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The Effects of Competition Policy Towards Explicit and Tacit Collusion

Priority areas of development: economics
2013
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

This study focuses on assessing the effects of Russian antitrust policy in the context of preventing explicit and tacit collusion.

The research objects are horizontal and vertical agreements and the impact of these agreements on competition. The purpose of the research is to evaluate Russian competition agency activities on preventing explicit and tacit collusion taking into account type 1 and type 2 enforcement errors.

To achieve this goal the following tasks are implemented:

1) we analysed the practice of preventing collusion in transition and emerging economies (including the analysis of the experience of Central and Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan);

2) we analysed the standards of proof in collusion cases in Russia, compared with the standards used in international practice, taking into account the theories, explaining different types of competition restrictions;

3) we conducted an analysis of mechanisms of cartel agreement maintenance, taking into account manager's incentives;

4) we made an empirical evaluation of the effects of the programme to introduce softer sentencing in Russia, including an analysis of the initial and subsequent (after 2009) models of leniency;

5) we analysed the problem of vertical agreements that may restrict competition, despite positive effects (the role of cooperative investment in the context of specific assets) ;

6) we analysed the relationship between the theory of collusion, the set of international organization recommendations and empirical data on the design and outcomes of public procurement.

The research was based on the following empirical data:

1) official reports and statistics, provided by antitrust authorities (Russia, Europe, Ukraine et al.) ;

2) cases involving antitrust authorities resolved in arbitration courts;

3) significant cases on restrictive agreements that demonstrate problems of enforcement mechanisms.

The main research results are as follows:

1) the design of incentives of the FAS causes problems in antitrust enforcement (including the problem of excessively rigid interpretation of horizontal and vertical agreements);

2) the increasing number of investigations (connected with the number of complaints) is a negative influence on the quality of government supervision and increases the number of type 1 and type 2 errors; 

3) application of the leniency program in Russia (especially after 2009) increases deterrence towards collusion;

4) there is a lack of analytical tools in solving the cases of vertical agreements (vertical restrictions).

Implementation of the research results . We drew conclusions about the factors affecting efficiency in preventing explicit and tacit collusion policy in Russia.  We developed recommendations to improve competition policy in the field of collusion. The goals of the recommendations are to enhance the standards of proof in antitrust cases and to limit the number of cases under consideration in order to decrease the probability of type 1 and type 2 legal errors.

Publications:


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Kalinina Maria. The empirical analysis of merger remedies’ influence on prices in Russia // Journal of US-China Public Administration. 2013. Vol. 10. No. 9. P. 834-850.
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Голованова С. В. Факторы слияний и поглощений в России 1994-2012 гг.: эмпирическая оценка и международные сопоставления // В кн.: Устойчивое развитие российских регионов: Россия и ВТО: сборник статей X Международной научной конференции по проблемам экономического развития в современном мире, Екатеринбург, 19—20 апреля 2013 г. Т. 1. Екатеринбург : УрФУ, 2013. С. 226-230.
Tsytsulina D. The expected effects of mergers in metal industry: an empirical research, in: Устойчивое развитие российских регионов: Россия и ВТО: сборник статей X Международной научной конференции по проблемам экономического развития в современном мире, Екатеринбург, 19—20 апреля 2013 г. Т. 1. Екатеринбург : УрФУ, 2013. P. 418-421.