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Competition Policy in Russia: Historical Sources, the Current State, and Evolutionary Perspectives

Yuri Rubin, Denis Matvienko, Jan 27, 2011

In structured market systems, state competition policy is an inherent part of the government's activity in the context of competition protection and development and, as such, acts as an essential pillar of an existing, viable market system. The rational observer understands the defense of competition to be the cornerstone of fair competition, not only supporting sustainable conditions for the development of competition but also allowing responsible and fair competitors to strengthen their competitiveness, either directly or indirectly. In transitioning economies such as Russia competition policies gain special importance in economic development and have special interests to global competition practitioners.

Until recently, state competition policy in Russia was construed to mean antimonopoly policy. The antimonopoly trend was justified during the dangerous period of transforming the Soviet-type monopolies into classic market-based monopolies. During this time it was necessary to formulate the components to create a system to counteract monopolistic behavior and protect the principles of market competition that were born from the difficult times of perestroika. This antimonopoly trend is prevalent in the competition policy today. However, being concentrated on protecting competition, this policy lacks the full measures necessary to stimulate developing competition.

In this article, the evolution of views on competition and competition policy will be examined, beginning with historic Soviet views, then taking into account the views on competition from the perestroika period, and culminating with current views.  Moreover, the directions and tools of modern competition policy in Russia and the prospects of its further evolution will also be considered.

 

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