Working meeting with representatives of the World Bank
The main items on the agenda were methods of exposing bid-rigging collusion, organization of public procurement, high-profile FAS cases, the issues of agriculture and food products markets
On 11 May 2017 FAS had a working meeting with representatives of the World Bank – a senior economist Georgiana Alina Pop, an expert consultant Paul Fernando Phumpiu Chang and an expert consultant Olga Schwartz.
FAS was represented by Head of FAS Department for Regulating Communications and Information Technologies, Elena Zaeva; Deputy Head of FAS Anti-Cartel Department, Mukhamed Khamukov; Deputy Head of FAS Department for Control over Public Procurement, Maria Tomakh; Deputy Head of FAS Department for Control over Chemical Industry and Agro-Industrial Complex, Irina Yepifanova; Deputy Head of FAS Legal Department, Igor Antonov; Deputy Head of FAS Department for regulating transport, Andrey Kuznetsov; Deputy Head of a Unit at FAS Department for International Economic Cooperation, Anna Anastsian.
The working meeting was opened by Mukhamed Khamukov who reported that in 2016 FAS had exposed 416 anticompetitive agreements, including 330 cartels. Successful collusion exposure was facilitated, in particular, by the electronic tender system, enabling to remotely identify signs of bid-rigging at tenders throughout the entire Russia. He said: “FAS took on board electronic criminal science”.
The World Bank officials emphasized that many competition authorities in the world use IT forensics for cartel detection and investigation.
The parties agreed to exchange analytical materials, including a World Bank report on enhancing competition policy implementation to promote faster growth in South Africa. The analysis builds on cartels sanctioned by the competition authorities in various markets, such as food, fertilizers, services and others that were collected over a period of ten years. According to Irina Yepifanova, FAS started preparing its own report.
FAS representatives outlined the most interesting cases and investigations of Russian competition authority. Fore example, Head of FAS Department for Regulating Communications and Information Technologies, Elena Zaeva discussed the conditions of an amicable settlement reached in April 2017 with Google, in particular, on the injunction to Google to exclude anticompetitive requirements from agreements with mobile devices vendors, restricting installment of application and services of other developed. Elena Zaeva added: “In decision on cases on digital markets it is especially important to consider opinions of end consumers. Consumer poll conducted by FAS in Russia showed that Russian consumers do not tend to search for alternative applications so pre-installment is the best way to disseminate applications.
FAS representatives also underlined that they carefully follow analytical materials, review and cases published by the World Bank and use this information in their work.