An Examination of Criminalization of Russia’s Anti-Bid Rigging Policy

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The paper investigates enforcement of criminal sanctions in anti-bid rigging policy in Russia. Although cartels were criminalized in 1997, parties of numerous anticompetitive agreements on tenders are punished by corporate or individual fines, or disqualified. Statistics on sentences for bid rigging are highly controversial although legislative conditions for efficient criminalization are presented not only by criminal norms but also by leniency programmes in administrative and criminal proceedings which were designed to contribute to anticartel enforcement.

The aim of this research is to determine factors that have caused the very rare use of criminal sanctions for cartel enforcement with the focus on bid rigging. For the purpose of the research, the paper outlines the regulation of tendering in Russia and the system of sanctions for bid rigging, including leniency. Case analysis of the first custodial sentence for anticompetitive agreement on a public tender highlights specific features resulting in successful prosecution. Since this is one of the first attempts to assess criminalization of bid rigging in Russia, original empirical data including interviews with officials from federal competition authorities and regional representatives constitute the basis of the study.

Findings of the research determine the influence of social norms on the enforcement as the main challenge for criminalization of bid rigging which is weighed down by the insufficient political influence of competition authorities. The paper’s findings may be of interest for assessing enforcement in other jurisdictions experiencing the same difficulties.

About the Author

Natalya Mosunova
University of East Anglia
Russian Federation

LL.M. in International Commercial and Competition Law (University of East Anglia), Ph.D. Student;

Member of the Centre for Competition Policy, Head of Legal Department Adecco Group Russia,

2/3 Paveletskaya sq., Moscow, 115054


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Supplementary files

For citation: Mosunova N. An Examination of Criminalization of Russia’s Anti-Bid Rigging Policy. Russian Law Journal. 2015;3(4):32-74.

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