From Russia, An Antitrust Cooperation Agreement
Russia’s head antitrust agency, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (“FAS”), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to promote greater cooperation between the two governments on antitrust issues.
FAS Head Igor Artemyev, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Christine Varney signed the MOU in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
The MOU provides that the two countries will inform each other of basic activities of the two antitrust agencies, exchange their views on options for development of bilateral cooperation in competition enforcement, and exchange materials on their areas of authority and expertise. Chairman Leibowitz stated with regard to the agreement between the two countries, “We are delighted to enter into this antitrust Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service. It will enable us to enhance our cooperation, provide a framework for technical cooperation, and facilitate consultation on policy and enforcement matters with our counterpart in this important jurisdiction.”
According to an FAS press release, “The Parties underlined [the] importance of this negotiation and focused on [the] necessity and willingness to further develop interaction in the sphere of competition policy aimed at [the] creation of benign trade and economic conditions for the economic entities of both countries.”
This is the first antitrust cooperation MOU entered into on a direct basis. Although the U.S. has multiple antitrust cooperation agreements involving other countries, this is the first antitrust cooperation MOU entered into on a direct agency-to-agency basis.