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State antimonopoly policy in the Republic of Belarus

The norms of competition law of the Republic of Belarus, that are written in the Constitution of the Belarusian Republic, the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus, the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, and antitrust laws, laws on entrepreneurship and small business, investments, banking, standardization, protection of consumers’ rights, advertising, foreign economic activities.

The basis of antimonopoly law  is the law of the Republic of Belarus, named  "the law on counteraction to monopolistic activity and competition development" that defines the institutional and legal frames  for the prevention, restriction and suppression of monopolistic activity and unfair competition in order to ensure the necessary conditions for the establishment and effective functioning of commodity markets, the promotion and development of fair competition, protection  the rights and legitimate interests of consumers. In order to implement the Act the legal base  of the antimonopoly control and regulation  was created and constantly improved. The above mentioned legal base governs the following fundamental questions:

The definition of a dominant position of economic entities at the commodity  markets of the Belarusian Republic ;

The procedure of  formation and maintenance of the State register of economic entities, which occupy the  dominant position at  commodity markets and the State register of natural monopolies

The rules of state antimonopoly control over transactions with  shares, property share contributions to the cooperative property (shares), shares in statutory funds of economic entities;

The procedure  of coordination of conditions  of  transformations of governmental, unitary state, belonging to the Republican property,  and rental companies with occupy the dominant position at the commodity markets, in  joint stock companies;

The procedure of organization and conduction if  inspections on  compliance with competition law by economic entities, which dominate  at commodity markets of the Belarusian Republic;

The procedure of implementation  of the state antimonopoly control over the reorganization of economic entities, which occupy the dominant position at  commodity markets of the Belarusian Republic;

The procedure of identification  and prevention of  anticompetitive prices agreements (concerted actions) ;

The procedure of the identification of monopoly prices;

The procedure of requests (applications), consideration of establishing the appropriate provisions of the agreements, restricting competition;

The procedure of applications (appeals) consideration on violation of antimonopoly legislation in terms of unfair competition;

The procedure of taking measures, aimed at the elimination of violations of antitrust laws.

 

State antitrust policy is aimed at restricting monopolistic activity  and creation of  healthy competition. Antimonopoly Policy of the Republic promotes  the reduction and elimination of administrative, economic, legal, informational and institutional barriers to the entry of new businesses at the markets, achievement of effective protection of proprietary’s’  rights and fair competition for enterprises of all the forms of ownership.

As a result of such reformation  processes of property, de-monopolization of economy in the Republic,  the commodity markets with a competitive structure were formed. However, some commodity markets are monopolized by nature. Thereupon, there is a necessity  of determination of the status and role of market monopolies in the process of commodity markets monitoring, as well as the determination of the appropriate methods of state antimonopoly regulation and control over their activities and behavior at  commodity markets.

The Regulation of natural monopolies activity  will be carried out  by gradual reduction of  the number of commodity markets, where the existence of natural monopoly is recognized ,  the competition is encouraged, entrepreneurship is supported, and the barriers to the entry of new producers are removed.

In those areas, where  the status of natural monopoly reminds for objective technical reasons, and  the possible competition would be destructive, special rigid regulatory restrictions on  pricing, size and quality of service, conditions of service, and rules of consumption , should be imposed .

One of the major components of competitive policy is the ensuring of control over economic concentration. The basis of state control over  the economic concentration is made up by such principles as the common economic space, free movement of goods, services and cash,  competition support, exclusion of activities,  aimed at the monopolization and unfair competition. Within the scope of production concentration overcoming, the number of economic entities of the market should come close to saturation level and shoul not be  a constraint for the development of market relations.

The present stage of economic development puts the problem of economic concentration in the field of creation of economic and financial-industrial groups, holding companies and other associations of economic entities, in a new way. The State antitrust policy should encourage such trends in the sphere of economic concentration, which will have a positive impact on the competitiveness of domestic producers. The Adjustable economic concentration can be considered as one of the elements  of national economic strategy,  through which it is possible to mobilize the industrial capacity available in order to ensure the import substitution at the domestic market and the definite competitive advantages of domestic goods at the  foreign market.

An important and topical area of regulation the relations at the  competitive market is the prevention and suppression of unfair competition. The necessity of developing such a type  of activity of the antimonopoly authority is caused  primarily by  the construction of socially oriented market economy in the Republic, where the  important place belongs to the formation of a civilized competitive environment. The aim of the state  policy in this direction is to develop a civilized and fair business practices, fair  promotion of products and services to the market.

On the basis of the changed economic conditions, the focus of antitrust policy should become the  narrowing of the sphere of direct state prices regulation for goods (works, services) monopoly organizations on the basis of  the differentiated approach to commodity markets and various groups of producers and gradual transition from price regulation to the  system of monopoly regulation and control.

One of the directions of the antitrust policy is to work under the creation of  conditions for the elimination of the possibilities to abuse the  monopolistic  position of business entities,  exempted from  price regulation. Nevertheless, there remains the necessity for price regulation (tariffs) for products, providing national, food and environmental security.

A methodological basis on the  determination of  the order of  price regulation in the field of natural monopolies will require a further development and development as well.