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Antitrust Compliance Bill in Russia

19.02.2020
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On Thursday, the state Duma adopted a bill that enshrines the concept of "an internal system to ensure compliance with antitrust laws" (antitrust compliance). The document also outlines and establishes the provisions for the internal system of compliance within the companies. It specifies that internal compliance acts of the company should be approved, containing requirements for the procedure for assessing the risks of violation of antitrust laws, measures to reduce such risks, ways to control the compliance system, the process for familiarizing employees with the acts, as well as an indication of the responsible official.

Companies will be able to send to FAS Russia their internal acts or their projects for evaluation. Officials will examine the documents and decide whether they comply with the law. In the case of a positive assessment, the business entity is not recognized as a violator of the antimonopoly legislation until it complies with the requirements of the acts.

According to the authors of the initiative, these innovations are one of the tools to prevent antitrust violations. At the moment, the practice of antitrust control involves the use of negotiable fines and criminal liability for violation of antitrust laws. However, there is such an institution as a warning. The person who received the notice and executed it is not subject to administrative liability. "In 2018, 3978 warnings were issued, 81.1% of which were executed on time and in an appropriate manner," the explanatory note noted. "The adoption of the bill will increase the effectiveness of antitrust regulation and create additional mechanisms that encourage business entities to take measures to prevent violations of antitrust laws". The document was developed in order to implement the plan for the development of competition in the Russian Federation for 2018–2020.