ECE conducts investigation of competition rules violation in a number of internal markets

Two cases of competition rules violation were opened by the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) in 2017. It was announced by the member of the Collegium (Minister) for Competition and Antimonopoly Regulations of ECE Marat Kusainov at the 7th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

“The task of the ECE is not only the search for violations, but also their prevention; restoration of the market conditions, which would have existed in completely open and competitive environment,” Marat Kusainov stressed. An example of such work was successful reduction of the prices charged by mobile operators for roaming services by almost 5-14 times,” said Marat Kusainov.

The EEC Minister stressed that antimonopoly bodies and mobile operators worked together on this issue with the EEC. The so-called soft approach was applied; transparent and conscientious practices of behavior in the market were identified and implemented after numerous discussions and consultations.

Marat Kusainov spoke in details about the law enforcement practices of the EEC. Particularly, he spoke about the fact that EEC developed regulatory and legal acts for procedures of detection and suppression of general competition rules violations and as well as detection techniques of monopolistic pricing practices. Moreover, the penalty calculation rules for offenders were also developed and brought into accordance with the EEU Treaty. Furthermore, EEC corrected and clarified mechanisms of interaction between the Commission and the competition authorities of member states in cases of violations of the general competition rules.

In 2017, EEC opened two cases of competition rules violations, one in the trans-border market of special steel for the production of transformers, which spreads across the territory of the three member states, and the other in the market of air passenger trafficking from Armenia to other five member countries.

Simultaneously, based on the results of consideration of appeals from the EEU countries, economic entities, EEC initiated investigations on signs of possible violations of competition rules in the markets of the following goods and services: car tires; cars and spare parts; steel railway monoblock wheels; trucks, spare parts and repair services; kraft paper; railway ties; products of machine-tool construction.

Marat Kusainov underlined that he considers one of the priorities planned introduction and implementation of a mechanism for voluntarily acceptance of the pro-competitive obligations by potential violators, which will automatically exempt them from fines.