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IP/11/278

Brussels, 10 March 2011

Competition: Vice President Almunia signs cooperation agreement with Russian competition authority

Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of competition policy, and Igor Artemyev, Head of the Russian Anti Monopoly Service (FAS), sign today in Brussels a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation between the competition authorities of the EU and Russia. The Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework for administrative cooperation, dialogue and exchanges between the Commission's competition department and Russia's competition authority.

Joaquín Almunia said: “This Memorandum of Understanding will give new impetus to our cooperation with Russia on competition issues. Today, we have formalised the basis for our future cooperation and signed our commitment to intensify ties".

The Memorandum of Understanding constitutes a framework for dialogue on competition policy matters and for sharing views and non-confidential information on individual cases. Russia is a major economy and an important trading partner for the EU. Intensifying cooperation on competition matters will benefit both the EU and Russia. The MoU foresees that the parties endeavour to meet, as necessary, to discuss developments in competition policy, legislation and enforcement, to exchange information on economic sectors of common interest and to exchange views on competition issues.

Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding are the Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission and the Federal Anti Monopoly Service of the Russian Federation ("FAS").

The European Commission enforces competition rules for the European Union as a whole notably for what concerns the review of mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (defined in Article 1 of the Merger Regulation in force since 1990) and the fight against cartels and abuses of dominant positions (respectively Articles 101 and 102 of the EU Treaty).

The Commission has engaged actively in cooperation with competition authorities of many countries outside the EU. Cooperation with some of them is based on bilateral agreements dedicated entirely to competition (so-called "dedicated agreements"). In other cases, competition provisions are included as part of wider general agreements such as free Trade Agreements, Partnership and Cooperation Agreements, Association Agreements, etc.

For an overview of co-operations agreements with third countries go to:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/international/bilateral/


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