27-10-2020 | 11:12

Guiding Policies and Procedures involve specific mechanisms of cooperation between competition authorities when considering cross-border cases

Deputy Head of the FAS Russia announced this statement during the Session on International Cooperation, which was held within the framework of the 8th United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices (UN Conference on Competition).

At the beginning of his speech, Andrey Tsyganov stated that large transnational companies possess significant market power to conduct unfair practices. He also stressed that restrictive business practices of large transnational companies have an adverse effect on international trade, especially on trade of developing countries, on their economic development.

Following the conversation Andrey Tsyganov told the participants about the experience of the FAS Russia in investigating anticompetitive violations by the large number of transnational companies.

“We have learned to apply modern approaches and tools of international cooperation in the course of investigation of significant cases against transnational companies, as well as in the course of considering global transactions of economic concentration. We actively used various mechanisms of cooperation: exchange of information, including confidential information based on waivers, conducted consultations, discussed approaches and possible solutions”, - explained Andrey Tsyganov.

Andrey Tsyganov stressed out that the FAS Russia encourages the adoption of the Guiding Policies and Procedures under Section F (International Measures) of the UN Set on Competition, which consolidate a set of tools for international cooperation in the course of implementation of antitrust law enforcement.

The work on developing Guiding Policies and Procedures at the UNCTAD platform at the initiative of the FAS Russia has been in place for the past three years after Igor Artemiev, Head of the FAS Russia, made a speech at the 16th session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy (IGE UNCTAD) in 2017. Following the 16th session of the IGE UNCTAD, Discussion Group on International Cooperation was established in order to exchange views and discuss aspects of strengthening international cooperation under Section F of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for Controlling Restrictive Business Practices. As part of the Discussion Group, a Drafting Committee consisting of 12 countries was later created to undertake the mission of preparing a consolidated text of the Guiding Policies and Procedures.

“The Guiding Policies and Procedures contain specific mechanisms and methods of interaction that can be used by competition authorities in both developed and developing countries when investigating specific cases in order to counter cross-border violations of competition legislation. The establishment of initial contacts, the exchange of information, the discussion of the time frames and decisions are among the mechanisms of cooperation. We hope that the new document will be of practical use for competition authorities, especially from developing countries or countries which don’t have much experience in cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies and aren’t the members of the OECD or the ICN”, - concluded Andrey Tsyganov.

The key speakers of the session were Ms. Hania Pérez de Cuéllar - President of the Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property, (Peru), Mr. Amadou Ceesay - Executive Secretary of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (Gambia), Mr. Noah Phillips - Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (United States) and Mr. Rod Sims - Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Ashok Kumar Gupta - Chairperson of the Competition Commission of India, as well as the representatives of competition authorities of China, Belarus, Iran and Armenia also took part in the session.

“The work on the Guiding Policies and Procedures sets an example of international cooperation, demonstrating that with trust and good will we can overcome any difficulties. I thank the members of the Discussion Group, the Drafting Committee, which included representatives of competition authorities from all over the world, and the UNCTAD Secretariat for a well done job. We are convinced that further dissemination of the Guiding Policies and Procedures and their practical application by competition authorities will play the most essential role. In this regard, we made a proposal to include the relevant provision to the Resolution of the Conference”, - concluded Andrey Tsyganov.

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