15 July 2021
EPAM Competition Team protects Rosgosstrakh in a precedent-setting case over an antitrust breach

Lawyers of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners successfully represented the interests of Rosgosstrakh in a case initiated under the exemption from liability program, during which Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) for the first time considered anti-competitive agreements between two independent insurance companies.

Agency contracts that set plans for the collection of insurance premiums (penalties for failure to comply with the contracts), as well as penalties for early termination of contracts, collectively contradict the requirements of antitrust legislation. Attorneys of the Firm managed to prove that these were not ordinary civil law contracts between the companies, but rather anticompetitive agreements that involved public legal relations, influenced competition on the insurance market and violated the rights of policyholders who had been misled about the insurance product.

Following the results of the proceedings on July 14, 2021, the Federal Antimonopoly Service ruled that Article 11(4) of the Law on Protection of Competition on Life, Health and Medical Insurance Markets had been violated and issued an order to terminate the anticompetitive agreements. Under the indemnity programme, Rosgosstrakh is to be exempt of a fine, while the fine for the counterparty could amount to RUB 300m.

The competition team working on the matter included Senior Associate Olga Denchenkova and was headed by Partner Anna Numerova. 

“The case had been pending since October 2020 amid significant personnel changes at the Antimonopoly Service. The regulator's decision could be decisive for the ongoing litigation between the insurance companies,” said Anna Numerova.

"We have made a number of attempts to terminate the agreements before the proceedings at the FAS commission," said Natalia Cheltsova, Vice President for Legal Affairs at Rosgosstrakh. "Rosgosstrakh is in agreement with the FAS commission’s decision and will take steps to comply with the improvement notice issued by the antimonopoly authority".

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