In an interview with the world's largest specialized publication Global Competition Review, Olha Pishchanska, the Chair of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, spoke about the work of the AMCU in the conditions of war, the main challenges and vision of the post-war situation in the economy. In particular, she emphasized that the AMCU will play a key role in the post-war recovery of the Ukrainian economy.
"We are often asked whether the competition law will be mitigated during the recovery phase, and we answer: no, it will not. In particular, we have studied the experience of several countries that mitigated their legislation during the post-World War II reconstruction. This caused significant problems with the monopolization of certain markets", - said the AMCU Head.
According to her, the AMCU also continues to monitor compliance with state aid legislation. Although at the beginning of the war all state aid provided during martial law was recognized as compatible, preventive work is now being done with its major providers to avoid "negative consequences in the future". Olha Pishchanska confirmed the need to strengthen the AMCU, given the enormous challenges associated with the country's recovery.
"Long before the Russian invasion, Ukraine started reforming its antitrust legislation. After all, we are obliged to implement the minimum standards set out in the ECN+ Directive. Among other things, it requires that the authority has access to information necessary for investigations from companies, the state, local governments and, of course, individuals", - said the head of the Ukrainian competition authority, adding that the introduction of the necessary tools is planned as part of a three-stage reform.
Answering a question about the AMCU's priorities for the near future, the head of the authority noted that this year the AMCU will focus on the areas that are most important for the economy and the lives of our citizens: energy, including fuel markets, banking, construction, state aid and public procurement.
"Tender collusion, regardless of whether it occurs in peacetime or wartime, is one of the most serious violations of competition rules. That is why the AMCU keeps such behavior under special control. Companies that deliberately engage in such collusion in time of war and cause damage to the state, our compatriots and undermine the economy do not deserve any mitigation. Last year, we opened 226 new cases of collusion in public procurement, tenders and auctions. Another 219 investigations, which may lead to the opening of proceedings in the future, are being finalized. During the war itself, we launched 122 cases and 176 investigations. This is a lot, given the difficult situation of Ukraine and its economy today", - said Olha Pishchanska.
The interview also focused on the peculiarities of reviewing merger filings, the situation on the markets during the war, the internal organization of the AMCU's work, and the challenges the authority faced during this period.
"The biggest help for Ukraine now will be to stop any cooperation with the aggressor and continue investing in our country. We, including the AMCU, will do our best to ensure a level playing field for business and investment protection. We also need weapons now. And never stop believing in our victory. It is very important for us", - the AMCU Head concluded.
The full text of the interview is available at the link: https://globalcompetitionreview.com/article/qa-olha-pishchanska