AMCU establishes collusion upon purchase of Respublika mall.

Interfax-Ukraine

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The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) has declared a violation of the law on the protection of economic competition by the concerted actions of three companies taking part in 2019 in Dutch auction for the sale of credit claims, secured by the Respublika shopping and entertainment center.

"By the decision of the AMCU dated October 1, 2020, the actions of Soltex Capital LLC, Fingrupp Factor LLC and Tolkfin LLC were recognized as a violation of the law on the protection of economic competition in the form of anticompetitive concerted actions related to distortion of the auction results," the regulator said on Thursday.

All three violators were fined approximately 10% of each of their income.

In particular, the Antimonopoly Committee established the following evidence of collusion: the founders and directors of the companies are relatives; the companies had other common employees; bidders provided financial assistance to each other; close communication between the participants of the auction during its preparation, in particular the electronic correspondence between Fingrupp Factor and Tolkfin; companies using the same communication means; consistent bidding behavior of companies.

"The facts established by the committee unquestioningly indicate the presence of preliminary agreements between these companies to hold an auction for the sale of credit claims, which are secured by the Respublika shopping and entertainment center. That is, collusion," the department said.

The committee said that the assets of the Nadra Bank were sold with a 70% discount from the initial cost, at the last step of the auction the price dropped from UAH 2.56 billion to UAH 777 million.

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