Ukrainian competition laws and regulatory practice continue to go through the active reform phase and 2017 turned out to be just as busy as 2016, primarily in the sphere of merger control reform. The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMC) continues to be the driver of these reforms, implementing best international practices. Most of these reforms have received a warm welcome from the business and professional communities, yet the increase in the average level of fines and constant attempts to test the limits of its jurisdiction combine to make the AMC one of the most powerful governmental agencies, creating concerns for larger businesses regarding compliance risks.
One of the major novelties for Ukrainian competition lawyers is the introduction of state aid regulations. On 2 August 2017, the Law of Ukraine “On State Aid to Undertakings” (the State Aid Law) entered into force. While the State Aid Law dates back in 2014, giving sufficient time for businesses and the government to become acquainted with the new requirements, it is fair to say that general awareness about state aid legislation, or even a basic understanding of its principles, remains low. This will likely change when enforcement kicks in and the first cases appear on recalling state aid due to misconduct.