Artak Shaboyan summed up the results of the 47th session of the Interstate Council on Antimonopoly Policy
The 47th session of the Interstate Council on Antimonopoly Policy of the CIS Member-States (ICAP) took place on 20 September 2017 in Vekily Novgorod (Russia).
The session was chaired by Artak Shaboyan, Head of the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition, the Republic of Armenia.
First of all, participants discussed the progress in executing decisions made at the previous session, then Heads of competition / antimonopoly bodies of the CIS member-statesoutlined the most important events in their countries in the filed of competition.
One of the key items on the agenda was competition policy in Russia. Head of FAS Igor Artemiev reported about the President of Russia’s approval of the idea to form the National Competition Development Plan, providing for structural changes in the economy through development of competition. In particular, more favourable conditions for competitive markets should be created and tariff regulation systems should be improved.
Igor Artemiev also presented the main results of the law enforcement practices, pointing out that recently FAS has been increasingly applying the institutions of warnings and admonitions. Special attention was paid to countering anticompetitive agreements. “FAS exposed around 700 anticompetitive agreements in Russia. To efficiently counter anticompetitive agreements, the relevant legislative changes were made, tightening criminal liability for participants of anticompetitive agreements”, pointed out Igor Artemiev.
Artak Shaboyan, Chairman of the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition, the Republic of Armenia discussed the Code of Bona Fide Relations between Retail Chains and Food Products Suppliers. “The purpose of the Code is to regulate relations between food products suppliers, particularly, Armenian producers, and retail chains, including Russian ones. We pay significant attention for Armenian exporters to be able to supply their goods to Russian retail chains without barriers and intermediaries”, said Artak Shaboyan and emphasized that Retail Companies Association (AKORT) was actively involved in drafting the Code. The Chairman of the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition, the Republic of Armenia appreciates that many Armenian exporters cooperate actively and successfully with AKORT Association and suggested that other states also should consider drafting such Codes.
Another basic item on the session agenda was FAS survey of the pharma market. The findings show that in comparison with 43 countries prices for many medicinal drugs are overrated. As a result of the work with pharmaceutical companies FAS managed to reduce prices for significant medicines, on average by 50%. The session Chairman Artak Shaboyan pointed out that statistical data confirm that the issue is pressing also for other countries, where drug prices still remain very high. He suggested to take into account FAS experience as an example of the best practices ad undertake robust efforts in other countries in terns of drug price regulation and to eliminate possible entry barriers, prevent high prices and reduce prices for medicinal drugs.
Overall the Council pointed that CIS continues working to improve competition laws and enforcement practice and refine the procedures for opening administrative proceedings when competition violations are exposed and apply remedies.
Attendees included Heads of antimonopoly / competition authorities of the CIS and EAEU member-states as well as Member of Collegium (Minister) for Competition and Antimonopoly Regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Marat Kusainov and the Chairman of AKORT Association, Stanislav Naumov.
At the end of the session, ICAP Chairman Artak Shaboyan returned to the discussions of ICAP Headquarters for Joint Investigations of Violations of the Antimonopoly Law by the CIS member-states on 19 September (the Headquarters). The Headquarters session was attended by representatives of the antimonopoly / competition authorities of Armenia, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kirgizia who discussed competition policy and the progress and results of surveys on some markets.
In particular, the Headquarters considered and approved the survey findings on the markets of construction of economy residential and aggregates production. Participants discussed a project on a joint survey on the medical equipment market in the CIS member-states, which is of mutual interest. The antimonopoly / competition authorities made arrangements to form a Working Group that will devise and present for ICAP approval the guidelines and timeline of the survey.
The Headquarters’ agenda included the merger of “Yandex” and “Uber” that provide on-line taxi booking service. Since the companies operate in several CIS states (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan), it was decided to have comprehensive study of possible merger consequences for passenger transportation as well as online taxi booking.
Another key item was the air carriage market. Based on a proposal of the Interstate Aviation Committee, entry of new airlines and air fares were discussed. A decision was made to continue cooperation in this field.
The Headquarters also looked into the survey conducted by the International Working Group on global food product chains, formed by competition authorities of BRICS member-states. Due to the significance of this area, a decision is made to present a draft report on the survey findings to the antimonopoly / competition authorities of the CIS states for further discussion and then submitting it to the CIS Executive Committee.
At the end of the Headquarters’ session, the antimonopoly / competition authorities of the CIS – member states made arrangements to continue joint investigations on other markets of significant mutual importance, to expose and prevent competition restrictions.