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S-Oil Wins Appeal Against $39 Million Fine for Unfair Practice

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- S-Oil Corp., South Korea’s third-biggest refiner, won an appeal against a 43.8 billion won ($39 million) fine imposed by the country’s antitrust regulator for an unfair business practice.

The Seoul High Court upheld the refiner’s request to nullify the Fair Trade Commission’s penalty, S-Oil said today in a statement.

The commission imposed fines totaling 434.8 billion won in 2011 on four refiners, including SK Innovation Co., GS Caltex Corp. and Hyundai Oilbank Co., for colluding and rejecting requests by gas stations to switch product brands. S-Oil, 35 percent owned by Saudi Arabian Oil Co., was the first to get the court’s ruling.

SK Innovation has appealed the fine in the court, spokesman Yoo Jung Min said by phone today. Hyundai Oilbank has contested the penalty, company spokesman Koh In Soo said by phone today.

GS Caltex wasn’t required to pay its 177.2 billion won fine after being the first to admit wrongdoing.

S-Oil fell 1.4 percent to 103,000 won at the close in Seoul. The company’s win was reported earlier today by Asia Business Daily’s website, which didn’t say where it got the information.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangim Han in Seoul at sihan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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