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The Evolution of Antitrust Regulation in Russia in Digital Era


The article includes a comprehensive analysis of changes that have been taking place in Russian antitrust enforcement in response to the digitalization of the economy. Digitalization has led to increase of the role of information and digital platforms in day-to-day business activities of the market players. Digitalization vanished geographical boundaries of the digital markets and modified market structures in general. Innovative technologies, big data, and intellectual property have become the key drivers of economic growth.
The authors analyze new violations of antimonopoly legislation in the digital era (in particular collusive tendering using auction robots), the anticompetitive effects resulting from the use of pricing algorithms, and the first approaches of the antitrust authority to regulations of the algorithmic pricing. In addition, within the framework of this article, the first legal positions of the antitrust authority regarding the use of pricing algorithms, as well as the new approaches of the regulator to the analysis of digital markets in merger control are considered, taking into account such factors as network effects, big data and technologies. Moreover, the authors analyze the first practice of using the technology transfer as a remedy in merger control by the antitrust authority to mitigate anti-competitive effects of the transactions planned in the Russian market. Finally, the authors conduct an overview of the new legal provisions governing the mandatory pre-installation of applications by Russian developers, and also describe the background for this initiative. When considering the above topics, the authors deeply analyze the relevant Russian and foreign legislation, draft laws, and the law enforcement practice of the Federal Antimonopoly Service.
New approaches of the regulator to the analysis of digital markets in the framework of antitrust investigations and merger control, as well as automation of the processes of detecting antitrust violations, demand more attention from market players. Companies are encouraged to take these trends into account in their business activities, reflect them in antitrust compliance programs, as well as implement additional measures to prevent potential antitrust violations in digital markets, in particular, committed with the use of pricing algorithms.

About the Authors

Ksenia V. Tarkhova
ALRUD Law Firm
Russian Federation

Ksenia V. Tarkhova — Senior Associate of Competition/Antitrust Practice, Member of International Bar Association, Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Competition Experts Association and Eurasian Antimonopoly Association 

2–17, Skakovaya str., Moscow, 125040

Vladislav I. Alifirov
ALRUD Law Firm
Russian Federation

Vladislav I. Alifirov — Associate of Competition/Antitrust Practice, Member of the International Bar Association, Competition Experts Association and Eurasian Antimonopoly Association 

2–17, Skakovaya str., Moscow, 125040

Olga N. Gorokhova
ALRUD Law Firm
Russian Federation

Olga N. Gorokhova — Attorney of Competition/Antitrust, Intellectual Property and Data Protection Practices 

2–17, Skakovaya str., Moscow, 125040


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ISSN 2686-9136 (Online)