Competition Council Probes Into Romania’s Electric Meter Reading Market

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The Competition Council launched an investigation into suspected rigging of some public tenders organized by some contracting authorities/entities for the awarding of electricity meter reading service contracts in Romania.

The competition authority has indications that the companies Andrem Strategy S.R.L. and Electro Strategy S.R.L would have coordinated their commercial policies so as to share their works within the public procurement procedures organized by contracting entities such as Distributie Energie Electrică Romania, E Distributie Muntenia, Distributie Energie Oltenia, Societatea de Distributie a Energiei Electrice Transilvania Sud S.A. , Societatea de Energiei Electrice Muntenia Nord S.A., E-Distributie Banat S.A. 

In this context, the Competition Council carried out unannounced inspections at the headquarters of the companies targeted by the investigation, as well as at Serveelectro Integral S.R.L. and Serv H.R. Integral S.R.L., considering the commercial ties with Andrem Strategy S.R.L.

The documents raised are under the analysis of the Romanian competition authority, within the specific procedures.

The unannounced inspections represent an important stage in the investigation procedures of a possible anti-competitive behavior, their performance not representing a pre-pronouncement of the Competition Council regarding the existence of a violation of the Competition Law. The unannounced inspections were authorized by the Bucharest Court of Appeal and are justified by the need to obtain all the information and documents necessary to clarify the possible anti-competitive practices analyzed.

If the Competition Council finds a violation of the competition rules, the companies involved risk fines of up to 10% of the turnover. However, companies that cooperate with the competition authority, under the leniency program, can obtain immunity from the fine or substantial reductions of the fines.

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