Expansion of anti-cartel powers of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation

Legal Digest News
The President of the Russian Federation has signed a law that expands the powers of the Federal Antimonopoly Service and strengthens responsibility for the participation of organizations in cartel agreements and other anti-corruption agreements.

The new amendments make change to the law "On Protection of Competition" and include additions to it in the following two directions.

1. The right of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS RF) to receive explanations during inspections.

The FAS RF, upon a reasoned request, will have the right to receive explanations relevant to the exercise of its powers within the prescribed period during scheduled and unscheduled inspections. The specified explanations can be obtained from:

  • individuals, including individual entrepreneurs;
  • managers and employees of organizations;
  • officers of federal executive authorities, bodies of territorial entities of the Russian Federation, local self-governting bodies, etc.

Before requesting information, the antimonopoly authority explains to the above-mentioned persons their rights and obligations under Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and also designates the right to give explanations in the presence of a lawyer or other person providing legal assistance. Explanations should be signed by the interviewees and attached to the results of the audit.

2. The right to submit an application for the conclusion of agreements restricting competition or the implementation of concerted actions.

If a company has entered into an agreement or has committed concerted actions restricting competition, it can write a corresponding application to the FAS RF in order to mitigate administrative liability or release from it. The application has to contain:

  • information about the applicant (name and location – for the company);
  • description of the violation of antimonopoly legislation, including information about the product in respect of which an agreement was concluded or a concerted action was performed;
  • request for mitigation of administrative liability.

The document can be drawn up both in paper and electronic form. The electronic form should be signed with an enhanced electronic signature. The document should be signed by each participant of the agreement or concerted actions. If desired, the company has the right to provide documents confirming the circumstances of the application.

The FAS RF registers the application in the Register of Applications and issues a certificate that the document has been accepted.

If an application is submitted by two or more parties to an agreement or concerted actions simultaneously to the federal and territorial antimonopoly authority, the application submitted to the federal antimonopoly authority is considered to be filed first.

The purpose of the adopted amendments is to improve the process of detection and suppression by the antimonopoly authority of agreements and concerted actions, restricting competition, which is due, among other things, to a significant increase in the number of agreements at bargaining and anticompetitive agreements of the participant with the customer (facilitator) of the bargaining.

Please be reminded that administrative and criminal liability is provided for violation of the requirements of the legislation in the field of competition. The amount of punishment depends on the type of offense and its extent. For more information about the scope of the liability, see the table below.
Type of offense Scope of punishment
Administrative liability (Article 14.32 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation)
Conclusion of an agreement by the company that restricts competition and has the characteristics of a cartel Imposition of a fine: - for officers - a fine of 40,000 - 50,000 rubles or disqualification for a period of between 1 and 3 years - for legal entities – a fine of 3/100 - 15/100 of the amount of the proceeds or the amount of the offender's expenses
Conclusion of a "vertical" agreement by the company Imposition of a fine: - for officers – a fine of 15,000 - 30,000 rubles or disqualification for up to 1 year - for legal entities – a fine of 1/100 - 5/100 of the amount of the proceeds or the amount of the offender's expenses
Criminal liability (Article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)
Conclusion by the competing entities of an agreement that limited competition and caused major damage to citizens, organizations, the state, or entailed the extraction of income on a large scale Punishment for officers: - a fine of 300,000 - 500,000 rubles or other income for the period from 1 to 2 years - compulsory labour for up to 3 years with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions for up to 1 year - imprisonment for up to three years
The act mentioned above, but committed: - using his or her official position - for the purpose of destroying or damaging someone else's property - with the infliction of particularly large damage Punishment for officers: - compulsory labour for up to 5 years with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions from 1 year to 3 years - imprisonment for up to 6 years with a fine of up to 1,000,000 rubles

In the matter of support of activities in order to comply with the requirements of antimonopoly legislation, as well as legislation on the contract system, please contact Acsour legal department.