Andrey Tsarikovskiy: around two thirds of cases are opened by the antimonopoly body using pro-active methods
Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsarikovskiy discussed modern technical means of countering cartels in the digital economy at the V BRICS Competition Conference on 9 November 2017
Deputy Head of FAS informed about software used by the antimonopoly authority to expose bid-rigging cartels and the method of its work.
Regarding data leading to conclusions on a bid-rigging cartel or its the absence, Andrey Tsarikovskiy stressed the time of filing applications, sequence and the nature of submitting bids; electronic file properties – matched authors, time of saving or changing’ using the same infrastructure - IP-addresses, phones, actual addresses; contact data - matching names, electronic digital signatures, e-mail, cell phones.
In his opinion, systemic analysis of such data enables cartel exposing and suppressing cartels with a higher degree of probability.
Deputy Head of FAS discussed in detail a new trend for use of auction robots to violate the antimonopoly law.
He emphasized that “by itself, using a robot is not a violation”. At the same time, Andrey Tsarikovskiy pointed out that FAS opened and is investigating several cases against companies that used this tool to fix and maintain prices and bid-rigging.
For instance, an antimonopoly case against “LG Electronics RUS” Ltd. – an authorized imported of LG products in Russia. It actions could have led to fixing and maintaining prices on LG smartphones.
Possible coordination of economic activity of resellers of LG smartphones included fixing recommended retail prices for devices, price control using a pricing algorithms and persuading resellers to observe them.
“Data obtained using a special program was probably used by the staff to “level” market prices”, explained Deputy Head of FAS. “A number of resellers of LG smartphones also applied different pricing algorithms to trace competitor price changes. Data obtained using pricing algorithms were given to the coordinator and often were accompanied by a request to adopt measures to change competitor prices”.
Representatives of BRICS antimonopoly bodies praised highly the efforts of Russian competition authorities in exposing and suppressing digital cartels.