What to expect from the AMC in 2013?
On March 12, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the "AMC") published its summary report (the “Report”) on its enforcement record for 2012. The paper fully describes its key activities in the previous year and identifies their principal differences from 2011. In particular, in 2012, the AMC substantially increased the amount of fines for violations of the competition laws, introduced the leniency program, increased the number of investigations of anti-competitive concerted practices and unfair competition. Having analyzed the Report, it is possible to draw conclusions and predict the prevalent trends of the AMC’s enforcement activity for 2013, which, according to Sayenko Kharenko lawyers, can be summarised as follows:
- 2012 saw the downward trend of investigations of abuse of monopoly cases. That decrease is due to the increase of investigations of anti-competitive concerted actions. There is every reason to believe that this trend will get a logical continuation this year.
- Last year was marked by the tendency of increasing fines for violations of antitrust laws. For instance, in the furniture manufacturer case, the AMC charged the violators with the fine of UAH 419 million, and the total amount of fines for such violations as compared to 2011 increased 25 times (!) (UAH 441 million compared to UAH 17.5 million in 2011). The maximum fine for a violation provided for under Article 15-1 of the Law of Ukraine "On Protection Against Unfair Competition" in early 2012 amounted to UAH 1.6 million, and by the end of the year increased to UAH 7.6 million. According to our estimates, the AMC will continue to increase the level of fines for violations of competition laws in 2013, including those in the field of unfair competition, anti-competitive concerted practices and abuse of monopoly.
- Also in 2012, the number of the AMC’s investigations of unfair competition increased. Approximately 91% of such violations amounted to gaining an unfair advantage by the dissemination of unfair information (Article 15-1 of the Law of Ukraine "On Protection Against Unfair Competition"). This trend is showing no signs of slowing down as in 2013 we already see that the AMC is actively continuing to investigate the violations of Article 15-1 of the Law of Ukraine "On Protection Against Unfair Competition."
- The AMC will not cease to pay close attention to socially important areas. Thus, the regulator will focus on the pharmaceutical sector, the retail industry, housing and utilities, as well as fuel and energy and agriculture sectors.
For more information please contact Dmitry Taranyk.