Andrey Tsyganov: joint events of FAS and the Regional Competition Centre are oriented towards practical cooperation
At a workshop organized by FAS and the Regional Competition Centre, representatives of 12 competition bodies from different countries exchanged up-to-date enforcement experience and methods of studying the most important markets
On 1 June 2017 - the final day of the workshop on the main approaches and methods of market studies organized in Moscow by FAS andthe Regional Competition Centre* - focused on studies in the milk sector, the markets of mineral fertilizers and oil products. The programme included a business game on competition advocacy: divided into five groups, attendees were solving specially modeled sectoral cases.
A representative of German Federal Agency for cartel supervision, Uli Bart, informed the workshop about a survey of the German milk market and the conclusions designed to enhance efficiency of research efforts. German competition authority had to define the geographic market boundaries, study specifics of procurement, pricing, sales, contractual relations between milk plants and farmers.
Different types of questionnaires were drafted for the market participants. The most difficult happened to be the questions related to pricing. The speaker explained: “Companies often experienced difficulties with preparing answers but in general we obtained rather correct data. When you ask about prices, questions should be close-end and maximum understandable”.
According to Uli Bart, possibility to impose a 100,000 euro fine stimulated companies to promptly submit accurate data.
Deputy Head of Saratov OFAS Olga Lyubanova gave a report on a survey of the mineral fertilizers market with an example of the unfair competition case against “Sila Zhizni” Ltd. OFAS established that the company had violated the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”, putting false information about the fertilizer content on the product label. The conclusions were made based on the goods chemical composition. In this work a research institution was engaged.
Deputy Head of FAS Department for Control over Chemical Industry and Agro-Industrial Complex, Sergey Vershinin, described a case against a subsidiary of “Gazprom” PJSC that is a monopolist supplier of liquid sulfur used in production of mineral fertilizers on Russian market. The robust FAS efforts facilitated regulation of multi-year disputes on product pricing.
FAS experience on analyzing the oil product market also was presented in the context of developing exchange trading. Deputy Head of FAS Department for Regulating Fuel-and-Energy Complex, Alexander Golub, pointed out that the principles of competitive on-exchange trading were introduced in the law by the “third antimonopoly package” in 2012. He emphasized: “Launching exchange trading will reduce the number of violations of the antimonopoly law in this sector, and form representative market indicators of exchange and off-exchange prices”.
Summing up, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov pointed out: “We highly value multi-year business cooperation with Budapest Regional Competition Centre. Our joint events, such as other training programmes of the Regional Competition Centre, in which FAS specialists participate, are oriented towards practical cooperation between experts of competition authorities, exchanging the most up-to-date enforcement experience on the most important markets”.
The workshop on the main approaches and methods of market research took place on 30 May - 1 June 2017 and was organized by FAS jointly with and OECD – Hungary Regional Competition Centre to study the general approaches and the best practices of market research.
* OECD – Hungary Regional Competition Centre is formed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Hungary Competition Authority. The centre is located in Budapest (Hungary). Every year FAS and OECD – Hungary Regional Competition Centre organize joint training events for specialists of antimonopoly bodies.