Digital economy has united not only the world around us but also the antimonopoly community

02-10-2017 | 18:21

Deputy Head of FAS Anatoly Golomolzin made this statement on 19 September 2017, opening the session of the International Working Group on Research of Competition Issues in the ICT Sector.

Anatoly Golomolzin pointed out that in the past ten years companies in digital economy have become absolute leaders in capitalization and the scope of services.  He said: “At the same time, along with benefits emerged as a result of their operations, there are also adverse consequences for consumers and competitive conditions. FAS cases against “Microsoft”, “Google” and “Apple” enabled efficient restoration of competitive conditions and became the precedents”.

Elena Zaeva, Head of FAS Department for Regulating Communications and Information Technologies, focused her report on the specifics of antimonopoly law in the digital economy.

Globalization and a transition to cross-border markets bring serious changes to the economy, with a bigger role of innovations.  New goods and new markets emerge (digital platforms), new methods of doing business (digital algorithms). The capital in the digital economy is big data, which form market power. The goods may be free but they can be monetized on other markets.

Elena Zaeva emphasized: “The antimonopoly law must react quickly to all economic changes. Methods, means and approaches to investigations and market analysis should be different. Tactical measures do not suffice; there must be a strategy for changing the law, with new definitions and control tools”.

Discussing specifics of market analysis, she underlined several features of digital economy: multilaterization, network effects, geographic boundaries that have a global nature and multiple means for goods monetization.

Other speakers included: an expert of Turkish Competition Authority Recep Gunduz; Commissioner, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE),  Cristiane Alkmin Junqueira  Schmidt; General Director, Austria’s Federal Competition Authority, Theodor Tanner; Commissioner, the Competition Commission of India, Shri Bunker;  Head of Norwegian Competition Authority, Lars Sorgard; Director, Institute of Law and Development, High School of Economics – Skolkovo, Alexei Ivanov; a legal affairs officer, UNCTAD Competition and Consumer Policy Branch, Pierre Horna; Professor Ioanis Lianos, international antimonopoly law and policy, University College of London; Yungama Njisane, Director, International Relations Department, Competition Commission, South Africa; Head of Control Department, the State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition, of the Republic of Armenia, Manuk Mikaeyan; and Dr. Fabio Babey, School of Management and Law, Zurich University.

At the end of the session, Anatoly Golomolzin proposed to draw up a review and publish the presentations of all participants in the “Russian competition law and economy” journal. The outcome of the discussion will be taking into consideration preparing amendments to the antimonopoly law, enforcement practice in view of the specifics of digital markets. The participants stressed the importance of continuing joint work; the emphasis will be paid to practical guidelines on the most pressing issues.

“Exchanging experience between Russian and foreign competition authorities is necessary, which took place at the session of the International Working Group”, summed up Anatoly Golomolzin.