Competition Council imposed over EUR 80 M fines in 2020

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The Competition Council imposed fines of over EUR 82.7 million last year, with 2020 ranking third on terms of total fine revenues enforced by the authority over the years.

However, unlike the previous years, over 40% of the total amount of fines was acknowledged by the companies, which means that some firms admitted the deeds and were granted discounts.

“We expect that many companies do not challenge the fines in court”, said Bogdan Chirițoiu, the president of the Competition Council.

The most important fines imposed in 2020:

  • fines around EUR 26.6 million imposed to 31 companies operating on the saw logs market;
  • fines around EUR 26.5 M to nine companies operating on the market of agricultural car, equipment sales;
  • fines around EUR 8.47 M imposed to the Association of the Financial Societies in Romania and to 16 companies members of the association;
  • fines of around EUR 6.7 M to Dante International SA, as owner and administrator of eMAG Marketplace for abuse of dominant position on the online marketplace platforms market;
  • fines of around EUR 2.6 M to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK);
  • fines of around  EUR 1 million to the Confederation of Authorized Operators and Carriers in Romania COTAR) and to 18 companies operating on the passenger and road transport market for a deal on limiting or suspending the public road transport of passengers in Bucharest and some localities in Ilfov;
  • fines of around EUR 468,000 to five companies for rigging the auction for the rehabilitation of streets in Pitesti.

13 investigations on possible breaches of the Competition Law were opened in 2020, by 40% more than in 2019. The Council had 33 ongoing investigations at the end of 2020, with half of them targeting cartel-like deals.

According to Bogdan Chiritoiu, the council expects to conclude this year investigations on energy, pharma and insurances. “We have investigations on the agrifood sector, another probing into the sales of eggs, an investigation on the pharma sector with suspicions over a boycott of the immunoglobulin producers and we also expect to conclude an inquiry on energy, related to Hidroelectrica’s conduct and another on the connection to the E-ON gas network.”

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