The State Duma adopted a law that introduces antitrust restrictions for marketplaces
The State Duma adopted a law that introduces antitrust restrictions for marketplaces and aggregators in order to counteract abuse of the dominant position of their owners. This law is part of the “fifth antitrust package”, which aims to improve the antitrust regulation of digital markets. The proposed changes will allow detection of anti-market activities and cartel agreements of major digital platforms.
In accordance with the law, the criteria are defined by which digital platforms can be recognized as dominant entities, and the concept of “network effect” is also introduced. The network effect describes the change in the consumer value of a digital platform, depending on the number of sellers and buyers carrying out transactions through it.
The law also introduces a ban on the abuse of dominant position for owners of digital platforms, in which the network effect provides a decisive influence on the general conditions for the circulation of goods on the market and makes it difficult to access it. This ban applies to platforms through which more than 35% of transactions are made in a certain commodity market, and their revenue exceeds 2 billion rubles a year.
The FAS Russia will be responsible for determining the presence of a network effect and assessing the ability of digital platform owners to have a decisive influence on the conditions for the circulation of goods.
The law also establishes a new condition for monitoring economic concentration transactions in commodity markets. Transactions worth more than 7 billion rubles will require approval from the Federal Antimonopoly Service.
The law will come into force on September 1, 2023.
This FAS decision is an important step for ordinary players in the market. The introduction of antitrust restrictions on marketplaces and aggregators will protect the interests of consumers and reduce the possibility of abuse by dominant platforms. Thanks to these restrictions, competition in the market will be stimulated, which will lead to higher quality of services and lower prices. In addition, the new rules will promote innovation and maintain a fairer environment for all market participants. This is important for casual players who will have more choices and better conditions on digital platforms.