The agreement is part of the extensive efforts to identify and suppress the activities of cartels and other anticompetitive arrangements, whose expansion in the country's regions it aims to facilitate.
The Federal Financial Monitoring Service and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) signed 17 August 2018 the Supplementary Protocol to the Agreement on the Sharing of Information in Identifying Cartels and Other Forms of Collusion, concluded in 2011.
Under the agreement, the FAS and Rosfinmonitoring use information sharing to bolster the fight against cartels, particularly in the public procurement sector.
As a result of joint investigations conducted from 2016 to H1 2018, the FAS and its regional branches initiated 22 anti-trust proceedings and filed 15 charges.
Most of the violations related to the supply of pharmaceutical and medical products, construction work and administration of nutrition programs in welfare and educational institutions, with the total amount of fines approaching 1 billion rubles.
"The signing of the supplementary protocol to the Information Sharing Agreement will create additional opportunities for operational cooperation between the regional offices of the FAS and Rosfinmonitoring, enabling the intelligence to flow directly between them rather than through the agencies' central offices," said State Secretary and Deputy Head of the FAS A. Yu. Tsarikovsky, who oversees the agency's anti-cartel efforts.
Rosfinmonitoring Deputy Director O. V. Krylov, in turn, noted that "the direct exchange of intelligence between the FAS and Rosfinmonitoring regional offices will significantly reduce the duration of investigations", tabling a proposal to hold joint trainings for the branch staff.
In conclusion, the parties discussed the effectiveness of the already established interdepartmental cooperation and expressed hope for further fruitful cooperation at the regional level.
Examples of decisions taken by the FAS Russia in response to intelligence provided by Rosfinmonitoring:
1. Violation of the Anti-Trust Law, par. 2 of art. 11, by Farm SKD LLC and Novofarm JSC, which entered into a price-fixing agreement to maintain prices at 465 electronic auctions for the supply of medicines for the needs of Russian medical institutions for a total of more than 420 million rubles.
The cartel participants were fined more than 90 million rubles.
The investigation findings were sent to the Interior Ministry's Chief Directorate for Economic Security and Combating Corruption for a follow-up investigation and possible filing of charges under article 178, par. 2, of the Criminal Code.
2. Violation of the Anti-Trust Law, art. 11, subpar. 2 of par. 1, by 90 economic entities which entered into a price-fixing agreement to maintain prices at 18 open electronic auctions for the supply of clothing to the Federal Customs Service, Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service for a total of 3.5 billion rubles.
The cartel participants were fined more than 600 million rubles.
The investigation findings were sent to the Interior Ministry's Chief Directorate for Economic Security and Combating Corruption, which filed charges under article 178, par. 2, of the Criminal Code.