A Ukrainian court has upheld British American Tobacco’s (BAT) appeal of a UAH450 million ($16.1 million) fine imposed by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU), reports Ukraine Open for Business.
BAT welcomed the decision, saying it sent a strong positive signal to investors from around the world.
In October 2019, the AMCU imposed a UAH6.5 billion fine on four international tobacco companies and Tedis Ukraine for alleged anti-competitive behavior. With 45,000 retail points and 2,300 employees, Tedis Ukraine is one of the largest distribution companies in Ukraine.
The agency said the tobacco companies and Tedis had conspired to keep new businesses from entering the market. However, critics said the AMCU helped bring about the situation by permitting Tedis Ukraine to acquire several key distribution companies.
In August 2020, the American Chamber of Commerce (ACC) in Ukraine expressed concern about the fairness of the trial, saying the defendants had not been given full access to the evidence on which the AMCU based its allegations.
On Feb. 2, the Supreme Court of Ukraine threw out the fine against Tedis Ukraine.