ECONOMY FINANCE&BANKING

Competition Council hands down sanctions worth 93 million euro in 2018

The Competition Council handed down fines worth a total of 435 million lei (93 million euro) in 2018, this being the second year with the highest fines in the history of the institution, President of the Competition Council Bogdan Chiritoiu told a news conference on Tuesday.

By comparison, in 2017, there were handed down fines worth 123 million lei.

“It was a year with a very intense activity, the second year in terms of the level of sanctions in the Council’s history, with 93 million euro in total, with a success on the state aid area – the Olchim case. We had an intense activity, in an agitated year. Last week, we carried out our activity review meeting and I thanked the colleagues for managing to keep their calm and head, as well as for working very well and intensely, with all the disturbances around them,” Chiritoiu stated., according to Agerpres.

He added that this year, too, it will be just as “agitated and confusing.”

“But I am convinced that we will manage to work just as intensely and successfully,” the Competition Council President mentioned.

Of the total fines, most of them were enforced for the formation of cartels, namely 62.1 percent. 22 percent of the fines were handed down for vertical agreements and 15 percent for abuse of dominant position.

The most important fine was worth 53 million euro on the RCA mandatory civil liability insurance market, followed by the 18.8 million euro fine on the retail area and Orange’s abuse of dominant position, which had to pay 14 million euro.

At the end of 2018, the Competition Council had 37 ongoing investigations regarding the possible breach of the Competition Law, one more compared to the same period last year. 21 of the investigations conducted on 31 December 2018 were aimed at cartel arrangements and 11 at abuse of dominant position.

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