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Russian investigation highlights huge mark-ups and wine ‘cartel’

French wines are being sold in a Russian 'cartel' market at up to 25 times their original price, according to official sources in Moscow.

Igor Artemiev, the director of the Russian anti-monopoly body FAS said that in some cases wines costing as little as €6 in France were being sold for up to €150 in Russia.

He also expressed concern for the situation in the Russian wine market as a whole, which he said appears to be run like a cartel, with primitive elements of a monopoly.

Vadim Dobriz, the head of the Russian Regional and Federal Alcohol Markets Studies Centre, told Russian news agency Novosti that French wines could regularly cost up to six times more than in France.

One example was that of Bordeaux second growth Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2005, available for RUB6,080 (€147) on www.finewine.ru compared to around €45 at French online wine retailers.

Artemiev said that his findings were part of an FAS investigation into imported wines, due to be made public before the summer. He added that anti-trust proceedings could follow the report.

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Written by Oliver Styles

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