FAS ISSUED A WARNING TO RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Actions of the Ministry can restrict competition on the market of educational literature
The competition authority sent a warning to Russia’s Ministry of Education to stop actions (omissions) that have signs of violating the antimonopoly law1.
On 26 January 2018, the Textbook Research-and-Methodological Council of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation discussed a federal textbook list. The Ministry decided to put the textbooks, that already had been on the list or applications were filed to include them in the list, for additional expert examination. The Ministry has not gave the grounds, however, to substantiate such actions under Clauses 12, 27, 29 of the Procedure for compiling that List, which is approved by the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Ministry also issued No. 345 Order, according to which some textbooks that used to be on the list were excluded. Therefore, risks associated with economic operations barriers and additional financial costs emerged for publishing houses and educational institutions that purchased textbooks from the list before the order had come into effect.
In its turn, the Federal Antimonopoly Service expects compliance with the current law in the course of compiling the list and forwarding textbooks for new expert examination.
In this context, FAS issued a warning to the Ministry of Education to eliminate the exposed violations: include in the list the textbooks that used to be on the federal list prior to using No. 345 Order and then were excluded in breach of Clauses 12, 27 of the Procedure. It is also necessary to consider the textbooks, applied and submitted for including in the List of the Ministry of Education of Russia (earlier - the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation) before issuing No. 345 Order, in accord with the Procedure.
These actions must be performed by 31 May 2019.
1 Part 1 Article 15 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition” prohibits competition-restricting acts and actions (omissions) by federal executive bodies, including unreasonably preventing economic operations of economic entities and creating discriminatory conditions.