On February 4, 2021, the first meeting of the UNCTAD Anti-Cartel Working Group took place. The meeting was attended by Alexey Ivanov, Director of the BRICS Antimonopoly Center, and Anna Pozdnyakova, Research Fellow of the Center.
The Administrative Council for Economic Defense convicted seven companies and two individuals for involvement in a cartel that defrauded the competitive nature of municipal public tenders, held across the country, for the acquisition of Mobile Health Units, medical and dental equipment. The majority of the Court rendered the decision during the trial session on the 9th of December.
The European Commission fined pharmaceutical companies Teva and Cephalon € 60.5 million for a mutual agreement between the companies to delay the market launch of a cheaper generic version of Cephalon's sleep disorder drug, modafinil, for several years after expiration major Cephalon patents. The fines imposed by the Commission on Teva and Cephalon are € 30 million and € 30.5 million, respectively.
A round table on combating cross-border cartels was held within the framework of the 8th UN Conference on Competition and Consumer Protection. The initiative to have a round table was proposed by the FAS Russia and supported by the UNCTAD Secretariat and UN member states during the 18th session of the UNCTAD Interstate Group of Experts (IGE) on Competition Law and Policy, held in July 2019 in Geneva.
On October 22, the Round Table Meeting on combatting cross-border cartels was held jointly by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia and the BRICS Competition Centre in the framework of the Eighth United Nations Review Conference on Competition and Consumer Protection. The meeting was moderated by FAS representatives Andrey Tsyganov and Lesya Davydova, who introduced the speakers, addressed the questions and solicited opinions.
On October, 22 together with FAS Russia BRICS Competition Centre is organizing Round table on Combatting cross-border cartels at the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices
The role of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense in combating cartels during the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic was the subject of a debate held on 8th o October. Discussions on the topic marked the fourth day of the National Week to Combat Cartels (NWCC), an event that has brought together authorities and experts in antitrust policy to address best practices against anti-competitive conduct.
On 22nd of July the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre has organised a webinar that seeks to understand how international cooperation among competition authorities (particularly in developing countries) in times of crisis (e.g. 2008 financial crisis and 2019 COVID19) can be instrumental in the fight against cross-border cartels forming as a result of the crisis-related business activities. The book “Fighting Cross-Border Cartels: The Perspective of the Young and Small Competition Authorities” (March, 2020 by Hart Publishers) written by the Dr Pierre Horna, Legal Affairs Officer, UNCTAD's Competition and Consumer Policies Branch served as a basis for reflexion to explore how developing countries can effectively detect and sanction cartels that have cross border reach.
The issues of price regulation for vital medicines remains a heated issue for all participants in the healthcare system especially when it comes to the mechanisms that are necessary to ensure the presence of drugs on the pharmaceutical market.