On the 12th of August, 2021, within the framework of the meeting of the Expert Council under the FAS Russia on the development of competition in the field of information technology, a draft of the basic principles of interaction between participants in digital markets was presented. The document was prepared in the course of joint work of the members of the Expert Council.
Deputy Head of the FAS Russia Pyotr Ivanov emphasized that the developed provisions are the result of processing all proposals of public organizations and legal entities that entered the service from the beginning of work on the project. They will help to avoid major risks and unfair practices in the industry.
Elena Zayeva, Head of the Communications and Information Technologies Regulation Department of the FAS Russia, outlined the basic principles of interaction between participants in digital platforms:
- reasonable openness of digital platforms;
- neutral attitude towards various sides of the market (including competitors);
- ensuring the independence of platform users when interacting with it;
- avoidance of expansive and ambiguous wording in the rules for the operation of digital platforms;
- ensuring the rights of users of the platform, including by considering their requests and providing them with complete answers.
The purpose of the presented principles is to promote transparency, the openness of digital markets and ensure the protection of the rights and interests of all their participants, including consumers, suppliers and owners of digital platforms. A principle of behaviour has been established for each risk, which the platform should strive to adhere to level it.
The antimonopoly department noted that it is necessary to define the rules of reasonableness and integrity of digital platforms, which, on the one hand, will contribute to theformation of open, transparent, non-discriminatory conditions for doing business, and on the other hand, to ensure the implementation of the constitutional rights of citizens, in particular, freedom receiving and disseminating information and privacy.
At the meeting of the council, all representatives of organizations had the opportunity to make comments and suggestions to the submitted project.
During the discussion, the members of the council conceptually supported the draft basic principles of interaction. In addition, it was decided to continue the work and develop a mechanism to join the project. This will improve the process of resolving disputes arising from non-compliance with the principles. The next meeting of the Expert Council will take place in early September. According to Izvestia - Yandex, Avito and AliExpress participated in the discussion of the basic principles of the FAS and supported them. A balanced approach of the service, based on self-regulation of online platforms, will help develop the competition, improve user experience and create conditions for the development of small and medium-sized businesses, Yandex expects. In the same publication, it is stated that Ozon representatives also conceptually support the idea of self-regulation, and VTB representatives said - that they advocate open and understandable rules for the interaction of suppliers with ecosystems.
The concept proposed by the FAS corresponds to the clauses of the draft European law Digital Services Act: the principles are aimed at aligning the positions of the service and the user, noted the teacher of the Moscow Digital School Oleg Blinov. For example, now a client can be blocked without explanation when the service unilaterally decided not to have a relationship with him, and regulators insist on clarifying the rules of work.
In addition to the basic principles, the Antimonopoly Service has developed the so-called fifth antimonopoly package dedicated to regulating digital markets and platforms, Anton Lomtev, a lawyer at S&K Vertical, recalled. After its adoption, it will be possible to compare how the established rules are reflected in the law and how the service will follow them accordingly. From a legal point of view, the emergence of the "basic principles" of digital platforms means that the antimonopoly authority in its practice will have to rely on them, using them as "markers" that set the vectors of decision-making, the expert added.
Source: FAS website