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Regular version of the site

Article

Russian anti-trust policy: power of enforcement versus quality of rules

Post-Communist Economies. 2011. Vol. 23. No. 4. P. 493-505.
Avdasheva S. B., Shastitko A.

In recent years the role of anti-monopoly policy in Russia has grown significantly. The enforcement power of the anti-trust agency has increased dramatically. At the same time adverse trends in competition policy have emerged and strengthened. The main reason was, paradoxically, a growing role of anti-trust policy in the Russian government. The enforcement of anti-trust rules is expected to result immediately in control of the price level and/or support of a defined group of market participants (e.g. suppliers of food products). In this context legal rules are changing in a way that leads to an increase in the number of false positives (type I errors) in anti-trust cases. False positives not only impose a burden on the accused but also distort the incentives of market participants, restrain potentially efficient business practices and also paradoxically can prevent competition. This article considers three examples of adverse development of anti-trust rules in Russia: regulation of trading activity, rules on collusion and excessive prices of collectively dominant market participants, and rules on discrimination as an abuse of a dominant position.