YEREVAN, March 13. / ARKA /. Armenia’s anti-rust agency, the State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition (SCPEC), imposed last year 245 million drams worth penalties on local companies for various violations and abuse of their dominating positions in the market, according to SCPEC chairman Artak Shaboyan.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference called to sum up the outcome of a Twinning program to improve competitive environment in Armenia, he said the agency began a crackdown on companies violating antitrust laws in 2010. He cited some figures saying that in 2008-2009 the SCPEC ruled 31 times to penalize companies for breach of law; 107 times in 2010, 197 times in 2011 and 215 times last year.
He said the Twinning program contributed to the development of institutional capacity of SCPEC, whose personnel had a training course in Germany, resulting in a significant improvement of their professional skills. Shaboyan said the agency’s work was also praised by some international organizations.
"According to the World Competitiveness Report, Armenia has improved its position by 43 points regarding presence of monopolies in the market, by 22 points its standing regarding effective antitrust progress and by 9 points regarding improved local competition, " he said.
He said planned changes in the antitrust law will increase SCPEC’s powers with an emphasis on public procurement, since last year's study shows that public procurement significantly affect the competitive landscape in Armenia. He added that planned changes envisage also toughening penalties for unfair competition. ($ 1 - 411.21 drams)-0-