TATIANA OINVID: COOPERATION BETWEEN THE ANTIMONOPOLY BODIES IS THE KEY TO ENFORCEMENT SUCCESS
And a possibility to participate in devising the world competition agenda”, stated Deputy Head of FAS Department for International Economic Cooperation at an international conference in Minsk
On 29 May 2018 Minsk (Belarus) hosted the international conference “Antimonopoly regulation in EAEU: the main trends and enforcement practice”. Deputy Head of FAS Department for International Economic Cooperation, Tatiana Oinvid, discussed cooperation between national antimonopoly bodies of EAEU member-states underthe frame of investigations and other powers of antimonopoly bodies. The report outlined the legal framework, tools for interaction and international cooperation in international competition policy.
The speaker stated the legal framework for interaction between the antimonopoly bodies of EAEU member-states is the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union of 29 May 2014.
In the part of competition policy, the Treaty specifies modern mechanisms for interaction of the antimonopoly bodies of the Union member-states with each other and the Eurasian Economic Commission in enforcement, and gives a detailed description of each form of cooperation and the procedure for applying them.
The advantages of such cooperation are more efficient use of resources and enhanced possibilities for achieving the enforcement goals. Mutual interest and confidentiality are the conditions for such cooperation.
The speaker described waiver - a tool enhancing efficiency of cooperation between the national antimonopoly bodies of Union member-states. It is an informal tool used in the international practice: companies agree voluntarily to waive confidentiality of information presented to a competition authority as part of a merger investigation to the benefit of other competition bodies, with whom consultations are planned.
“One of waiver conditions is that competition authorities should carry an investigation or consider a merger involving the same companies. The agencies should be interested in result-oriented consultations on a particular case or merger. There also should be material and technological possibilities for consultations. Confidentiality of the obtained information and documents with regard to third parties is an important waiver condition”, commented Tatiana Oinvid.
The speaker said that FAS has experience of applying the tool in global merger consideration. For example, waiver-based consultations took place with the competition authorities of Belarus and Kazakhstan considering “Yandex/Uber” merger (2017), with the competition authorities of Brazil, India, China, South Africa and the European Commission for “Bayer/Monsanto” merger (2017-2018). For the first time, FAS applied waiver to consider the “Oracle Corporation/Sun Microsystems” merger in 2009.
“Unfortunately, EAEU member-statesdo not use waivers often due to numerous questions regarding its application. Perhaps, we should jointly elaborate common approaches to applying it by the Union member-states”, pointed out Tatiana Oinvid.
The speaker emphasized that cooperation between the antimonopoly bodies of Union member-states has a long history and covers a broad range of issues. International cooperation, developing a concerted position on the pressing issues of the global competition agenda and presenting it at international platforms is an important area of joint work.
Deputy Head of FAS Department for International Economic Cooperation underlined two initiatives of the antimonopoly bodies of the CIS and the Union member-states: the Anti-Cartel Convention and the Toolkit on international cooperation between competition authorities to counter restrictive business practices of multinational corporations and cross-border violations of competition.
“An important step to promote the Anti-Cartel Convention initiative was when in November 2017 the Council of the Heads of CIS Governments passed the Statement on consolidating efforts of the world community to counter international cartels and adopting a relevant international act to ensure effective measures against them. The Statement was disseminated as an official document at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly”, informed Tatiana Oinvid.
The speaker highlighted the results of nearly year-long work of UNCTAD Discussion Group on International Cooperation on the Toolkit for international cooperation.
Finally, Tatiana Oinvid thanked her colleagues from the antimonopoly authorities of EAEU member-states for cooperation and professional support.
“Our work continues. We believe that cooperation between the antimonopoly bodies of the Union member-states is the key for success of enforcement practice and a possibility to be involved in devising the agenda of the world competition policy”, concluded Deputy Head of FAS Department for International Economic Cooperation.