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Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has launched a probe into the activities
Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has launched a probe into the activities of mining company Raspadsky Coal and the steel and coal giant Evraz Holding, the service said on Wednesday.

The probe follows accusations that the companies have been abusing their dominant positions on the coking coal market, the anti-monopoly service's press office said.

"Prices of coking coal sold on the domestic market set by Raspadsky Coal and Evraz Holding rose by about 100% from September 2007 to March-April 2008," the press office said.

The announcement follows pressure on mining giant Mechel, whose share price tumbled late last week after Prime Minister Putin accused the company of price fixing and ordered a probe into its operations.

Raspadsky Coal, Evraz Holding, and Mechel control over 50% of the Russian coking coal market.

Russian and foreign trading floors have reacted swiftly to the reports of the probe against Raspadsky and Evraz.

Shares in Raspadskaya, the parent company of Raspadsky Coal, plummeted 8.57% on the Russian Trading System (RTS) from yesterday's close, while American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of Evraz Group plunged 6% on the London Stock Exchange.


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