Given the development of new technologies and in pursuance of the instruction to improve antitrust regulation in the digital economy, which was given by the President of the Russian Federation in the National Plan for the Development of Competition for 2018-2020, the FAS Russia has prepared new legislative initiatives to amend the Law on the Protection of Competition and the Code Of the Russian Federation on administrative offences ("the fifth antimonopoly package").
The digitalization of the economy, in addition to benefits, also carries risks associated with the monopolization of commodity markets, the possibility of abuse of market power by "digital giants" to the detriment of the interests of consumers.
Currently, the growth of the economic power of digital platforms requires legislators not only in Russia but also in other countries to determine the rules and requirements for their activities. Similar initiatives are being considered and discussed in many countries around the world.
Within the framework of the "fifth antimonopoly package", the FAS Russia proposes to prohibit various forms of abuse by digital giants.
The current version of the Fifth Antimonopoly Package also takes into account "network effect" - the dependence of the consumer value of a product on the number of consumers, when analyzing competition in a particular market, where transactions between a seller and a buyer are made using software on the Web. The department proposes to introduce restrictions for the owners of such software if the network effect from their use "makes it possible to exert a decisive influence on the general conditions for the circulation of goods," as well as in a situation where the owner of the software occupies more than 35% of the market for such services, and his revenue from this exceeds 400 million rubles in a year.
Another change is the introduction of an institute of experts, whose opinion the FAS intends to take into account when considering petitions and antitrust cases: they must be certified by the government and will be appointed at the request of the applicants or the initiative of the FAS. They will be held liable for giving deliberately false information. The services of an expert can be paid for by the applicant or provided free of charge.
As a result of the discussion of the "fifth antimonopoly package", it was decided to revise the draft law only in terms of doubling the penalties for digital platforms in cases where they neglect the requirements of the antimonopoly legislation and repeatedly maliciously fail to comply with the legal instructions of the antimonopoly authority.