FAS Advocated Consolidation of International Efforts to Combat Cross-Border Cartels

FAS Advocated Consolidation of International Efforts to Combat Cross-Border Cartels
Photo: unctad.org 09.07.2024 196

Andrey Tsyganov, Deputy Head of FAS of Russia, spoke about changes in antimonopoly legislation and the importance of international cooperation during the 22nd session of the UNCTAD Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy.

During the 22nd session of the UNCTAD IGE, representatives of FAS of Russia spoke about the experience of the Service in assessing economic concentration transactions, improving law enforcement and competition protection in socially important markets, as well as about cooperation with foreign partners.

During the round table on competition policy and poverty alleviation Andrei Tsyganov noted that the role of competition agencies in the fight against poverty and inequality is underestimated. Socially important goods are traded on global markets, where transnational companies in the spheres of production, logistics and trade act as players. In this regard, international cooperation between antitrust authorities of countries plays an important role, as antitrust authorities can jointly identify violations and take measures to eliminate them. As an example of effective cooperation, Andrei Tsyganov cited the Joint Statement of the BRICS Competition Authorities on the need to consolidate efforts to maintain healthy competition in socially important markets, which was endorsed by all member countries, including the new ones, and approved at the Coordination Committee meeting on July 2 in Geneva.

During the M&A roundtable, Andrey Tsyganov spoke about Russian innovations in terms of reviewing transactions introduced by the "fifth antimonopoly package". Thus, the FAS of Russia now preliminarily considers economic concentration deals if the price threshold of the transaction exceeds 7 billion rubles. The Russian agency also conducts face-to-face procedures of consideration of applications with the participation of interested parties, discusses the results of consideration of completed transactions with all participants and, if necessary, engages an expert in accordance with the requirements of his qualifications, and has the ability to extend the terms of consideration of applications. 

At the same time Andrey Tsyganov noted that cooperation between antimonopoly authorities when considering the same merger is beneficial for all parties to the transaction, for the antimonopoly authorities themselves and for consumers. The deputy head of the agency noted that the FAS of Russia actively uses the confidentiality waiver mechanism (waver) during cooperation.

Andrey Tsyganov also spoke about the cooperation between competition authorities in the BRICS format. The Deputy Head of the Russian Service noted that since its establishment within the BRICS framework, new areas and forms of cooperation have been developed and new member countries have been admitted. Meetings of the BRICS Working Groups are held on a regular basis to implement practical cooperation in order to maintain healthy competition in socially important markets. The Deputy Head of the Agency added that on July 2, the BRICS Coordination Committee met and adopted a Joint Statement of the BRICS Heads of Competition Authorities on the need to consolidate efforts to maintain healthy competition in socially important markets.

On the final day of the 22nd session of the UNCTAD IGE, the results of the UNCTAD Working Group on Cross-Border Cartels, established at the initiative of FAS of Russia in 2020, were discussed. Andrey Tsyganov noted the importance of consolidating international efforts to effectively combat this type of violations. Earlier, the BRICS antimonopoly authorities decided to intensify efforts in this area, exchange experience and practices. The resolution of the 22nd session of the UNCTAD IGE unanimously adopted provisions on the extension of the mandate of the UNCTAD Working Group on Cross-Border Cartels. The participants reaffirmed the interest of competition authorities in sharing experiences, best practices and information at the international level, as well as in discussing measures to improve competition law and regulation.

UNCTAD is a body of the UN General Assembly established in 1964. To date, 195 countries are members of UNCTAD. The UNCTAD Working Group on Cross-Border Cartels was established in 2020 at the initiative of FAS of Russia by Resolution of the 8th UN Competition Conference.

Source: FAS

cross-border cartel 

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