The importance of complying with competition rules stems both from the very large fines that the Romanian Competition Council and the European Commission may apply upon companies for antitrust infringements and from the high percentage of court decisions in favor of the competition authority in case the sanctioning decisions are challenged.
Thus, the Romanian Competition Council may apply fines of up to 10% of the company’s turnover in case of breach of competition rules. In addition, if such sanctioning decisions are challenged in court, over 90% of cases are irrevocably settled in favor of the Competition Council by not annulling the sanction, and in over 60% of cases, the fines are entirely kept.
In this context, observance of competition rules will be made using compliance and prevention mechanisms. Starting with a competition audit of the company’s contracts and business operation, we may prepare you a compliance and training program to ensure the company’s familiarity with the competition rules. Certain contractual arrangements involve a high risk of non-compliance with the competition rules, such as information exchange of sensitive commercial information and standardization arrangements or, in case of vertical agreements between undertakings, exclusive supply or purchase agreements, selective distribution, franchising, or other mechanisms that involve rebate schemes.
In response to Competition Council’s intervention, our expertise consists of:
- assistance and representation before and in relation with the Competition Council during a down-raid or in the context of an investigation;
- representation before the competent courts as to challenge the sanctioning decision, aiming for either the annulment or reduction of the fine imposed.
In addition, we may assist you with the entire process of obtaining the merger clearance (authorization of the economic concentration) from the Competition Council. Our support may also include obtaining compensation for the harm caused following an infringement of the EU and national competition rules. Last but not least, our support also covers the issues of unfair competition (enticing clientele or employees, denigration of a competitor or his products / services, disclosure or use of trade secrets).
- Our assistance determined the initiation of a Competition Council investigation against the authority operating the second largest airport in Romania for refusal to supply access to essential facilities in the ground-handling industry under art. 6 of the Competition Law.
- Assisted a global player in the production and distribution of tile floors for obtaining the merger clearance from the Competition Council in respect of the concentration resulted following the acquisition of an undertaking from the ceramic tiles industry.