Cooperation between competition authorities of the world is a way to overcome the challenges of the new economic reality
The Head of FAS Igor Artemiev made this statement at the extended session of FAS Collegium – an International Conference on 28 September 2016 at the Government of the Moscow region.
According to the Head of FAS, in today’s reality violations of the antimonopoly law have a cross-border nature, which has a powerful impact upon the national economy”.
He pointed out that legal agreements on cooperation between the antimonopoly bodies lag far behind. “The issues of countering cross-border violations must be on the agenda of all international organizations”, emphasized Igor Artemiev.
Discussing the efforts against international cartels, he outlined FAS case against companies from Denmark, France, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan on the market of liner container shipping: FAS found that the companies had been involved in prohibited concerted actions resulted in fixing mark-ups to freight rates. Similar investigations are carried out by the European Commission and the antimonopoly bodies of China, Malaysia, Peru and Australia.
Mr. Artemiev pointed out that simultaneous investigations by competition authorities from different countries on the same markets against large transnational companies has become a recent practice. For instance, in 2015 FAS found that “Google Inc.” violated the antimonopoly law. In April 2016 the Canadian Competition Bureau also completed an investigation against “Google”, in July 2016 the European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to “Google”, and then in August 2016 the Korea’s Competition Commission opened proceedings against “Google”.
Igor Artemiev also discussed economic discrimination at the international level. He emphasized: "We see a real discrimination in the areas related to people’s life". For instance, Russian agrarian market is dominated by imported genetic material, which is patent-protected, biologically and technologically. "Patents give reliable protection from antimonopoly prosecution", explained Igor Artemiev. Seeds are sold under licensing contracts rather than buying-and-selling contracts, which leads to monopolization of the key positions by large transnational corporations and country’s dependence on foreign suppliers.
The Head of FAS said that there are also anticompetitive practices on the pharmaceutical market. He pointed out that “it is a dangerous social issue. To resolve it we must form competitive environment in the sector, ensure medicinal drug accessibility for the population and introduce mandatory licensing in exceptional cases”.
He gave an example of employing the so-called “soft force” to counter anticorruption practices – the adopted Code of Conduct for Car Manufacturers that significantly corrected the situation in the industry.
"Nearly half of all consumers in the world live in the BRICS countries and we wish the bad practices to disappear from our countries. Cooperation between competition authorities from different countries across the globe is the way to overcome the challenges of the new economic reality. Without this we will not be successful", summed up Igor Artemiev.