UCAB insists on resumption of AMCU case on abuse of Ukrzaliznytsia’s monopoly position in market for transportation of agricultural goods

The Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UCAB) filed a lawsuit with Kyiv's Economic Court to review the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) in the case of JSC Ukrzaliznytsia regarding the abuse of a monopoly position in the cargo transportation market, the association service press said.

UCAB insists on resuming the investigation and applying the necessary measures provided for by the current legislation on the protection of economic competition.

The business association recalled that on April 31, 2023, the AMCU started to consider the application for violation of Ukrzaliznytsia law on economic competition in 2022-2023 in the market for freight transportation by rail and the provision of grain carriers for use. UCAB, in a statement to the AMCU, substantiated that Ukrzaliznytsia occupies a monopoly position in the rail freight market and uses this position to its advantage.

UCAB accused Ukrzaliznytsia of creating an artificial shortage of services for the use of grain wagons. In particular, according to the business association, the carrier organized auctions for the use of grain carriers, either increasing or decreasing the number of grain cars and the loading period, thereby influencing pricing.

In addition, the state monopolist announced offers at auctions of services for the use of grain trucks in fewer quantities than it had, and less than the market needs. This created the prerequisites for establishing prices for the use of grain trucks that would have been impossible to establish in the presence of significant competition in the market.

The UCAB also said the lack of a transparent mechanism for forming and informing all participants in cargo transportation regarding the order of border crossings, which led to unpredictable delivery times, charging for each day of overtime downtime of grain trucks in conditions of artificially creating queues and traffic jams in the directions of the western borders.

As a result of the above-mentioned actions, conditions were created for an increase in transportation prices for grain producers that use the services of Ukrzaliznytsia for the transportation of goods, and, accordingly, an increase in prices for goods for the end consumer, and consequently, limiting competition in the market and a negative impact on consumers.

"Despite the presence of signs of violation of the law on economic competition by JSC Ukrzaliznytsia and the presentation of numerous evidence in the application, the Antimonopoly Committee refused to consider the case, citing the failure to detect facts of violation of the law on the part of Ukrzaliznytsia, for which, in turn, UCAB filed a claim on June 17, 2024 the court to invalidate the decision of the AMCU, cancel it and resume the investigation," the association said.

UCAB argues the appealed decision of the AMCU is not as comprehensive and thorough as possible, does not disclose the reasons for its adoption, and was adopted in violation of the requirements of the legislation on the protection of economic competition.

The association hopes that, within the time limits established by law, the AMCU will resume consideration of the case against Ukrzaliznytsia regarding these violations of the law and will oblige them to eliminate them, ensuring transparency and predictability of the pricing policy, rules for conducting auctions for services for the use of wagons, eliminating preferences for wagons owned by Ukrzaliznytsia and returning responsibility for untimely delivery of goods and settlement of such situations directly in the terms of the transportation contract.

Source: www.en.interfax.com.ua

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