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Supreme Court Has Finally Resolved a Dispute on Monopoly Abuse by Ukrzaliznytsia

News date: 6 December 2019

The antitrust practice team of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm under the guidance of Partner Oleksandr Fefelov and Counsel Valeriia Gudiy defended the interests of Ukrrichflot Shipping Company in a case on monopoly abuse by JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways).

In 2017 JSC Ukrzaliznytsia charged a fee from the shipowners for the lifting of railway bridge bearers during the passage of large-sized vessels along the Dnieper River. Such lifting fee was unilaterally established by JSC Ukrzaliznytsia and, according to Ukrrichflot Shipping Company, was unjustified in principle.

In order to defend the client’s interests Ilyashev & Partners initiated an appeal to the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) and proved the violation of legislation by JSC Ukrzaliznytsia. For the abuse of monopoly position in the market, which resulted in the restriction of interests of shipowners and Ukrrichflot in particular, the AMCU imposed a fine of UAH 760 thousand on JSC Ukrzaliznytsia and obliged JSC Ukrzaliznytsia to remedy the violation by preparing an economically justified estimation of costs associated with the lifting of bearers of the railway bridges No. 1 and No. 5 across the Dnieper River to be reimbursed by the shipowners.

Disagreeing with such decision of the AMCU, JSC Ukrzaliznytsia challenged it in the court.

Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm represented the interests of Ukrrichflot Shipping Company at all stages of litigation up to the Supreme Court.

By its Ruling dated 14 November 2019 the Supreme Court has finally resolved a dispute: the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine on the monopoly abuse by JSC Ukrzaliznytsia, thus, agreeing with the decisions previously issued by the court of the first instance and the court of appeal.

“We considered these actions of Ukrzaliznytsia to be illegal from the very beginning, and we are glad that the opinion of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine and of the Supreme Court of Ukraine completely coincided with ours”, – commented on the decision Oleksandr Fefelov, a Partner, Attorney at Law and Head of the Antitrust and Competition Practice at Ilyashev & Partners.

Ukrrichflot Shipping Company is Ukraine’s largest river carrier. It operates in Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Kherson river ports. The Company’s fleet mainly consists of bulk carriers used for sea and river transportations. The Company carries out voyages in the basins of the Mediterranean, Black, Azov, Baltic and North Seas, as well as in the basins of the Danube, Southern Bug and Dnieper Rivers.