Elena Zaeva: FAS needs to form efficient competition policy in the field of information technologies

13-12-2016 | 09:56

New, dynamically developing markets require modern approaches in the antimonopoly policy

Participants of the II International Research-to-Practice Conference on “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” in “Skolkovo” Innovation Centre raised a completely new theme for such events: competition policy on the market of information technologies.

Participants highlighted some unsolved issues, both at the national level, for example, underdeveloped local law on defining the market of Internet products of services, and the international level – lack of efficient tools of cooperation between competition authorities in investigations against transnational corporations.

Representatives of the antimonopoly bodies, the academia and experts identified a need to form a BRICS Working group on IT.

Elena Zaeva, Head of FAS Department for Regulating Communications and Information Technologies, reminded that Russian competition authority is conducting several investigations against companies operating on the high-tech market.

She gave an example of the “Google” case. The corporation offered Google Play application store to mobile devices’ vendors to be preinstalled on the devises with Anroid operational system. Such mobile devices were aimed for sale in the Russian Federation. The company set a mandatory condition for pre-installing Google applications and the search engine and their mandatory placement on the priority positions on the main smart-phone display.

Such actions by the corporation led to prohibiting pre-installment of applications from other developers, which restricted competition. FAS found that Google violated the antimonopoly law and issued a binding determination and imposed a fine for over 438 million RUB.

“We set specific parameters in a determination that will direct the market to the competitive state, ensure stability and the balance of interests between market participants”, pointed out Elena Zaeva.

Deputy Head of the Competition Law Department at Kutafin Moscow State Law Academy, Denis Gavrilov, discussed new challenged facing the antimonopoly bodies. He mentioned, in particular: defining the boundaries of IT markets; evaluating market power and developing approaching to applying the antimonopoly standards to use of technologies as intellectual property items; calculating turnover fines; efficiency criteria for determinations issued for cross-border violations and enforcement measures.

“Such situations objectively require intervention by the competition authorities to observe the balance between innovations and development of competition”, stated Denis Gavrilov.

Finally, participants concluded that the issues of developing competition on the IT markets will be on the leading positions in the agenda of all competition authorities.

Other attendees included:

-         Alexei Ivanov, Director of the Law and Development Institution, High School of Economics - Skolkovo

-         Professor Ioannis Lianos, the Law School, University College London

-         Professor Fabio Babi, University of Applied Sciences, Zurich

-         Rejibo Pierre, a researcher, the Business School, Imperial College London

-         Professor Barak Orbach (Law), University of Arizona

-         Ye. Khokhlov, a lecturer, Competition Law Department at Kutafin Moscow State Law Academy.