Interfax | 13 April 2021
Court upholds Philip Morris International group’s appeal, cancels UAH 1.18 bln fine imposed by antimonopoly committee
The Pivnichny (Northern) Economic Court of Appeal upheld an appeal of CJSC Philip Morris Ukraine and Philip Morris Sales and Distribution LLC in case No. 910/17723/19, canceled the decision of the Kyiv Economic Court dated August 5, 2020, and canceled the fines for a total amount of UAH 1.18 billion imposed on them in 2019 by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU).
According to the court’s decision, promulgated in the unified public register of court rulings, the Pivnichny Economic Court of Appeal ruled to invalidate paragraphs 1 and 11 of AMCU decision No. 697-r dated October 10, 2019 that concern the PMI group of companies, as well as invalidate paragraphs 3 and 4 of this solution.
In addition, the court ruled to collect UAH 14,400 of court fee from the AMCU in favor of OJSC Philip Morris Ukraine (the settlement of Dokuchayevske, Kharkiv region) and Philip Morris Sales and Distribution LLC (Kyiv).
The Pivnichny Economic Court of Appeal also ruled to return the materials of case No. 910/17723/19 to the Economic Court of the city of Kyiv.
The decision of the appellate instance entered into force from the date of its awarding.
As reported, the AMCU in October 2019 imposed a fine of UAH 6.5 billion on four tobacco producers and distributor Tedis Ukraine for anticompetitive concerted actions. Later, Philip Morris Ukraine paid a fine to the AMCU in the total amount of more than UAH 1.18 billion in order to avoid the accrual of penalties, but in February 2020, PMI submitted a notification to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine that Ukraine had violated a number of obligations under investment protection agreements.
The companies of the Philip Morris International group on December 21, 2020 also filed a claim about bilateral investment arbitration against the government of Ukraine with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Washington, DC, the United States) in connection with the unfair, in their opinion, decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) to fine them UAH 1.2 billion in the case of the wholesale distributor Tedis Ukraine.