Highest fine – EUR 24.06 M – issued against Romanian Post.
The Competition Council (CC) has issued total fines of RON 132.5 M (EUR 31.5 M) last year, in contrast to only RON 8.7 M (EUR 2.3 M) in 2009, an annual report that CC President Bogdan Chiritoiu presented yesterday during a press conference shows. In 2010 the Council fined 49 companies and an association (the Body of Expert and Licensed Accountants of Romania – CECCAR). The largest fine was issued against the Romanian Post Office – RON 103.3 M (EUR 24.06 M). The second-largest fine was issued against Raiffeisen Bank for offering inexact information as part of the investigation on the Romanian banking and inter-banking services – RON 14 M (EUR 3.4 M). Large fines were also issued against 14 companies active on the private pensions market (RON 5.2 M) and against 7 companies that filed false bids in the tender that CNPAS organized for balneary treatment tickets.
At the same time, the CC started 23 investigations in 2010, as against 27 the year before, and finalized 18 investigations in contrast to just 6 in 2009. Moreover, the CC finalized two of the sectoral investigations it started in 2009, one on the milk market and one on the sea transport services market.
Last year the institution conducted 187 unannounced inspections compared to just 50 in 2009. “The value of authorization taxes levied in the cases of economic concentrations (39) stood at RON 6.6 M. In 2009 that value stood at RON 8.5 M,” a CC communiqué shows. On the other hand, the Competition Law was modified through Emergency Ordinance 75/2010, the new provisions allowing the CC to be more flexible and to intervene faster and more efficiently as many times as needed, so that consumers will benefit from the best products and services at competitive prices, the institution pointed out. At the same time, according to CC President Bogdan Chiritoiu, this year the institution could start an investigation on the financial services market.