tobacco Company owned by British American Tobacco (BAT) related to the decision of the trial court and the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine on imposition of a fine UAH 450 million, the company's press service said on Wednesday.
"The Court of Appeal has carefully examined the evidence and facts of the case and has found erroneous the legal position of the court of the first instance and groundless the qualifications of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, on which we have been repeatedly emphasizing," the press service of BAT said.
The company said that it welcomes the decision of the Court of Appeal. After more than a year of judicial debates, we have finally achieved justice in our cause and proved our rightness. The company believes that the court's decision guarantees the stable functioning of the constitutional state in Ukraine and serves as a strong positive signal to investors from around the world. The press service of the company told Interfax-Ukraine that B.A.T. – Pryluky did not admit his guilt and did not pay the fine imposed by the committee in the amount of UAH 450 million.
As reported, the Antimonopoly Committee in October 2019 imposed a fine of UAH 6.5 billion for anti-competitive concerted actions on cigarette manufacturers and distributors: UAH 3.4 billion on Tedis Ukraine, UAH 370 million on Philip Morris Sales and Distribution, UAH 810 million on Philip Morris Ukraine, UAH 430 million on PJSC JT International Ukraine, UAH 490 million on PJSC JT International Company Ukraine, UAH 170 million on Imperial Tobacco Production Ukraine, UAH 290 million on Imperial Tobacco Ukraine, UAH 80 million on British American Tobacco Sales and Marketing Ukraine LLC, UAH 450 million on PJSC A/T B.A.T. – Pryluky Tobacco Company, and also ordered these companies to stop violations.
According to the court decisions database, the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal heard the claim of B.A.T. – Pryluky over the fine imposed by the committee behind closed doors at the request of the committee.
On January 26, 2021, British American Tobacco Sales and Marketing Ukraine lost an appeal over the fine of UAH 80 million paid by the company with the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal. According to the company, the fine imposed by the committee was paid to avoid the accrual of penalties, although the manufacturer did not admit his guilt.
At the same time, Tedis Ukraine on February 2 was the first to achieve the satisfaction of the appeal against the committee in the Supreme Court and the invalidation of the fine of UAH 3.4 billion, which the company has not yet paid. The Supreme Court said that it upheld the cassation due to the impossibility of bringing any person to justice on the basis of decisions of the committee in other cases (as adjudicated), without obligatory proof of guilt in each individual case and taking into account the erroneous legal qualification of actions of Tedis Ukraine LLC.