On February 17, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and the largest IT-companies signed a memorandum that sets the principles of interaction between participants on the digital markets and aims to create non-discriminatory conditions for users.
A memorandum of adherence to the basic principles of fair behavior on the digital markets was signed by the head of FAS Russia Maxim Shaskolsky and representatives of 1C, Avito, AliExpress Russia, Wildberries, VK, Lamoda, Ozon, Russoft, Sber, Cian, Yandex and the Association of e-commerce companies.
The document establishes principles of interaction between participants of digital markets and is aimed at creating a non-discriminatory environment for users. It is assumed that companies will observe these principles voluntarily.
In particular, companies must provide free access to information about how search results are ranked (the principle of reasonable openness) and abandon non-transparent rules in user agreements of services that allow accounts to be blocked and deleted without warning (the principle of avoiding expansive and ambiguous wording in the rules of digital platforms).
"Self-regulation mechanisms, without harsh regulatory intervention, as well as a balanced and equal approach to market participants, are important for the further development of the industry. Special attention should be paid to creating favorable conditions for consumers and small and medium-sized businesses,"
said Maxim Shaskolsky.
Director of the BRICS Competition Centre Alexey Ivanov earlier noted that despite the positive nature of the agreement between the FAS and IT-companies, there is still much work to be done to protect competition in the digital markets:
"It is important to understand that these principles are not enough for the regulator to work with the new forms that market competition is taking in the digital economy. Principles alone are not enough to play the 'long game' and protect competition in digital markets, which are becoming increasingly complex and have serious potential for negative consequences for sustainable economic development."