Dual-listed packaging and paper group Mondi on Monday denied any wrongdoing following the launch last week of an investigation by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) for allegedly violating certain aspects of the country’s antimonopoly law.
In a statement released on Friday, the FAS said it had officially opened a case against Mondi’s Russian subsidiary Mondi Syktyvkar on March 30 to investigate the possible fixing of a “monopolistically high price” for offset paper.
However, Mondi said it had not yet received any FAS notification to this effect and had no further details of the investigation at this stage.
Mondi Syktyvkar was the largest domestic paper producer in Russia providing office, offset and newsprint paper, containerboard, liquid packaging containerboard grades and market pulp.
“FAS established that, in 2015, the costs of offset paper increased for domestic consumers by around 50%. It did not match the change in the costs required for the goods’ production and sale,” the authority said.
The investigation followed a series of general quarterly inspections, in December 2014, of the largest manufacturers in the cellulose and paper industry to verify whether their prices complied with the antimonopoly law.
“FAS [will] continue watching the situation in the markets of cellulose and paper industry in Russia,” said FAS department for industry control head Nelli Galimkhanova.
“Upon considering all case circumstances and the arguments given by the respondent, the FAS Commission shall make a decision.”
Mondi said it remained committed to complying with all applicable antimonopoly laws and believed it had not violated any such laws.