MOSCOW, September 6 - RAPSI. The Supreme Commercial Court has accepted the Federal Antimonopoly Service's appeal of lower court rulings that dismissed nearly in full its resolution that Regional Network Information Center (Ru-Center) violated antimonopoly legislation while registering domains in the .rf zone, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Thursday.
The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals ruled in March that the agency's ruling regarding Ru-Center was legal at the time of its pronouncement. However, new legislation must be applied in cases where the law has since been amended, thus reducing the liability for the offense. Therefore, the court has dropped the charges of collusion brought against Ru-Center. It said in December 2011 that the law on competition was amended and these actions are no longer considered an offense.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service found Ru-Center guilty of unfair competition and collusion with five other companies, which resulted in the division of the market registering .rf domains. The service also ordered the registrar to return 239.36 million rubles ($8.14 million) to the budget.
The agency found that in the first 12 hours of registration, over 115,450 domain names were registered for the six companies involved in the collusion, with 70,914 registered by Ru-Center.
The income received from closed bids on .rf domains at Ru-Center amounted to 239.36 million rubles ($8.14 million).
The Moscow Commercial Court upheld Ru-Center's lawsuit last November, thus dismissing the watchdog's decision. However, the appeals court held the applicant liable for antitrust charges.
The Moscow Commercial Court's ruling was subsequently dismissed, and the appeals court began reconsidering the dispute under the first instance court's rules.
Ru-Center is one of the largest domain registrars in Russia. It serves two million domain names.