Will the Anti-Monopoly Service return?
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, February 26Since Kakha Bendukidze left his post speculation about reestablishing the Anti-Monopoly Service has started. Bendukidze closed this down but many experts today insist that this organization should be revived.
Regardless of whether he is in office or not the legacy of Bendukidze inertia continues and there are still some who defend the Service’s abolition. In 2005 the state law on free trade and competition was adopted to replace the Service but this could not regulate every aspect of fair competition and left open the possibility of monopolies emerging. The special Agency for Free Trade and Competition is part of the Economic Development Ministry but is not immune to various types of influence.
International organizations have already detected negative results from abolishing the old anti-monopoly regulations. Transparency International Georgia research shows that there are monopolies in the pharmaceutical business, civil aviation and import operarations. Both outside observers and the general population complain about the increasing prices of pharmaceutical goods, which are making difficult living conditions even more distressing.
European structures have demanded that Georgia harmonize its legislation with European standards and thus create a control body to ensure fair competition. EBRD assumes that, based on the experience of other countries in transition, effective privatization should be reinforced by other reforms. Bodies to regulate fair competition are needed, and the relevant rules and regulations and laws should be passed based on common sense.