Trends of antimonopoly policy: suppressing international cartels, alliance between antimonopoly and patent laws, competition in e-commerce

09-12-2016 | 13:22

The international research community and representatives of the antimonopoly bodies consolidate their experience and knowledge devising efficient antimonopoly policy under the new economy

On 6 December 2016, at the Plenary session of the II International Research-to-Practice Conference on “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education”, Russian and foreign experts discussed challenges facing the antimonopoly bodies in the new economic reality and the role of science in improving practices of competition authorities.

Under scale-and-scope globalization, international cartels are especially dangerous. Market cartelization is worsened through development of information technologies and instantaneous information exchange.

Director of UNCTAD Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, Guillermo Valles drew attention to the importance of strengthening cooperation between the antimonopoly bodies at all stages of countering international cartels. He pointed out that absence of a mechanism of information exchange between the antimonopoly authorities hampers efficient cooperation in investigating cartel cases. Today UNCTAD fully supports FAS that has initiated devising tools to combat unfair practices of transnational companies under the frame of UNCTAD Inter-Government Group of Competition Experts.

Experts specially analyzed the balance between the intellectual property rights and the antimonopoly law, an impact of digital technologies upon competition in-e-commerce, creating global benchmarking that will enable the antimonopoly authorities from all countries to trace prices for goods and services on comparable markets and promptly suppress violations of the antimonopoly law.

The antimonopoly law and the law on intellectual property naturally complement each other, facilitating state-of-the-art developments and competition. “Normal competition in innovative spheres is impossible a functional system of intellectual property rights”, emphasized Grigory Ivlev, Head of the Federal Intellectual Property Service. “A producer who makes considerable investments in developing new products and technologies will nearly always be in disadvantageous conditions in comparison with other persons, who in the absence of intellectual property rights protection can use such achievements without any initial costs”.

According to a competition law professor Ariel Ezrachi, however, with development of new technologies antimonopoly bodies must devise new approaches to defining fair and unfair competition, exposing unorthodox cartels, for instance, on the market of e-commerce in the part of dynamic and individual pricing based on the same algorithms and personal use data accordingly.

Board Chairman of “Skolkovo” Foundation, Igor Drozdov, discussed the role of cooperation between the antimonopoly authority and the Innovation Centre: "Together with FAS we should form a regulatory environment, assisting entrepreneurs and scientists in promoting new technologies to the market”. He also pointed out that new approaches to the intellectual property items should be established and formalized legislatively in the Russian Federation. "It will allow to remove the existing barriers and help innovative development of Russia", said Igor Drozdov.

The II International Research-to-Practice Conference on “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” is taking place on 6-7 December 2016 in Moscow, at “Skolkovo” Innovation Center. On the second day of the Conference experts are going to take place in sectoral sections: procurement, information technologies, agro-industrial sector, and pharmaceuticals.