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Bucharest
August 13, 2022
BUSINESSCOMPANIESECONOMY

Competition Council launches for the first time an investigation on the labour market

The Competition Council has launched, for the first time, an investigation aimed at a possible anti-competitive conduct of some companies on the labor market in the field of car production and other related activities in Romania, according to a press release of the competition authority sent on Monday to AGERPRES.

The investigated companies are: Renault Technologie Roumanie, Alten Si-Techno Romania, Akka Romserv, Bertrandt Engineering Technologies Romania, Expleo Romania, Fev Ece Automotive and Segula Technologies Romania.

Thus, the competition authority has indications regarding a possible coordination of the conduct of some competing companies in order to share the market of skilled / specialized workforce in the field of automotive engineering activities and to impose a minimum level of salary rights.

The so-called “no-poach” practices by which companies agree not to contact, recruit and / or hire people who work and / or have worked for any of the companies involved, eliminate real competition between companies to attract employees, creating artificial barriers on the market, reducing labor mobility, even keeping it captive.

Basically, these agreements have the consequence of maintaining the level of salaries for the respective specializations at an artificial level, lower than the real one.

In this context, the Competition Council carried out unannounced inspections at the headquarters and offices of the investigated companies.

Unexpected inspections represent an important step in the procedures for investigating possible anti-competitive conduct, as they do not represent a pre-ruling of the Competition Council regarding the existence of a violation of the Competition Law.

The documents submitted are under the analysis of the Romanian competition authority, within the specific procedures. Unexpected inspections have been authorized by the Bucharest Court of Appeal and are justified by the need to obtain all the information and documents intended to clarify the possible anti-competitive practices analyzed.

Segula Technologies Romania was fined 441,494.13 lei for refusing to receive to an inspection by the competition authority, respectively it did not allow access to competition inspectors in order to inspect the e-mail account of the sole administrator of the company.

If, during the investigation, the Competition Council finds a violation of the competition rules, the companies involved risk fines of up to 10% of turnover.

However, companies cooperating with the competition authority under the leniency program may obtain immunity from fines or substantial reductions in fines.

 

The investigation was also launched as a result of the information received on the Alarm Platform.

 

Persons directly affected by the possible company coordination under investigation may resort to the competition authority.

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