Overview of the law and enforcement regime relating to cartels
The legal regime of cartels in Romania is primarily set out in article 5 of the Competition
Act no. 21/1996 (the “Competition Act”),1 which mirrors the text of article 101 of the Treaty
on the Functioning of the European Union. The cartel regime is further detailed for implementation purposes in wide secondary legislation (the “Secondary Legislation”). In a nutshell, under the Competition Act, all agreements, concerted practices and decisions of associations of undertakings that have as object or effect prevention, restriction or distortion of competition are prohibited. Among anticompetitive practices, as set out in article 7 of the Competition Act, price-fixing, production or sale limitations or client allocation are the most harmful ones. Such practices are included within the hardcore restrictions category, de minimis exclusion not being applicable.
The Romanian Competition Council (the “RCC”) is entrusted with enforcement of competition rules. Within the RCC, the Cartel Office mainly sets the general strategy of the RCC’s Plenum (the “Plenum”), examines complaints, proposes the initiation of investigations ex officio, etc. Besides the direction for cartels, a specific direction, the Direction on Bids and Petitions, focuses on bid rigging practices. In addition, for proper functioning of public procurement under the umbrella of the “Module on Bid Rigging”, the RCC closely cooperates with various public institutions (e.g., National Council for Solving
Complaints (“CNSC”), National Authority for Regulating and Monitoring Public Procurement, etc.).
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