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Alexey Ivanov: “The key direction of the new regulatory policy should be to promote the openness of global networks”

 On November 19-20, the traditional 5th International Scientific and Practical Conference “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” was organized at the Skolkovo Innovation Center, organized by the FAS Russia in partnership with the HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development.

The staff and invited guests of the Institute took part in all the most relevant discussions of the conference.
 
The event was opened by the deputy head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) Sergey Puzyrevsky, who spoke about the topics and agenda of the upcoming conference. “This is an anniversary conference, within its framework we can summarize some of the discussions that have been ongoing for several years. The theme of the plenary meeting is dictated by existing trends - the implementation of the National Plan in the Russian Federation continues, we expect this topic to be systematic, because the Prime Minister instructed the FAS to prepare a National Competition Development Plan for the next five-year period. We have not put an end to the issue of regulating the digital economy, the implementation of the Fifth Antitrust Package is ongoing, and we continue to develop international cooperation. And these days we cannot ignore science and education - this year we passed the defense of the first dissertations in a new scientific specialty - competition law.” The head of the FAS, Igor Artemyev, made a report on antitrust regulation as it currently stands in the plenary session “New Tendencies in Competition Policy in Modern Conditions”, focusing on the problems of the digital realities and related digital regulation. He noted that the first National Competition Development Plan was written in the tradition of the 1980s.
 
The head of the FAS reported on the work being done by the department to develop antitrust laws and emphasized that the Russian antitrust laws comply with international standards. Speaking about the modern challenges of the digital economy, the head of the FAS outlined the role of network effects of digital platforms that gain market power, artificial intelligence, which can bring forth both progress and a global threat, the growing role of intellectual property and big data, as well as the cross-border nature of modern markets.
 
Alexey Ivanov at the plenary meeting developed the problems posed by Igor Artemyev for the challenges of the digital age that regulators are facing today: “The development of information technology leads to new forms of economic life and competition. Digital giants rely on the financial bolstering of investors, which is the key driver of growth and gives them significant advantage over small innovative companies. New challenges of the digital age are associated with the growing influence of digital platforms that organize interactions; user actions are being leveraged into external network effects. A key area of ​​the new regulatory policy should be to promote the openness of global networks and reduce barriers to the global spread of innovation."
 
Anna Pozdnyakova, a researcher at the Institute, spoke about the work of the BRICS Antimonopoly Center and plans for its development: “We at the BRICS Antimonopoly Center see our main task as assistance to the competition authorities of the BRICS countries across the entire spectrum of antitrust issues. We plan to carry out work on both in-depth study of individual markets in the BRICS countries, which may raise competition issues, and the provision of advisory assistance and expert support in the investigation of specific cases."
 
Ekaterina Semenova, expert at the BRICS Antimonopoly Center, and also expert at the Institute for Law and Development, spoke at the "Digital Cat" session: The FAS has the initiative Digital Cat, the Brazilian CADE has Project Brain, and BRIAS in Korea. What kind of beast is hiding behind these cats? Why the Cat, Brain and their analogues became the main weapon of antitrust authorities against cartels in the 21st century - this was discussed at a session dedicated to the Big Digital Cat software, which allows you to automatically receive data volume through closed communication channels, analyze it for compliance with the specified criteria, identify cartels on the basis of the analysis and form an evidence base. "It is impossible to work with digital violations with non-digital tools," said the moderator of the session, State Secretary and Deputy Head of the FAS, Andrei Tsarikovsky. “Cartels have gone digital and become more sophisticated, so a set of software tools is needed to deal with them.” Ekaterina Semenova presented an overview of the various screening programs used by the competition authorities of countries around the world, and noted the need to create an international digital platform for data exchange: "Screening programs are a revolution in the field of cartel identification, as they allowed to automate this process. But you can’t put an end to this, the next step is an upgrade to 'neuro-screening' based on the most advanced methods of machine learning, for which the antitrust authorities have to significantly increase datasets and do significant work on the reference markup of data."
 
The session in the BRICS+ format, “Study of Competition Issues in Pharmaceutical Markets,” was held with the participation of Director of the Institute Alexey Ivanov and intern researcher Daria Kotova. Alexey spoke about the social issues of the pharmaceutical industry and the near future, which lawmakers should be prepared for: “For Russia today, probably one of the most difficult questions is the question of how to ensure, on the one hand, the effective provision of medicines to the widest possible population and enable them to receive the latest medications, but at the same time to comply with the commercial interests of "big pharma" ... The mass market for pharmaceuticals is becoming a thing of the past. The future lies with personalized forms of work with patients, which means that big data will play a huge role. Market leaders will be companies that have gained control over arrays of information. Antitrust regulators should be connected right now, at the initial stage of development of new economic forms, without waiting for the monopolization that occurred due to the use of patent power in the past."