State envoy of Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine: Implementation of antimonopoly reform starts even before essential laws are adopted

State envoy of Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine: Implementation of antimonopoly reform starts even before essential laws are adopted
July 13, 2015.

Kyiv, July 13, 2015. The way the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine is working, whether its activities are transparent and uncorrupt, define quality of goods and how adequate their prices are. That is why reforming the agency is of utmost importance. Three bills pertinent to reforming antimonopoly regulation have been registered in the Verkhovna Rada, said MP for Samopomich Party Viktoria Ptashnyk at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Bill No.2102 suggests mandatory publication of all decisions by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU), in particular of those issued to impose sanctions or hold abusers liable. It also affects permission procedures of the AMCU. “We hope that the bill will open the doors into the Antimonopoly Committee for the general public and business,” emphasized Ptashnyk.

Ptashnyk suggests introducing the method for calculation of fines in sanctions through another bill, No.2431. “Economic operators need to understand: if they accept their violation, the amount of fine can be decreased. Assistance to investigation may also change the fine’s coefficient,” explained Ptashnyk as she discussed the draft law’s key point.

The third initiative pertains to AMCU’s authorization to concentrate market share of economic operators. “We want to reconsider price figures that when reached, require addressing the AMCU for authorization. We also want purchasing affecting nationwide competition not to require addressing the ACMU. Finally, we suggest shortening the procedure of considering the package of documents submitted to the ACMU from 45 to 25 days,” explained Ptashnyk.

According to Yuliya Kovaliv, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, the Ministry fully supports the deputy-led initiatives. In its turn, the Economic Development and Trade department adopted basic principles to reform the economy. Key reforms include liberalization and deregulation. The Ministry sees reforming of the antimonopoly sector in the nearest perspective through introducing the changes foreseen by the registered bills. Next steps on the pace of further reform include making a full list of monopolies, evaluating state aid to economic operators and harmonizing the AMCU’s functions so that they are not duplicated by other agencies. “The more agencies come to control and impose fines on business, the more complicated the life of our business is,” underlined Kovaliv.

“State envoys of the AMCU held a meeting and decided that going ahead with the antimonopoly reform without waiting for adoption of the bills is critical,” said Maria Nizhnik, state envoy of the AMCU. According to her, the AMCU starts publicly releasing all its decisions effective July 15. Additionally, changes to provisions on concentration have been introduced. They look at the procedure of documents submission, as well as cases evaluation and issuing authorization. Authorization for concentration, even in case of very complicated decisions is now limited to six months. “This half of the year term can be extended only if the claimant decides accordingly,” explained Maria Nizhnik.

Not all MPs understand the importance of this reform, which first of all is part of the economic reform, noted co-author on bill No.2431, Arzinger Partner Lana Sinichkina. “It is what affects Ukraine’s investment attractiveness, pricing and feasibility. This has to be the main focus of economic reforms in Ukraine,” she emphasized.

Reforming antimonopoly regulation is Ukraine’s responsibility under the Association Agreement with the EU, noted Maria Holub, representative of “Sylnishi Razom” NGO. One of the conditions for provision of the next piece involves a clear document explaining fine-forming policy and is to be developed by the AMCU. “It is a requirement from our international partners. The methodology in question may become a good example demonstrating that Ukraine respects its international obligations,” said Holub.