ANDREY TSYGANOV: “DIAMOND” CASES IN FAS ENFORCEMENT PRACTICE
They include cartel investigations, mergers, unfair competition cases that are of interest for the world antimonopoly community and are praised highly by foreign colleagues
Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsyganov took part in the Antimonopoly Forum – “Antitrust in the rapidly changing world: modern challenges and new opportunities”. The event was organized by the Corporate Counsel Association.
Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service described international activities of the Russian antimonopoly authority.
“If not for the current circumstances, - the outbreak of a new coronavirus infection, 2020 would start with a series of important and interesting events designed to make FAS position in the family of antimonopoly agencies around the world even solider and stronger”, stated Andrey Tsyganov.
In his opinion, FAS currently works on the basis of around 70 various international multi-sided acts on cooperation with competition authorities and other foreign agencies, including top-level agreements, for example, the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, a number of inter-governmental agreements with Belarus, China and other countries.
“Naturally, our closest partners are from the Eurasian Economic Union and the CIS – these are the countries, with which we talk on the same language in terms of competition law, its development and enforcement”, explained Deputy Head of FAS. “Regular meetings are organized in the 5+1 format between Heads of the competition authorities of our countries with the Minister of the Eurasian Commission responsible for competition. We now began to work in the EAEU + format engaging representatives of other competition authorities in this collaboration”.
As underlined by the speaker, the United Nation is chosen one of the main international platforms in the mid-term perspective. After 4 years of preparation, it is expected that a document drafted upon an initiative of the Russian Federation on new rules and principles of international cooperation between competition authorities will be considered at the UNCTAD Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in summer 2020.
“It is especially important for developing countries that only start applying the competition law and for whom assistance from their more experienced colleagues can be a key factor for success in countering national and cross-border monopolies”, emphasizedAndrey Tsyganov.
The Conference agenda also includes intensifying the efforts of the international community to counter cross-border cartels.
“As for the expected results, we can obtain a draft international regulatory act that reflects the position of the UN member-states with regard to cross-border collusions that impede competition development”, clarified Deputy Head of FAS.
He also pointed out that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Partnership remains an interesting platform to present FAS initiatives and learn about experiences of other countries.
“In spite of the international political and economic situation, our professional contacts and connections with foreign colleagues are strengthening, they listen to us and hear us. We see that the promising development of the competition rules and the viewpoint on it that is currently central in the international competition community, directly or indirectly relies, in particular, on FAS experience”, said Andrey Tsyganov.
ОHe explained that FAS is a big and multi-functional agency and it has accumulated colossal enforcement practice, that along with “simple” cases has “diamonds” concerning cartels, merger petitions, and unfair competition. All this cases were presented to the international community and were highly praised by our foreign colleagues.
According to Deputy Head of FAS, in 1970 there were only 12 national competition laws in the world, including the EC (Rome) Treaty and 7 bodies that worked on competition enforcement. In the past 50 years the number of such legislative acts have increased to nearly 130, along with the number of agencies that apply such competition law.
Andrey Tsyganov stressed that “nowadays we can hardly find a country – among both developed and developing countries – without antimonopoly law and an antimonopoly regulator”.
Most of such bodies actively cooperate with each other, exchange experiences, practice and legislative initiatives. Such meetings take place at UNCTAD, the International Competition Network, OECD and some private platforms.
“These meetings are characterized by rather intensive and productive work related to development of competition law and competitive economy, and competition enforcement”, explained Deputy Head of FAS.
Talking about the competition rules in the format of international trade relations, the speaker emphasized that to develop and observe the principles of competition, conditions of competition should be correctly spelt out in separate sections of such agreements.
Andrey Tsyganov highlighted that robust enforcement of competition rules has recently become an important item on the political agenda.
Discussing the antimonopoly practice of the European Commission, he informed that the Commission had launched an investigation among all participants of the IT-market in terms of collecting and monetizing data. The Commission determines the elements of such data, how useful they are, how to analyze them, process, on which conditions they should be provided.
According to Deputy Head of FAS, antimonopoly regulation of the digital field of the economy will remain the most essential for the entire world for the next 5 years.
Summing up his speech, Andrey Tsyganov reminded that in view of the international independent publication - Global Competition Review (GCR) that ranks annually the work of the leading competition authorities of the world, FAS improved its performance and has been able to move up in the rating list of agencies that meet the highest international standards. In 2019 Russia was included in the TOP-10 states with the most efficient competition enforcement (along with some other countries on the same ranking position).