Delegation from Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service obtains information, documents during visit to Norway that will give 'new momentum' to anti-cartel investigation into exports of Norwegian fish to Russia, regulator says

MOSCOW , March 26, 2013 () – A delegation from Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) obtained information and documents during a visit to Norway that will give "new momentum" to an anti-cartel investigation into exports of Norwegian fish to Russia, the regulator said in a statement, citing the head of its department for fighting cartels, Alexander Kinev.

During the visit to Oslo earlier this month the FAS officials held consultations with Norway's competition agency and with representatives of companies that catch, farm and process fish. They discussed regulation of Norway's fishing industry, as well as exports of Norwegian salmon and trout to Russia within the context of the anticartel investigation that FAS launched earlier.

"The Russian side is interested in fair trade with Norway according to open rules that are based on the law," FAS deputy head Andrei Tsarikovsky was quoted as saying in the statement.

The parties reached an understanding that a document should be drafted to spell out the goals, objectives and main forms of cooperation between the two agencies.

FAS launched an investigation in October 2012 against the Russian Sea Group's Russian Fish Company, Atlant-Pacific as well as the group of entities consisting of ITA Severnaya Kompaniya and SK Retail on suspicion that they violated competition law.

The probe was launched following inspections of suppliers of Norwegian salmon and trout to Russia that the regulator conducted in March-June 2012. In the course of the inspections, FAS found that Russian Fish Company, Atlant-Pacific and Severnaya Kompaniya allocated Norwegian fish producers among themselves and then sought to enter into strategic partnership agreements with them.

Under these agreements, the Norwegian producers were supposed to ship fish for sale in Russia only through Russian Fish Company, Atlant-Pacific and Severnaya Kompaniya for a period of five years.

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