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.