Review of land and real estate cases (الروسية)
This report identifies a number of the competition authority's cases regarding land and premises acts, or actions of state and local bodies, decided with the application of Article 7 of the Law on Competition in Russia. As a group, they exhibit characteristics... انظر المزيد +
This report identifies a number of the competition authority's cases regarding land and premises acts, or actions of state and local bodies, decided with the application of Article 7 of the Law on Competition in Russia. As a group, they exhibit characteristics that have been common to cases conducted by the Russian competition authority under Article 7 in years past. In particular, there is a near total absence of economic analysis of the market which the action of the local body is alleged to have affected, and of any statistical or analytical material supporting claims that the action had, or could have a restrictive effect on competition. Many of the cases focus instead on the legality, or propriety of the act or action itself, with foreign advisory services' (FAS) bodies making strong efforts to show that the action itself violated some law, or requirement outside the Law on Competition. This illegality is then used to argue that the action of the local body falls under provisions of Article 7 prohibiting the "groundless obstruction" of the activities of the firm, or entrepreneur affected, or those forbidding state bodies to "groundlessly" provide advantages to one, or more competitors over others. The absence of economic analysis, and of evidence of restriction of competition is somewhat surprising, given an amendment to the Law on Competition in 2002 that made restriction, or potential restriction in competition a required element of a violation of Article 7. Instead of an increase in the amount of investigation into market conditions, and analysis of the effects of the actions in question, however, the cases reviewed suggest that some of the offices of the competition authority have been meeting this requirement, by making increasingly broad arguments about what constitutes a restriction of competition. In a number of the cases in this report, FAS extended its definition of a "restriction of competition" to include any act or action that increases the costs, or otherwise negatively affects even a single competitor, thereby affecting its pricing, or other behavior in the markets in which it competes. Such cases fall into five groupings containing similar factors, or issues: 1) municipal acts resulting in the monopolization of services related to land or premises; 2) refusal or withdrawal of land or premises in order to benefit a specific competitor; 3) manipulation of the rules concerning allocation of land plots by assignment, or by auction to favor specific purchasers, or to force payments from purchasers; 4) differentiation of payment rates for land rent; and, 5) demands by city authorities for "infrastructure" payments related to the allocation of land, or construction permits.
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