Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service has preliminary concluded that starting in January 2021 Severstal, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works and Novolipetsk Steel established and maintained monopolistic high prices for hot-rolled flat products on the domestic market. Federal Antimonopoly Service said “Starting from January 2021, companies' prices for hot-rolled flat products have increased disproportionately to the changes in the costs which Severstal, MMK and NLMK required for the production of products. Therefore the actions of manufacturers with a dominant position on the market may lead to restriction of competition.”Federal Antimonopoly Service had launched cases against MMK, NLMK and Severstal in April 2021 suspecting that they maintained monopolistically high prices on the flat-rolled steel market. FAS said “Given that signs of violating the anti-monopoly legislation were unveiled in the actions of the companies that are rivals on the market of hot-rolled products, Russia’s FAS has launched separate cases against each company. This type of inquiry will prevent the rival companies from getting access to each other’s commercial information, and coordinating their positions and actions. These producers may face turnover-based fines if the fact of a violation is established.”The audit came on the heels of a statement that the service had received pointing to unreasonable price hikes for hot-rolled flat products. According to the FAS, the price hikes surged faster than those of commodity costs. "The demand from Russian consumers did not soar, which consequently could not trigger an increase of prices by more than 50% in the first half of 2021The agency has also already recognized Steel Industrial Company, Service Center for Rolled Metal Products, Stroytekhtsentr, A Group, Uralmetallstroy, Procurement and Supply Department and the Kraso metal trading company guilty of cartel conspiracy in the metal rolling market, determining that they supported prices in the auction with an aggregate starting price of 2.7 billion rubles.