Raluca Vasilache, Anca Jurcovan and Andreea Oprișan, Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații
Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through: Dominance 2015, (published in December 2014; contributing editors Thomas Janssens and Thomas Wessely, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer).
The abusive behaviour of dominant firms is prohibited by article 6 of the Romanian Competition Law No. 21/1996 (RCL) and article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Article 6 expressly prohibits the abuse of a dominant position held by one or more undertakings on the Romanian market or on a substantial part of it.
Romanian legislature states as primary objectives of the antitrust law the protection and growth of competition on the market and the support of consumers’ welfare. Network industries such as telecommunications, postal services, energy, and railway transport are regulated by specific rules to facilitate market liberalisation and ensure a competitive environment. These specific rules are directly applied by the relevant sector regulatory bodies. Nevertheless, topics concerning access to infrastructure or other anti-competitive practices of the incumbent operators in the specific sectors could also be dealt with by the RCC under the general rules on abuse of dominant position.
The RCL is primarily enforced by the RCC. Its decision-making structure consists of seven members appointed by the President of Romania at the government’s proposal, who are assisted in their activity by competition inspectors who are public officials with specific attributions. The RCC may initiate an investigation on abuse of dominant position ex officio or upon complaint. For practices qualifying as abuse of dominant position, the RCC can apply fines ranging from 0.5 to 10 per cent of the turnover achieved by the defendant in the previous financial year.
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