Recently there were several conferences dedicated to anti-corruption and antimonopoly compliance in Russia. One of the main issues discussed between representatives of international business and representatives of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) was FAS's approach to the selection of business partners by companies holding a dominant position.
On Wednesday March 21, 2012 at the 4th Russia and CIS summit on anti-corruption, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Kashevarov and Timofey Nizhegorodtsev, Head of the Department for Social Sphere and Trade of FAS announced recent changes in FAS's approach to the selection of business partners by companies holding a dominant position.
Mr. Nizhegorodtsev clarified that US anti-corruption legislation, particularly the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, does not contradict Russian antimonopoly legislation. In fact, US anti-corruption legislation and Russian antimonopoly legislation complement each other.
FAS representatives emphasized that it is essential for companies to work out their own regulations on selection of business partners and to upload them to their websites. Rules regarding the selection of business partners should be precise, unambiguous and applied to all potential business partners.
Mr. Kashevarov also pointed out that companies who refuse to conclude agreements with its potential business partners based on suspicions that a potential business partner is involved in corrupt practices are expected to publish the information about such refusals on their websites. FAS believes that this will increase transparency of business and allow potential business partners who were unjustifiably rejected to defend their rights in court.
As controversial as FAS' recommendations may be, following them may reduce the risk of antimonopoly investigations and dawn raids for companies holding a dominant position. Its recommendations are however likely to be continually adjusted and developed and we will continue to keep you updated.