20-12-2017 | 11:51

Specifics of Industry 4.0 requires changes to the antimonopoly law


The plenary session at the “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” International Research-to-Practice Conference discussed various aspects of digital economy. The session was moderated by Deputy Head of FAS Sergey Puzyrevsky. He emphasized that the session objective was to “discuss the modern state of information technologies, determine the role of the antimonopoly law and answer the question whether it is sufficient for efficient regulation in the digital economy epoch”.


“Production becomes more complicated and it leads to evolution of competition”, explained Deputy Head of FAS. “Today’s market differs considerably from those that we had earlier, all industries are becoming digital”.


He pointed out that the properties of the goods in the digital economy differ from the goods in the market economy: they are intangible, have limitless reproducibility, global circulation, zero replicating costs, etc.


All this means the importance of developing antimonopoly regulation. Among modern challenges to competition Sergey Puzyrevsky mentioned the high speed of market changes, a different economic model, and the fading boundaries between industries.


“Changes on the market should get an adequate assessment by the antimonopoly regulator”, emphasizedDeputy Head of FAS, giving an example of recent mergers between large international companies approved by FAS such as Bayer-Monsanto and Uber-Yandex.Taxi. “Bayer-Monsanto is not about tangible assets but rather about possessing information”, pointed out Sergey Puzyrevsky and added that approving the mergers the Russian antimonopoly regulator had issued a totally new type of an injunction.


Talking about cartels, he discussed the practice of using algorithms for approving prices as part of an anticompetitive collusion. Deputy Head of FAS discussed use of modern technologies by the Antimonopoly Service to expose cartels.


Finally, Sergey Puzyrevsky concluded that the current law is not fully adjusted to be operational in the digital economy. Summing up, he stated:  “It is necessary to change the conceptual framework, correct the factors taken into consideration evaluating the dominant position, eliminate immunities for prohibitions on the actions for intellectual property in Articles 10 and 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” and determine intangible assets as a criterion for control over economic concentration”.


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