FAS RECOMMENDS ONLINE-SERVICES TO CONSIDER THE UNFOLDING ECONOMIC SITUATION
On 8 April, FAS sent a letter to the Association of Online Retailers advising to take into consideration factors that can create storage, panic buying, increase prices for the essential goods in the course of commercial operations of online-services and e-commerce marketplaces
In the current difficult sanitary-and-epidemiological situation, the Government of the Russian Federation is undertaking significant steps aimed at stabilizing prices for socially important food products and essential non-food items.
At the same time, FAS is receiving complaints from retail chains and physical persons about the facts of reselling goods, typically by individual entrepreneurs that purchase goods in retail chains via advertising online-services and e-commerce marketplaces.
In FAS opinion, such actions in a short-run can generate panic buying in retail chains, lead to unreasonable increases of prices for particular groups of goods and depletion of cheap assortments of these goods in retail outlets, making them unaffordable for most segments of the population in self-isolation, and develop a negative perception by people with regard of operations of particular marketplaces as well as e-commerce in general.
Such actions are contrary to the measures undertaken by the Government of the Russian Federation and executive bodies to stabilize prices for consumer goods.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service cannot apply antimonopoly remedies to such economic entities, since FAS intervention in price-setting by actors on unregulated markets is possible only if companies have the dominant position on the relevant markets and if market players enter in anticompetitive agreements or exercise anticompetitive actions.
At the same time, FAS recommends that exercising commercial operations, online services and e-commerce marketplaces should take into consideration factors that can create shortage, generate panic buying and increase prices for essential goods, and come up with reasonable measures to prevent such conduct. Adopting adequate measures by companies will not be qualified by FAS as violating the norms of the antimonopoly law.