Changes to anti-trust law administrative and criminal liability.

31.01.2012

Legal Update No. 321

Goltsblat BLP advises that:

  • Federal Law of 6 December 2011 No. 404-FZ “ON amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation” came into effect on 7 January 2012;
  • Federal Law of 6 December 2011 No. 401-FZ “On Amendment to the Federal Law ‘On Protection of Competition’ and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation”, containing, in particular, amendments to article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, came into effect on 6 January 2012.

The mitigating circumstances under the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation now also list voluntary fulfilment of an instruction from a state controlling authority (including an anti-monopoly authority) before a resolution is issued on a case of an administrative offence.

The following new mitigating circumstances have been included in the RF Code of Administrative Offences specially for violations of the anti-trust legislation:

  • the person is not the organiser of an agreement or co-ordinated actions restricting competition and (or) received binding instructions to participate in such agreements or actions;
  • the person did not launch execution of an agreement signed thereby that restricted competition.

The list in the RF Code of Administrative Offences of aggravating circumstances with respect to anti-trust corpus delicti has been extended:

  • an offence committed over a period of more than a year;
  • an offence committed by several persons belonging to the same group;
  • infliction of harm to a sum of over 1 mn RUB or receipt of income of more than 5 mn RUB as a result of the offence.

For violation of articles 14.31, 14.31.1, 14.31.2, 14.32 and 14.33 of the RF Code of Administrative Offences, a formal fine calculation mechanism is introduced, envisaging determination of the “base” sum of the fine. This is equal to the minimum fine plus half the difference between the maximum and minimum fines. This “base” fine is then reduced or increased by each mitigating or aggravating circumstance, respectively, by 1/8 of the difference between the maximum and minimum fines.

A fixed administrative fine of from 300 th to 1 mn RUB is introduced for abuse of dominant position if this does not and cannot entail prevention, restriction or elimination of competition.

The amendments to article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation have criminalised competition-restricting concerted actions and “vertical” agreements.

Release from criminal liability is envisaged in the event of assistance in disclosing a crime not only if reimbursement is made for the harm caused but also if an individual otherwise makes amends for the harm done.

For additional information, please contact:

to Nikolay Voznesenskiy
Head of Anti-monopoly Practice
Goltsblat BLP
T: +7 (495) 287 44 44
E: info@gblplaw.com

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