FAS Advertising attracted FAS
FAS reported the initiation of the case on the violation of the law “On Advertising” in relation to LLC “Yandex” and its client who placed in the Yandex.Direct system advertising financial services, despite the lack of a corresponding license. This is the first time that the antimonopoly authority was seriously interested in advertising representatives of the “gray” financial market at the request of licensed participants.
On Tuesday, the FAS issued information on the initiation of the case against LLC Yandex and LLC Process-A on the grounds of violation of the law “On Advertising”. The essence of the antimonopoly claims is “the placement of advertising services, the provision of which requires the availability of a license of the Central Bank, and the absence of the full name of the person providing the services in advertising materials.” According to the text of the FAS release, the system “Yandex.Direct” posted an advertisement containing the keywords “forex online” and “binary options.”In addition, according to the agency, in the advertising messages there was no information about the person carrying out the advertised activity. There was also no site on which the automatic transfer from the advertising message was carried out. The case will be examined by the Moscow OFAS on September 14.
Judging by the information on the corporate website of Process-A LLC (operates in Russia under the PrimePay brand), the company offers services to organize the collection of electronic payments for the Internet business. As it became known to Kommersant, the advertising messages that aroused the interest of the antimonopolists contained an indication of the service for trading the so-called binary options OlympTrade (already known by the advertising case with the participation of the trader Zakharchenko,”Kommersant” from November 24, 2016) and a contact phone number from the Russian version of its website (owned and operated by Smartex International Ltd, registered in the Seychelles). According to Kommersant’s information, in the messages, which the developer of Process-A was the customer, contained, in particular, advertising services for the sale of the “Option on EUR / USD”. According to Alexei Kostovarov, adviser to the law firm Liniya Prava, the indication of the option sale automatically sends the consumer to the legal field, since the definition of an option as a derivative of a financial instrument is directly contained in the law “On the securities market”, as well as in the CBR directive of February 16, 2015 year “On the types of derivative financial instruments”.Accordingly, only companies licensed by the professional participant of the securities market have the right to render services for the sale of this instrument. “In addition, if at the same time the consumer is offered, in fact, another tool, then this can be recognized as a violation of the law,” Mr. Kostovarov said. In OlympTrade reported that the company does not participate in this matter: “We have not been notified by the Federal Antimonopoly Service about bringing to this proceeding.As we have new information, we are ready to inform you. ” On the request of “b” in LLC “Process-A” on Tuesday did not answer. In Yandex, the questions of Kommersant were also not answered in substance, only saying that they “received the UFAS determination to initiate the case, we are preparing for its consideration”.
This is the first time that the antimonopoly authority was seriously interested in advertising “gray” companies that do not have licenses from the Central Bank and are not part of the core SROs, on the application of legal participants in the financial market. The case was initiated on the basis of the application of the Association of Forex Dealers (AFD). According to its head Yevgeny Masharov, monitoring the Internet space for the illegal placement of advertising by “gray” participants in the financial market, including the forex market, is one of the activities of the SRO.”The advertising messages in question were posted to Yandex.Direct in March 2017, at the same time we forwarded the application to the FAS,” he explained. In addition, two more statements were sent to FAS with respect to other companies, but so far no action has been taken against them. In the development of the AFD, Mr. Masharov noted, there are several other similar cases.
According to Stanislav Zhdanovsky, the lawyer of the law firm “Dmitry Matveyev and Partners”, although the case promises to be interesting, but its prospects are not quite obvious. “Binary options are outside the regulated field, so it will not be easy to prove the violation of the law,” he said. At the same time, Mr. Zhdanovsky points out that if the agency succeeds in proving this, the guilty, according to the norms of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, could face a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 rubles.