REG.RU vs Beget: Debriefing

    A little less than a year ago, a fascinating story began when REG.RU unilaterally terminated a partnership agreement with Beget. I became interested in how things are going with this issue, and I decided to inquire about the proceedings with the direct participants, as the statements of each of the parties were quite unfounded. I asked questions to both sides. REG.RU limited themselves to an answer containing common phrases, but Beget in the person of redfenix agreed to explain their position and provide all the documents.


    - Please tell us why the conflict arose?

    On June 06, 2018, many domain owners began to receive emails from REG.RU registrar by e-mail. They said that Beget, previously a partner of REG.RU, ceases to be considered as such, and domain names will be served by REG.RU directly.

    The year before, we became an independent domain name registrar, which, in our opinion, served as the impetus for the termination of the contract with us and all sorts of charges.

    - Which authorities had to interact with and on what issues?

    On June 8, 2018, REG.RU filed a complaint against us with the ANO Coordination Center for the Internet’s national domain . In it, REG.RU representatives demanded:

    • to conduct an unscheduled inspection of the accredited registrar Beget LLC for compliance with the requirements of the coordinator;
    • suspend the accreditation of the registrar LLC Beget.

    The focal point initiated unscheduled inspections at both registrars. As a result, Beget did not find any violations , while REG.RU found violations .

    On June 13, 2018, REG.RU filed a complaint with the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) : the

    complaint was accepted for consideration, and three meetings were held. I had to prepare a huge amount of statistics, it took me more than a week to collect the metrics. The FAS decision is available here , RU-CENTER and R01 registrars were involved as interested parties .

    The FAS decision - To terminate the consideration of the case No. 1-14.6-429 / 78-01-18, since there is no violation of antitrust law in the actions of Beget LLC (OGRN 1077847645590, TIN 7801451618) considered by the commission.

    Complaints and decisions

    Complaint to Roskomnadzor - there were no violations on our part, there was no verification - we were simply asked for comments.

    - Have you done any response?

    Yes, we filed a lawsuit to terminate the contract illegally.

    There was a rather interesting situation: the court of first instance rejected our claim, since we did not present monetary claims, and the wording was as follows:
    Having examined these arguments, the court concluded that the plaintiff chose an inappropriate way to protect the violated right, since it was not aimed at restoring contractual relations. In this case, the plaintiff’s arguments that the defendant does not have a legal basis for a unilateral cancellation of the contract can be examined when considering a claim of one of the parties for damages related to such termination. Or in a lawsuit aimed at protecting business reputation, which was also indicated by the plaintiff.

    The decision of the appeal de jure acknowledged that we had no violations:
    At the same time, at the court hearing of the court of appeal, the contractor (LLC “Registrar of domain names REG.RU”) could not explain what exactly the violations of the contract on the part of the customer consist of (LLC Beget) and bring any evidence of such violations .
    The Contractor (LLC "Domain Name Registrar REG.RU") has implemented the stipulated in paragraph 2 of Art. 782 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation the right to refuse to execute the contract for the provision of services for compensation provided that the customer (Beget LLC) is fully reimbursed for losses.

    This decision of the court suits us, as the court recognized that we had no breaches of the contract.

    - Are any checks ongoing or can the incident be considered exhausted?

    Now we have submitted an application to the FAS, since we believe that REG.RU:

    1. I violated the law on advertising by launching an advertisement on VK with the information that we are breaking the law. Although this is not so, and only authorized bodies could establish it;
    2. Entering our people astray and send them the requirements to remove the material from the Internet;
    3. By adding an exclusivity clause to an affiliate agreement, it abuses the dominant position in the market. In other words, it can influence the price of a service by non-market methods. A rather complicated point;
    4. Abuses the law, initiating a mass of checks against us, which in essence did not pursue the identification and elimination of possible violations.

    The text of the statement of our application to the FAS can be found here . The FAS is currently considering our application.

    From the author, as a result

    If you summarize the documents that were provided:

    1. Complaint to the CC - no violations were found with Beget, found with REG.RU;
    2. Complaint to Roskomnadzor - Beget did not find any violations, there was no verification;
    3. Complaint to the Federal Antimonopoly Service - Beget didn’t find any violations; REG.RU is currently considering;
    4. The application to the court was rejected, although Beget was satisfied with the wording in the effective part.

    I would like to hear the comments of REG.RU representatives on this issue.

    UPD The representative of REG.RU Alessandra in the comments expressed the opinion of the company :
    1. CC really found minor flaws in our partnership agreement (some of the wordings of the document, according to CC, did not comply with the rules). As soon as possible, all necessary changes were made. The issue has been resolved.

    2. In the proceedings in the FAS, according to the statement of REG.RU, in the course of the case the materials of both Beget and REG.RU were investigated. Based on the results of the consideration, the case was dismissed. However, we consider Beget's violation of antitrust law unresolved. Currently, we have initiated an appeal against the decision of the FAS in court.

    3. The trial in the Moscow Arbitration Court was initiated by Beget. In a lawsuit, Beget requested that REG.RU's refusal to fulfill the contract be invalidated. The judge examined Beget’s arguments and found them unsubstantiated and the claim was denied. But Beget did not agree with the arguments of the court and filed an appeal to the 9th Arbitration Court of Appeal, which also confirmed that Beget was wrong and recognized the earlier court decision in the case as lawful.
    No violations by REG.RU were found. Violations of Beget, which served as the basis for termination of the contract, were not the subject of a dispute in the case and were not assessed by the court.

    4. The application submitted by Beget to the FAS regarding the alleged violations of antitrust laws by REG.RU, we received a few days ago. We are preparing explanations. In our work, we do not see any violations of antitrust laws.

    5. Abuses of law and the checks Beget writes about on our part were not. On the contrary, we decided not to sue and not demand compensation from Beget for the losses incurred, initiating only the appeal process of the FAS decision.

    We protect our customers and reputation, in connection with which we have appealed to the competent authorities with complaints about Beget’s actions, which we consider to be violations.

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