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    Ukraine identifies domestic gasoline monopolies

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    KIEV, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's Anti-Trust Committee has identified several monopolies on the domestic gasoline market, a committee spokesperson said Tuesday.

    The committee said TNK-Ukraine, which owns 40% of the domestic wholesale market of gasoline, should be considered an individual monopoly, and LINOS (Lisichansk oil refinery) and Ukrtatneft (Kremenchug oil refinery), which have a combined share of the gasoline production market of 60%, should be considered collective monopolies.

    Alexei Kostusev, the committee's chairman, said the monopoly status was not a violation per se and it simply reflected the companies' domination of the market.

    "The identification of these companies as monopolies helps us to establish more rigid control over the activities of these entities," he said, adding that it also served as a warning to these companies to keep to the letter of competition legislation.

    Gasoline prices in Ukraine surged in May 2005, and the upward trend is still continuing. For instance, A-95 (premium) gasoline prices have gone up from 2.5-3 hryvnas ($0.5-0.6) per liter in May to 3.75-4.1 hryvnas ($0.75-$0.82) per liter at present.

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