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Regular version of the site

Competition Policy and Antitrust Law

2011
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

This project is devoted to the entry barriers which affect the competition in the Russian markets.  The research is concerned with the entry costs. The purpose is to explain the insufficient influence of the public policy on the entry costs.
The research uses the methodology of Institutional analysis, Industrial Organization and New Theory of the International Trade (models based on preconditions of imperfect competition).

The information base of the research includes:

  • Theoretic and empirical researches of competition and competition policу;
  • The content of Russian antitrust legislation with the planning and de facto changes;
  • The information about the Russian antitrust law enforcement  (information of the Russian competition authority, participants of markets, court decisions on antitrust cases);
  • The information about competition on the markets (on domestic prices, including the comparison to the world prices, about the entry of new participants on the markets,  the assessment of the entry barriers);
  • Other information about the factors affecting the prices in the Russian markets, (from side of demand, from the side of supply and state policy including  the international trade).

The results of the analysis are necessary to elaborate the recommendations to improve the economic policy aimed to enhance competition by removal of entry barriers and the application of the effective business-practice.

 

The results of the research are the following:

(1) On the level of the openness of the Russian economy to the international trade as a main source of competition. It is shown that after the beginning of market reforms the international trade of Russia is actively developing.   In long-term period the growth rates of export and import of Russia are comparable. With that the export deliveries respond stronger to the changes of trade terms than a goods flow imported in Russia. The position of Russia as a big exporter and an importer of goods strengthens.  The share of Russia in the main commodity markets increases both of demand side as of supply side.  The possibilities of export deliveries expand.  It is shown that not tariff but non-tariff restrictions (procedural origin) restrain the influence of the international competition on the Russian markets.

(2) On the methods of assessment and analysis of entry barriers in the world practice of empirical researches, it is shown that in many cases the application of alternative approaches to evaluate the entry barriers don't give essentially different results. In the practice of competition (antitrust) policy these approaches have a lot in common with the studies of different streams of economic theory .Large number of barriers are considered significant from the different points in both the economic theory and antitrust policy.

(3) On the assessment of entry barriers and other characteristics of competition in case of Russian antitrust law enforcement, The analytical work of competition authority is performed according to the Guidelines on  the Assessment of Competition in the Market elaborated by FAS. It is shown that in Russian antitrust cases the economic analysis of market structure prevails over the analysis of participants’ behavior on the market. Market structure characteristics are more often used in the arguments both of competition authorities and of market participants in comparison with the characteristics of conduct. The delineation of product and geographical market boundaries is more actively used  among the components of economic analysis than the analysis of enter barriers. The explanations of revealed features of economic analysis in cases of Russian antitrust legislation and possible decisions are offered.

(4) On the errors in antitrust law enforcement against the agreements which restrict competition it is shown that not only overt  but also tacit collusions are prohibited.  In turn this fact increases a probability of Type I errors (false positives) and imposes additional costs of antimonopoly prosecution on the market participants. The problem is not only that Russian antimonopoly authorities can't apply sufficient standards of proof, but also there are no good instruments to search a fact of tacit collusion.

A norm of collective dominance including cases with tacit collusion has a set of negative consequences. So some improvement measures ofantitrust enforcement are offered.
(5) On the effects of antitrust prohibitions against vertical restraints for business practice. An experience of regulation on vertical restraints in Russia shows serious problems which caused by imperfection of legislative framework of regulation. Among them there are the errors of incorrect interpretation of economic concepts which take place in the process of antitrust enforcement againstvertical restraints.  Antimonopoly authority has a risk to be involved not only in dispute with economic entities but also to restrict competition. This situation will happen in the next cases: If Antimonopoly authority interpret any distinction in the conditions of contracts as discrimination; accusing undertakings of competition restriction for refusal to sell production to partners, in spite of motivation of such refusals; focusing attention to damage which vertical restraints presumably do to interests of competitors.
(6) On the effects of decisions of Russian courts for business practice. The Russian judicial practice is rather contradictory. On the one hand, there are positive effects connected with formation of high proof standards on the majority of antitrust cases, of prosecution which help to reduce the risks of first kind errors, to decrease the uncertainty of legislative execution. On the other hand, in some questions, first of all in the case of concerted practice, the judicial practice even aggravates the problems created by legal rules.
(7) On the influence of policy to create  the organizations of self-regulation on entry barriers in the markets it is shown that the public policy actually reduces a  self-regulation development to development of the delegated self-regulation (transfer the state functions of separate business and industries to SRО), without enough incentives for development  of voluntary SRО.  In the Russian economic environment with a significant amount of administrative barriers and, the main, steady forms of their reprocessing, the solution  «change state regulation to self-regulation» under given conditions doesn't  decrease non-productive expenditures of business, don’t restrain unfair behavior of officials. The development of the delegated self-regulation leads to a serious restriction of  competition, especially in the market with highly differentiated types of participants. Selected mechanism of provision the responsibility to the third parties as a form of indemnification funds reduces a public efficiency of self-regulation instead to develop the systems of an extrajudicial resolution of disputes. The ideas of the delegated self-regulation are actively lobbied by representatives of separate industries not rather to weaken a burden of state regulation, than to provide a possibility of legal restriction of competition. There is an essential difference of self-regulation de facto and de jure. The analysis of SRО has allowed to develop the recommendations to decide the revealed problems.

Publications:


Дзагурова Н. Б. Кооперативные инвестиции и причины недоинвестирования в специфические активы // В кн.: XIII Международная научная конференция по проблемам развития экономики и общества. В 4 кн. Кн. 1. / Отв. ред.: Е. Г. Ясин. Кн. 1. М. : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2012. С. 370-378.
Авдашева С. Б., Шаститко А. Е. Международный антитраст: между конкуренцией и протекционизмом // В кн.: Мировая экономика в начале XXI века. Учебное пособие / Под общ. ред.: Л. М. Григорьев. М. : Директмедиа Паблишинг, 2013. Гл. 2. С. 47-73.
Дзагурова Н. Б. Неоднозначность торга между ошибками I и II рода в регулировании вертикальных ограничивающих соглашений // В кн.: XII Международная научная конференция по проблемам развития экономики и общества. В четырех книгах. Книга 4. / Отв. ред.: Е. Г. Ясин. Кн. 4. М. : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2012. С. 228-236.