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Mechel subsidiaries pay $15 mln in administrative fines

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service said Wednesday that three subsidiaries of the mining giant Mechel have paid almost 400 million rubles ($15.3 million) in fines for administrative violations.

The companies are the Southern Kuzbass managing company, the Mechel Trading House and the Yakutugol holding company.

In August, Mechel was fined 790 million rubles ($32 million), or 5% of its annual turnover, for violations of competition laws and ordered to lower prices on coking coal in September-December by 15%.

According to the antimonopoly service, Mechel abused its dominant market position by charging artificially high prices for its products, refused to sign contracts for deliveries, and supported a policy of price fixing.

The original probe into the activities of Mechel was launched after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the company late in July of selling coking coal domestically at double the export price, and ordered the watchdog to look into the company's operations.

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