The Eurasian Economic Commission Met to Discuss the Issues of the Protection of Competition in Cross-border Markets of the Eurasian Economic Union

On 3 April 2015, Almaty hosted the meeting of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) devoted to the issues of the protection of competition in cross-border markets of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The participants of the meeting discussed how to ensure fair competition in cross-border markets, to prevent unfair competition and anti-competitive agreements, to coordinate economic activities of business entities, and to prevent the dominant undertakings from abusing their strong market position. Special attention was paid to the issues of competition in food industry and the effect of the principle of exhaustion of intellectual property rights (effective in the Eurasian Economic Union) on the competition environment in cross-border markets.

The meeting was attended by chief executives of national antitrust authorities, ministries of economy, investment and development, ministries of agriculture and ministries of justice of the EEU Member States, the State Procurement Service of the Republic of Korea, as well as public organisations and business associations of the EEU Member States.

Sayat Zholshy & Partners was represented by Partner Amir Begdesenov.

Member of the Board (Minister) in charge of competition and antitrust regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission Nurlan Aldabergenov made a presentation on the protection of competition in cross-border markets of the Eurasian Economic Union. He noted that, subject to the Treaty on the EEU, on 1 January 2015, the supranational antitrust authority of the EEU exercising control over the abuse of dominant position, anti-competitive agreement and unfair competition in cross-border markets commenced its operations. According to Nurlan Aldabergenov, to date, the EEU has established the adequate regulatory legal framework for control over general competition compliance. Nurlan Aldabergenov also updated the participants on the progress of harmonization of laws of the EEU Member States, in particular, the Model Competition Law, and explained the priorities of state procurement.

For the sake of international cooperation development the meeting participants reached an agreement to sign a memorandum of cooperation in the area of electronic public procurement between the EEC and the State Procurement Service of the Republic of Korea.

The meeting participants also considered the issues of cross-border trade of food commodities, such as milk, meat, butter, fat, sugar, flour and confectionary. They focused on the need to develop the in-house manufacturing of food raw materials and products in the EEU food markets.

Summarising the discussions, the meeting resolved the following:

to monitor cross-border trade of food commodities in order to prevent and preclude antitrust offences;

  • to use competitive advantages of the EEU Member States’ domestic products to the maximum extent;
  • to support domestic manufacturers of the EEU Member States; and
  • to enhance antitrust control over raw material and commodity markets of the EEU Member States.