MOL Romania loses lawsuit against the Competition Council, is to pay RON 64m fine

MOL Romania has lost the lawsuit against the Competition Council, following the decision of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court) confirming that this company participated in a cartel agreement, along with other companies on the fuel market in Romania. The verdict is final.
ICCJ decided however that the initially set fine to be decreased from RON 80.2 million to RON 64 million, informs B1 TV, quoted by ziare.com.
“It’s the start of the successful conclusion of these files (lawsuits with companies in the oil sector). Five cases were won, this is a final verdict. The Council learned that following a series of meetings during the main oil companies in the country they decided to coordinate their behaviour in the sense that they decided to pull out of the market an assortment of gasoline. For us this meant the formation of an illegal cartel. The verdict encourages us to be optimistic about the other decisions ahead. We expect another two verdicts next week, three sometime in autumn. The fine was EUR 200 million in total. The money had already been cashed. Ultimately, that’s what we want: we want the companies to know that if you do not observe the law, you will be punished,” said Bogdan Chiritoiu, the president of the Competition Council.
At the end of 2011, the Competition Council sanctioned six oil companies with a fine of nearly RON 880 million (EUR 205 million) for setting up a cartel.
The companies had the legal right to challenge the sanction in court. The remaining five lawsuits are currently pending.
OMV Petrom, OMV Petrom Marketing, Rompetrol Downstream, ENI Romania, MOL Petroleum and Lukoil Romania were fined because they reached an understanding to get off the market an assortment of gasoline, Premium Eco, which violated the Competition Act.
The fine represented 3% of the turnover registered in 2010 by these companies. Petrom has received the highest penalty because, according to the competition authority, was the initiator of the cartel.
At the time, the decision was an unprecedented one not only in Romania, but also in Europe.
Original fines by the Competition Council:
– SC OMV Petrom SA – RON 366,530,965
– SC OMV Petrom Marketing SRL – RON 137,288,031
– SC Lukoil Romania SRL- RON 136,894,846
– SC Rompetrol Downstream SRL – RON 159,553,612
– SC Mol Romania Petroleum Products SRL – RON 80,267,746
– SC ENI Romania SRL – RON 11,194,766

Bogdan ChritoiuCompetition Councileni romaniafinelukoilMOL Romaniaoil companiesOMV PetromRompetrol downstream
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