Igor Artemiev: the basic agenda of the work of the FAS Russia is built up on the National Competition Development Plan and a draft tariff law
The documents are under comprehensive discussion with the society and business community
On 3 March 2017, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) and the Competition Experts Association held a joint session.
The agenda once again covered the most pressing issues emerged in the course of antimonopoly enforcement. Prior to that, at the extended session of FAS Collegium, Anna Numerova, the Chair of the General Council of the Competition Experts Association proposed to devise explanations on use of confidential information in investigating antimonopoly cases.
Actions followed the words and already on 3 March at a joint session of FAS and the Competition Experts Association a representative of the legal community Alexei Rodionov outlined preconditions for drafting such explanations, issues encountered by the parties to a case and how to overcome the “conflict” of rights.
Head of the antimonopoly authority Igor Artemiev suggested to discuss the issue in the near future at FAS Presidium and complete the explanations by June.
The next item on the agenda concerned complaints about tenders under the bankruptcy procedure. According to representatives of the Association, such procedures are “specific” and different from the procedures set by Nos. 44-FZ and 223-FZ Federal Laws. The issue is as follows: tenders under the bankruptcy procedure are divided into intervals and the price is determined for each interval. It changes from the initial (maximum) price to the minimum price. Until 2015 there was a clear procedure providing that the winner of such tenders is a person who was the first to file an application at any interval. Within 2015 changes were made to the law and that norm was excluded. As a result, now there are no clear and explicit criteria for determining the winner in such tenders.
Representatives of the legal community proposed to form a Working Group on tenders to devise explanations leading to uniformity of enforcement.
Head of FAS Igor Artemiev stated: “The Antimonopoly Service supports the idea. Upon approving the explanations, we shall be able to start writing amendments to the law to make the procedures universal and standard”.
The joint meeting also discussed the guidelines for estimating losses caused by violating the antimonopoly law. Head of FAS Legal Department Artem Molchanov said that the document had been sent to the authorities and NGOs. He added that “currently FAS received proposals from Russia’s Ministry of Justice and the Federal Tax Service, and among NGOs - from the Corporate Counsel Association”.
He pointed out that the discussion with the authorities and other organizations on the issue would be moved to the Working Group to be formed in the near future.
The meeting was continued by Deputy Head of FAS Sergey Puzyrevsky. He informed that the antimonopoly authority had held several meetings to discuss the draft law on the basics of state tariff regulation.
“The Law on Natural Monopolies provides for price regulation, however, it is formulated only in a single paragraph, which evidently does not suffice for the existing tariff system”, mentioned Sergey Puzyrevsky.
“Due to a lot of bylaws, consumers have the feelings of mistrust and uncertainty since they do not understand what is included in the tariff and what is not”, added Deputy Head of FAS.
“We believe that a reform is necessary at the legislative level. FAS will establish a unified procedure of tariff decision-making. It is an important procedural issue. As soon as we establish the tariff-setting procedure with public discussion, we will be able to answer most questions”, stated Sergey Puzyrevsky.
Deputy Head of FAS added: “The new tariff regulation must be built on the comparability method. If we apply it, we will be able to form a unified approach to monopolistically high price and to tariff regulation. We will be able to make decisions on deregulating some monopoly holders who will clearly understand that as soon as they go beyond the set parameters they will be imposed turnover fines for monopolistically high prices. It will be a transition for regulated sphere to the deregulated one”.
Head of FAS Igor Artemiev proposed for the Association to give a clear legal definition of natural monopolies.
Sergey Puzyrevsky also talked about the National Competition Development Plan. He explained that the document is at the “final stage of preparing”.
The Next session will be in June 2017.
Igor Artemiev also presented FAS awards – Honorary Distinctions and Letters of Acknowledgement – to members of the Competition Experts Association.