FAS vs Marketplaces: topical issues of legal regulation

FAS vs Marketplaces: topical issues of legal regulation

In recent years, the e-commerce market in Russia has been actively developing, and marketplaces play a key role in this process. Marketplaces are Internet trading platforms where users can purchase goods from different sellers online. They act as intermediaries between sellers and buyers.

According to Data Insight, in 2023 the total turnover of the online retail market in Russia amounted to 7.8 trillion rubles, the number of online orders increased by 78% to 5.03 billion rubles. It seems that in 2024 the sales volume in the Russian eCommerce market may reach 10.2 trillion rubles, the growth may reach 30%.

Popuar marketplaces in Russia include Wildberries, Ozon, Yandex Market, SberMegaMarket and AliExpress Russia. 

Russia already has an antimonopoly law that regulates the activities of marketplaces. This law was signed by the President in July 2023 and concerns marketplaces whose market share exceeds 35% and whose annual revenue exceeds 2 billion rubles. 

Antimonopoly regulation is aimed at protecting competition and the interests of marketplace sellers. The main tools of antimonopoly regulation include:

- setting price ceilings for goods;

- prohibition of setting different prices for the same goods;

- prohibition of removing goods from sale if this leads to higher prices;

- prohibition of imposing unfavorable contract terms or refusal to conclude contracts without justified reasons;

- prohibition of reducing or stopping the sale of goods without good reasons;

- setting price limits for marketplace services;

- prohibition to create discriminatory conditions for sellers;

- restricting or preventing sellers from entering or leaving the platform.

After Wildberries and Ozon were recognized as dominant on the market, their partners were able to apply to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and courts to protect their interests.

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