THE FAS PUBLIC COUNCIL FOCUSES ON THE PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AND INTERESTS OF SMEs
The key topics of the next meeting of the Public Council under the FAS Russia, chaired by Andrey Sharonov, were the expansion of the institution of departmental appeal, amendments to the law on public procurement for the purpose to protect the rights of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), non-discriminatory access of SMEs to online platforms and aggregators, as well as the status of introduction of antimonopoly compliance of the corporate sector and public authorities.
Andrey Tsyganov, the deputy head of the FAS Russia, represented the antimonopoly service at the presidium of the meeting. He spoke about the key points on which the FAS relies in the assessment of the compliance of companies’ internal acts with antimonopoly law. Andrey Tsyganov noted that the voluntary elimination of a violation identified within the limits of the compliance can be recognized by the FAS as one of the circumstances mitigating administrative responsibility for the violation.
Oksana Kuznetsova, the deputy head of the Legal Department of the FAS Russia, spoke about the results of the introduction of antimonopoly compliance in the corporate sector and public authorities. According to her, the introduction of compliance has reduced the number of violations of antimonopoly law by the authorities by half (compared to 2017). The speaker noted that the policy of "soft law" is beneficial for the companies themselves, the regulatory authorities and the country's economy in general.
The members of the Public Council supported the proposed approach and the plan of methodological activities of the FAS Russia in the antimonopoly compliance of the corporate sector and public authorities.
At the meeting, Mariana Matyashevskaya, the deputy head of the Legal Department of the FAS Russia, noted that the antimonopoly service is considering expanding the institution of departmental appeal. It is expected to appeal against the decisions of territorial bodies on approval or refusal to provide state or municipal preferences to the collegial body of the FAS Russia through the abovementioned institution. The uniformity of approaches in the application of the Law on the Protection of Competition will provide legal certainty for all subjects of legal relationship.
At the end of the meeting, the participants discussed the proposals of OPORA Russia for non-discriminatory access of SMEs to online aggregators, including the issues of disclosure of information on the ranking of sellers and goods, identification of suppliers, the prohibition of unjustified refusal of access to online platforms and the prohibition of price parity.