In 2017-2018 the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) actively continued investigations and proceedings against both Russian and multinational companies, with a large part of its activity addressed at tender-related violations. Digital business and technology-driven changes remain a focus of FAS, with enforcement on algorithm-driven cartels and offences (LG Electronics and other cases) and envisaged legal changes on digital platforms. Significant legislative changes in 2017-2018 comprise differentiation of liability for antitrust violations, basically resulting in a reduction of maximum fines for vertical agreements. Highlights in the merger control area include Bayer/Monsanto which became one of the few examples of FAS imposing conditions on the parties that were challenged.
Activities in the competition sphere at the level of the Eurasian Economic Union included a decision against PAO NLMK and OOO VIZ Steel which, together with a previous Caterpillar investigation, highlights potential risks in case of unequal or restricted conditions for distribution arrangements in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union.
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