RUSSIAN DELEGATION AT OECD COMPETITION FORUM DISCUSSED HOW TO ENHANCE CONSUMER WELL-BEING
The Global Competition Forum took place on 29-30 November 2018 in Paris. It is an annual event of the Competition Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Delegation from more than 100 competition authorities that attended the Global Competition Forum talked about antimonopoly regulation and enforcement, particularly, in terms of regional cooperation, the investigatory powers of antimonopoly bodies, support of state-run companies, etc.
Russia was represented at the Forum by Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov and Head of FAS Department for International Economic Cooperation Lesya Davydova.
The key Forum agenda concerned inequality and unfairness that were discussed at the sessions “How can competition effect a fairer society?” and “Gender and competition”. Margaret Vestager, EC Competition Commissioner was the keynote speaker.
After her report there was a discussion in the form of a Q&A session where Russian delegation pointed out that representatives of competition authorities from many countries had been underlining at the Forum a growing economic inequality, increasingly lower protection of employers and gender inequality. These questions are getting especially pressing for the antimonopoly authorities of numerous countries.
“We heard from you that the European Commission is also thinking how to include these items in its work agenda, how competition law can be made an efficient tool to counter rising adverse trends in the world economy. At the same time, you pointed out that still you try to keep consumer well-being in the focus of attention”.
FAS delegation emphasized for the session participants that the grown of inequality in the world is happening not only along gender, social or class boundaries, but also the boundaries of different states. The gap between rich and poor countries is not diminishing. At the same time, the antimonopoly bodies of the key jurisdictions (first of all, the EC and the USA) do not take into account anticompetitive conduct of global players upon consumer well-being in other countries, especially in the developing world, when investigating cases.
Russian delegation asked Ms. Vestager about the opinion of the European Commission as to which antimonopoly remedies can help reduce global inequality and what are the prospects, along with the global system of intellectual property protection and free trade, to form a global competition protection system, which aim can be enhancing global consumer well-being.