Concerted practice enforcement in Russia: How judicial review shapes the standards of evidence and number of enforcement targets
A judicial review of the infringement decisions of the competition authority substantially affects the standard of evidence in competition enforcement as well as the structure of cases that the competition authority takes. Enforcement against concerted practice in Russia represents a case-study of interaction between commercial courts of first instance, the Highest Court, the competition authority as enforcer, market participants and the legislator to influence the standards of liability under investigation of concerted practice. We examine the judicial review of infringement decisions on concerted practice and track the evolution of legal definition and sufficiency of evidence in such cases. We show, first, that in Russian enforcement, the ability of the Highest Court to influence the criteria of first instance courts is limited (in contrast to the ability of the first instance court to influence the strategy of enforcement by the competition authority). Second, the increase in the burden of proof motivates the competition authority to refrain from an investigation of concerted practice, in accordance with the prediction of the model of the selection of enforcement target by reputation-maximizing authority.