Difficulties of competition policy at the global level are widely debated by academics and policy-makers. However, recent discussions do not pay enough attention to those instruments of antitrust enforcement that target local companies in domestic markets. This type of antitrust price remedies becomes popular in Russian competition law enforcement towards large exporters that dominate in home markets. In this article we explain the circumstances under which antitrust price remedies imposed by national competition authorities on one exporter in a determined country may limit competition in global commodity markets. In particular, antitrust price remedies, which impose the cap on domestic prices using export or global prices of the commodity as a benchmark, increase the sustainability of collusion, either explicit or tacit. Being primarily designed to support domestic buyers, antitrust price remedies may also increase domestic welfare by facilitating collusion abroad and creating additional profits for large national producers.
In 2006, Russia amended its competition law and added the concepts of ‘collective dominance’ and its abuse. This was seen as an attempt to address the common problem of ‘conscious parallelism’ among firms in concentrated industries. Critics feared that the enforcement of this provision would become tantamount to government regulation of prices. In this paper we examine the enforcement experience to date, looking especially closely at sanctions imposed on firms in the oil industry. Some difficulties and complications experienced in enforcement are analysed, and some alternative strategies for addressing anticompetitive behaviour in concentrated industries discussed.
The article discusses a recent antitrust case brought against Russian manufacturers of large diameter pipes (LDPs) that aimed to investigate supposed collusive practices that contradicted the law ‘On the Protection of Competition’, which prohibits market sharing and restricting production.The Russian competition agency (FAS) confirmed the infringement under Article 11 of the law ‘On the Protection of Competition’, but at the same time exempted companies from liability under Article 13, which allows applying rule of reason to agreements which promote efficiency.We presume the infringement charge was based on weak substantial evidence standards. The case under consideration illustrates the importance of investigating the institutional details when qualifying the actions of market participants and their effects.The analysis of the evidence in this case indicates that the nature of cooperation between pipe manufacturing companies and OJSC Gazprom, namely indicative planning, may be explained from the perspective of reducing contract risk in an environment characterized by large-scale investment.
Predation claims have become progressively more difficult for US plaintiffs to establish. I examine whether Neoclassical Price Theory (NPT) has caused this result. To identify the concept in the case law, I explain how market power, cost tests, and recoupment analysis derive from the NPT concepts of rationality, competition, and efficiency. Competition and efficiency refer to the state of the market in perfect competition relative to monopoly, and thus explicate how predation can harm consumers. Rationality refers to profitability, consumer harm, and the incentive to predate. The concepts create a conceptual framework through which the legal elements assist in predicting the effects of predation. I reviewed all published US federal appellate decisions considering predation from 1950 to 2014. I also examine on what effects judges have focused, whether such effects depart from NPT, and the relationship between effects and plaintiffs’ success rate. Brooke Group defined effects as recoupment, and plaintiffs subsequently have won a single published case. Because the Supreme Court viewed predation as rarely successful and the claim itself as systemically inhibiting pricecuts, lower courts have interpreted cost and market power evidence within the confines of NPT, but strictly. Only the Court can alter this spin on the claim.