01-10-2019 | 14:48

At the II Plenary session, Deputy Head of FAS focused on cooperation between BRICS competition authorities, their goals and plans


On 18 September 2019, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov co-moderated the Plenary session on cooperation between BRICS competition authorities.


He informed that in 2016 BRICS Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the field of competition law and policy, which started a new level of collaboration between BRICS competition authorities. Apart from such traditional forms of interaction as consultations and exchanging non-confidential information, the Memorandum indicates a possibility of collaboration in the format of BRICS Working Groups for studying competition on socially important markets. Representatives of BRICS competition authorities in the Working Groups invite top executives of the largest transnational corporations to attend their meetings for a dialogue and suppressing unfair practices and elaborating the best practices in the interests of our countries.


“10 years ago we agreed to coordinate efforts on the markets that are most essential for our peoples, where we can demonstrate an effect from applying antimonopoly policy. Many countries lack understanding why competition policy is necessary. BRICS competition authorities are aware of the importance and significant efficiency of collaboration. Until now the Working Groups comprised representatives from two countries; from now on they will operate in a fully-fledged format – having experts from all five BRICS economies”, explained Andrey Tsyganov.


Deputy Head of FASdetailed the results of the efforts undertaken by BRICS Working Groups.


For example, the Working Group on food products has devised new approaches to mega-mergers on the seed markets. Its experts analyzed global transformation of the food market structure, the findings are given in the Report on global food value chains and formed the basis of the “fifth antimonopoly package” and FAS order to “Bayer”.


The Working Group on pharmaceutical issued recommendations on drafting and applying commercial policies that have clear and transparent criteria and procedures for selecting distributors and working with them. It carried out a joint comparative study if medicinal drugs prices, particularly, based on the data obtained from BRICS countries, which reduced prices for expensive drugs in Russia by 30%. The Group analyzed the current pricing methods and made amendments tot Russian pricing patterns; requirements are devised for all pharmaceutical companies that dominate the market and relationship with distributors; forced licensing tool is researched and its use on the Russian market of pharmaceuticals.


The Working Group on digital economy prepared country reviews comprising the most interesting and important antimonopoly cases related to the digital segment, as well as legislative initiatives in this field. The Group experts conducted a comparative analysis of the challenges facing BRICS regulators such as big data, price algorithms, acquisition of start-ups by incumbents, breakthrough innovations, etc., and analyzed the existing and potential tools to solve them.


Through the efforts of the Working Group on the automotive industry, non-discriminatory rules for interaction between car manufacturers and dealers and independent service stations were formed, the Code of car-manufacturers conduct on the market of selling new vehicle and spare parts is drafted, and new industry rules and standards are being established to develop competition and improve market performance.


Andrey Tsyganov pointed out that in 2018 BRICS Antimonopoly Centre was formed; its main objective is to facilitate coordination between the antimonopoly bodies and academic communities of BRICS countries to elaborate new approaches to antimonopoly regulation of the global economy.


“The initiative to form the Centre emerged several years ago. The aim is to enable not only the staff and Heads of the BRICS competition authorities to interact with each other, but that specialists and experts can equip us with modern data,  arrays of information on the main goals and directions of work that we put for us. The Centre is formed, it operates. Now we look forward to transfer the Centre from the virtual to the real format.  We believe that the Centre has good prospects, it can become a valuable support for the staff of the antimonopoly bodies in our work”, informed Deputy Head of FAS.


Andrey Tsyganov outlined cooperation at UNCTAD and the FAS initiative to counter cartels.


At the 18th session of UNCTAD IEG, the Russian delegation was able to include the issue of countering transnational cartels as the main item in the agenda of 2020 UN Conference to review the UN Competition Set.


Finally, Andrey Tsyganov highlighted several FAS initiatives:


“We would like that BRICS Working Groups set themselves particular achievable goals, not simply study markets but work out proposals, ideas related to amending the law, prepare explanations of the law, etc. We wish to intensity the work of BRICS Antimonopoly Centre and popularize the results of its efforts.  We also think of engaging a wider range of experts in activities of BRICS Working Groups – from the countries that are not included in this association, and form the so-called “BRICS +”.


We have many other ideas aimed at making the regulators’ work better and the life of the companies that approach us – easier. We believe that all these initiatives deserve attention and will be advanced”, concluded Deputy Head of FAS.


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