COMPANIES ENERGY FINANCE&BANKING

Competition Council wins final lawsuit with OMV Petrom over 2011 record-high fine

The Competition Council won a final and irrevocable ruling in the lawsuit with OMV Petrom whereby the latter challenged the fine ordered on it in 2011, according to a decision published on the website of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

The court however decided to reduce the fine from 366 million lei to 297 million lei.

In late March, the High Court of Cassation and Justice upheld the irrevocable violation of the competition law by OMV Petrom Marketing (which at the date of the offence was operating the OMV gas stations) by participating in a cartel-type collusion with other companies in the fuel business, the Competition Council said in a statement.

The court also reduced the fine imposed by the Competition Council on OMV Petrom Marketing by 20 percent, from 137.2 million lei to 109.8 million lei.

The Competition Council also irrevocably won the lawsuits with MOL Romania, Rompetrol Downstream and Eni Romania.

At the end of 2011 the Competition Council fined six oil companies almost 880 million lei (205 million euros) for entering an anti-competitive agreement. This was the highest fine in the Competition Council’s records.

Investigations by the competition authority revealed that the six companies had violated both the Competition Law and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) by colluding to simultaneously withdraw from the market the Eco Premium gasoline.

OMV Petrom, which at the date of the law violation was operating Petrom and Petrom V gas stations, was fined 366.5 million lei, Petrom Marketing was fined 137.2 million lei, Rompetrol Downstream was sanctioned with 159.5 million lei, Lukoil Romania paid 136.8 million lei, MOL Romania – 80.2 million lei and Eni Romania – 11.1 million lei.

The fines were collected by the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF).

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