Legal support of inspections of antimonopoly bodies
The competence of FAS Russia includes: state control over compliance with antimonopoly legislation, identification and elimination of its violations, prevention of monopolistic activities and unfair competition, as well as control over bidding.
In connection with this, the antimonopoly authority was given the right to conduct planned and unscheduled inspections, which can be in the form of exit and documentary checks. Field visits are conducted at the location of the inspected business entity and (or) in the place where the activity is actually carried out. Documentary - at the location of the antimonopoly body.
Grounds for conducting the audit
The main statutory legal act that defines the legal status of the antimonopoly body - FAS Russia, as well as its powers to conduct inspections, is Federal Law No. 135-FZ of July 26, 2006 "On Protection of Competition" (hereinafter - the Law on Protection of Competition).
Article 25.1 of the Law on Protection of Competition establishes the grounds for scheduled and unscheduled inspections. Thus, scheduled inspections are conducted after a three-year period from the day:
- creation of a legal entity or registration of an individual entrepreneur;
- the end of the last scheduled inspection by the antimonopoly body of the audited entity.
The reasons for an unscheduled audit can be:
- materials received from law enforcement agencies, other state bodies, from local self-government bodies, from public associations, from the Commissioner for Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs under the President of the Russian Federation, authorized to protect the rights of entrepreneurs in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and indicating signs of violation of the antimonopoly legislation;
- messages and statements of individuals or legal entities, media reports indicating signs of violation of antimonopoly legislation;
- the expiration of the term of execution of the order issued following the results of the investigation of the case on violation of the antimonopoly legislation, or when exercising state control over economic concentration;
- instructions of the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation;
- detection by the antimonopoly body of signs of violation of the antimonopoly legislation.
The objectives of the FAS inspections are to establish that the actions and decisions taken by the companies in the course of their activities comply with the requirements of the antimonopoly legislation.
The basis for conducting an audit is always the order of the head of the antimonopoly body. When conducting an audit, the antimonopoly authority has no right to demand from the auditee information and documents not related to the subject matter of the audit, as well as information and documents that can be obtained by the antimonopoly authority from other state control (supervision) authorities and municipal control bodies.
As a general rule, the antimonopoly inspection period is one month. But the Law on Protection of Competition provides for the possibility of extending it for two months, for example, if it is necessary to carry out various studies, examinations, and translation of documents. But in any case, the maximum period of verification should not exceed three months.
Often an organization that is not fully aware of the subject matter of the audit, its limits and the specifics of the procedure, or the powers of the officials of the inspection bodies, may allow violation of their rights on their part. To avoid such situations it is necessary to obtain qualified legal support.
The specialists of the BRACE Law Firm have extensive experience in the field of antitrust law and possess all the necessary knowledge and skills to accompany any kind of inspections conducted by the antimonopoly authorities, and also have extensive practice of challenging their results.
We provide the following legal services:
- legal support for inspections conducted by the Federal Antimonopoly Service;
- preparation of the position and evidence base for the elimination / minimization of FAS Russia's penalties;
- preparation of an analytical review (compilation) of judicial / arbitration practice on a specific issue or category of cases;
- appealing decisions and orders of branches of FAS Russia to a higher body;
- appealing decisions and orders of bodies of FAS Russia in a judicial procedure.
- Consulting on the application of antimonopoly legislation
- Appealing decisions and orders of the antimonopoly body in the court
- Representation of interests in cases in the antimonopoly authority
- Elaboration of trade policies and other documents
- Legal support for the application of legislation on trading activities
- Legal support of the coordination of transactions with the antimonopoly authority