The Ministry of Economic Development has formulated preliminary criteria for the inclusion of companies in the category of ecosystems. At the same time, discussions with business and the expert community are still ongoing, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Vladislav Fedulov said in an interview with Vedomosti.
"Speaking preliminary, the first criterion is close internal integration of related services that differ from the anchor business," the deputy minister said. For example, Sber's primary business is banking, but it also provides services that are completely unrelated to banking. The main business acts rather as a service for all other areas - it is an anchor, infrastructural, but not the main one in relation to the system itself.
"The second criterion is continuous investment in digital innovation in various industries. In other words, when some innovative services operate at a loss so that others can operate profitably - and all this to attract the widest possible audience," Fedulov points out. For example, a company may be unprofitable. However, within the ecosystem, it generates a "network effect" that is needed to attract customers. "This is one of the most troubling aspects of the ecosystem since we do not always understand which of the companies is increasing the loss and how and when it is compensated," emphasises the Deputy Minister of Economic Development.
The main feature of an ecosystem is the presence of a "network effect," he notes. Other signs are a plurality of third-party types of economic activity, the number of services for consumers, a loyalty system, a logistic cut. According to Fedulov, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will propose quantitative metrics for the listed characteristics, "but not every criterion will have a specific number."
The deputy minister emphasised that the principles of ecosystem regulation should be the same for banking and non-banking ecosystems. Regulatory mechanisms may differ, the financial sector will have its specifics taken into account its own specifics, but the overall system will be the same, he explains.
"I admit that there will be a high-level framework law that will establish general principles of regulation - a kind of ecosystem constitution. The Central Bank will regulate financial types of ecosystems with its own rules, taking into account banking specifics. The law itself, the general framework, will be prepared by the government," Fedulov adds.
The deputy minister does not exclude the possibility that the norms for regulating ecosystems will be included in the fifth antimonopoly package. The document has not yet been adopted, so it is technically possible to supplement it with a new section. "But I am still inclined to believe that special framework legislation and a separate bill may be required. In November this year, there will be a plan for issuing regulations - a roadmap. The document will contain answers to the main questions - what and for what we are regulating and where we are striving," he points out.
According to Fedulov, the Ministry of Economic Development plans to introduce the regulation of ecosystems in 2022–2023. - along with the establishment of the Central Bank of regulation of banking ecosystems.