Kyiv, July 13, 2015. Transparency and effective communication with businesses are priorities for the work of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) in the upcoming three months, said AMCU’s head Yuri Terentyev at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center as part of Ukraine Reforms Communications Taskforce. He mentioned that since his appointment on May 19, 2015, he personally held several meetings with representatives of both international businesses operating in Ukraine and foreign institutions in order to persuade these groups to change their approach to the work of the AMCU and improve the business climate in Ukraine.
“The Antimonopoly Committee exists to foster competition and prevent inappropriate practices as soon as possible, rather than imposing penalties. We must be proactive in dealing with businesses and model the correct behavior,” said Yuri Terentyev.
For this purpose, the AMCU has introduced a new format of information sharing about the results of its work, training sessions designed for business owners and top-level management. “We want to use the format of the so-called “compliance trainings” (referring to practice of simplifying complex subjects for the general) for people who make decisions in business, to increase their awareness of what practices are allowed or not allowed. These trainings will be held permanently both in Kyiv and in the territorial offices of the AMCU,” explained Yerentyev.
He said that soon the AMCU will take a number of important steps in line with the proposed course of changes. In particular, by mid-September the procedure for calculating fines for the violation of antitrust law will be revised. In addition, it will undertake efforts to inform the public about the decisions the ACMU makes. Though all these innovations will require regulation on legislative level (projects are currently under consideration in the parliament), the AMCU does not want to waste time, and so it will format these innovations as recommendations, and circulate them among local offices.
Commenting on the current level of competition, Yuri Terentyev said that over the past 10 years it has declined by 12%. Currently, only 47% of markets in Ukraine are competitive, 11% are monopolized, and 42% show signs of oligopoly or monopoly. In the opinion of the head of the AMCU, the energy, transport and communication markets are the most monopolized markets in Ukraine, hence the energy market is one of the first markets that will be examined by the AMCU in terms of competition.
The research will focus on markets for production, energy transportation and the sale of electricity, gas, fuel, oil, and other energy sources. “There are always many discussions about this market both in the legal and political sphere. The research aims at finding out what actually happens rather than at searching for foregone conclusions. We have to decide whether the existing segmentation of this market is acceptable or not. We have to look at the practices of European countries, because they also faced problems of monopoly and restriction of competition in the energy market. They solved these problems about 10 years ago. That is, we have relatively fresh experience to draw upon,” said Yuri Terentyev. He said that the AMCU has requested information from energy market players, including data on those facilities that are in the temporarily occupied territories, namely the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the self-proclaimed “DPR” and “LPR.”
The head of the AMCU emphasized that the research is supervised by an updated team of specialists with experience in business, law and public administration, and is not connected with any financial or industrial groups. Yuri Terentyev said that the research has not yet become a pretext for pressuring either him personally or his subordinates. “If you work transparently, the society is informed of what you are doing, how, and for what. Therefore, it is a safeguard against such pressure,” he summed up.