It is believed that the same laws of development and evolution operate in the economy as in living nature, i.e. A “viable”, quality product can only be produced in a competitive environment. When each manufacturer has the same opportunity to enter the market with their product, the consumer has the opportunity to choose and purchase the best one. A monopolist can produce goods of poor quality, but consumers will be forced to buy them anyway, since there are simply no others.
What is competition
A whole law is dedicated to it, which is called “On Protection of Competition”. This regulatory document defines competition as rivalry between at least two business entities in conditions when none of them can unilaterally influence the conditions for the sale of goods and services they produce. Accordingly, the law refers to unfair competition such actions of an economic entity, one or more, which are aimed at obtaining advantages in the implementation of entrepreneurial activities.
Since such actions do not guarantee a level playing field, unfair competition is a factor that hinders the development of enterprises offering higher quality goods and does not guarantee the consumer the opportunity to independently choose the product or service that suits him to a greater extent. Such activity is considered illegal and a special Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has been created to detect and suppress it.
Functions of the Federal Antimonopoly Service
Control over compliance with the laws of the market and free competition in Russia is entrusted to the FAS, whose functions include analyzing the state of competition in order to identify the dominant position of a particular entity, identifying cases of restricting or eliminating competition, as well as preventing such cases.
The FAS was established in 2004 by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the main document governing its activities is the "Regulations on the Federal Antimonopoly Service". This government agency has great powers and oversees antitrust compliance by commercial and non-profit organizations. In addition, its functions include control over enterprises that are natural monopolists, whose actions can infringe on the interests of consumers of the goods they produce. The FAS also controls the subjects of the wholesale and retail electricity markets, which, for objective reasons, occupy an exceptional position in these markets.
The broad powers allow the Antimonopoly Service to apply to violators the measures of influence provided by the law, which are both restrictive and preventive, as well as prophylactic. It is assumed that these measures will be able to exclude unfair competition and fully ensure the rights of consumers of goods and services.