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21 July 2015

Latest news from the Ukrainian competition arena

As informed before, the new Chairman of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the AMC) and the new team of State Commissioners of the AMC were appointed not so long ago. Already today, one can observe the results of the new team at work: 

KEY AMENDMENTS

IMPORTANT INNOVATION – AMNESTY

Just earlier today, the Chairman of the AMC on his Facebook page announced that the AMC is ready to offer an amnesty for the transactions that were completed without the approval for the concentration of the AMC when such approval was necessary.Later today, the AMC shared on its official website a draft regulation disclosing key principle and methodology of imposing fines, for public discussion. The regulation amongst other includes provides for “amnesty” to those undertakings that approach the AMC within the next year disclosing their past violations. Pursuant to the regulation, should one apply to the AMC with an intention to cure past risk:

  • within the next 6 months – the fine would total to approx. EUR 855 (UAH 20 400 ),
  • during the subsequent 6 months – the fine would total to approx. EUR 4 270 (UAH 102 000),

and the past violations would be cleared by the AMC’s decisions the result of the whole process.

All the rest will be fined based on the general provisions of the regulation.

At this point, it is unclear how the amnesty procedure would work, yet the AMC is eager to introduce such practice and we hope to get further details on the procedure in the nearest future.

CLARITY IN IMPOSING REMEDIES

As mentioned above, the AMC just published a draft regulation disclosing key principle and methodology of imposing fines by the AMC, for public discussion. Its main point is to determine the base fine amount depending on the severity of violation, in per cent from income obtained in connection with such a violation. The proposed approach completely differs from the existing one, according to which the AMC was fully entitled set the amount of the fine from EUR 1 to the theoretical maximum. The document is expected to bring predictability and understanding for the business in terms of imposing sanctions by the AMC.

OTHER IMPORTANT AMENDMENTS

OPENNESS TO BUSINESS – PUBLICATION OF DECISIONS

To secure transparency of the AMC activity, the regulator has launched the procedure of publishing the decisions adopted by the AMC with proper treatment of the confidential information as defined by the involved undertakings.

Particularly, the AMC is expected to publish the extracts from its decisions related to:

  • applications on concentration and concerted practices;
  • cases on violation of the competition legislation;
  • cases on violation by way of unfair competition.

Just few hours ago, the AMC made its first publication of extracts from the most recently adopted decisions on its official website.

OUTLINING DEADLINES FOR THE MERGER CASES

The AMC plans to set a limit of 180 days for the review of the merger transaction counting from the very first notification to the AMC. Today, the law provides the AMC with authority to extend the review of the transaction for as much as the regulator deems it necessary.  

This is far not the exhaustive list of implemented or still to be implemented changes by the AMC aimed at upgrading and bringing the Ukrainian competition law to the best worldwide standards. The long-awaited merger control thresholds increase, nexus introduction, revision of the set of documents and information necessary for the merger control review, expedited review process and many others developments are coming soon.

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