News (#1-2 January-February 2021)

Cases

Google fined once again in Russia

The Moscow Justice Court found Google guilty of committing a repeat offense related to insufficient filtering of search results related to content prohibited in Russia.

Google LLC was found guilty of an administrative offense and received an administrative fine of RUB 3 million.

This is the fourth fine imposed on Google in Russia and related to the company’s refusal to filter search results so that these should be 100% in line with the register of information prohibited by the Federal Supervision Agency of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media. Three such fines of RUB 2.7 million have been imposed since 2018, all of which the company paid.

 

Court refused to lift the seizure imposed on Motor Sich shares

Business House Helena and Skyrizon, investors in Motor Sich PJSC, have filed a lawsuit to lift four similar seizures imposed on Motor Sich shares.

Business House Helena’s lawyer filed a petition to summon to court Viacheslav Bohuslaiev, Motor Sich president, and a number of civil servants. These persons were signatories of documents on the initiation of a criminal case and seizure of shares. The court rejected the petition.

During the hearing, the case investigator noted that Motor Sich’s management appealed to the President of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine to protect the company from the intervention of foreign investors. The investigating prosecutor stated that the seizure was legal and that there were no grounds to lift it.

In December 2020, Chinese investors in Motor Sich PJSC informed the Ukrainian government of  international arbitration initiated against the State of Ukraine.

Earlier, it became known that the Chinese companies Skyrizon Aircraft and Xinwei Technology Group were going to acquire a stake of more than 50%  in Motor Sich. Ukroboronprom has remained the holder of a shareholding of more than 25%.

 

Tax assessment notice to be appealed within one month

On 26 November  the Administrative Cassation Court derogated from the previous finding that the time limit for appealing the tax assessment notice should be 1,095 days upon receipt of the notice by the taxpayer.

The Administrative Cassation Court of the Supreme Court assumes that the right to initiate a dispute through legal proceedings concerning the legality of the tax assessment notice and/or of other decisions of the supervisory authority related to assessment of a monetary obligation cannot be valid for 1,095 days without prejudice basis, since such time period:

— violates the principle of juridical security as one of the main elements of the supremacy of law;

— does not ensure the fulfillment of the objectives and tasks of the tax system.

According to the new legal opinion of the Supreme Court, a tax assessment notice may be appealed within one month following the day of completion of the administrative appeal procedure.

Shorter terms of filing to a court in the case of preliminary implementation of pre-trial procedures should ensure the continuity of administrative and judicial proceedings and are related to the need to minimize the time lag between the pre-trial procedure and judicial proceedings.

 

Supreme Court took side of PrivatBank in Kyiv hotel case

The Supreme Court overturned judgements of the first and appellate instances on invalidation of the mortgage agreement and deprivation of PrivatBank of its ownership rights to the Myr Hotel in Kyiv.

This means the bank has managed to gain yet another victory in its fight for the property, which was put onto the books of PrivatBank before its nationalization.

The Supreme Court concluded that there were grounds for overturning the judgments of the first and appellate instances and for referring the case to the court of first instance for reconsideration.

Prior to the bank’s nationalization in August 2016, following transfer of ownership to collateralized property (Myr Hotel, Kyiv) to JSC CB PrivatBank in accordance with the mortgage agreement entered into with ARDENA LLC, part of a loan totaling almost USD 18 million was repaid to AEF LLC under a foreign currency loan agreement dated 2013.

 

British American Tobacco lost appeal on UAH 80 million fine

On 26 January a complaint by British American Tobacco Sales and Marketing Ukraine (BAT) against the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine to impose a fine of UAH 80 million was rejected by the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal.

BAT brought a claim on bilateral investment arbitration regarding the decision of the AMCU in the famous Tedis case on concerted anti-competitive actions.

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