The Competition Council (CC) has finalized its task book specifications and will launch this week the auction for the acquisition of an IT application for the development of the online price comparison tool “Price Monitor”, which will include data on more than one million food products and car fuels, Bogdan Chiriţoiu, president of the CC, told Agerpres.
The new online platform will include both the expanded form of the food price monitor, a tool launched by the competition authority in late 2016, and a price comparison tool for automotive fuel.
In view of the success of the pilot project, the Competition Council wishes to expand the price monitor at the national level and for all food products, except alcoholic spirits, marketed by the large store networks present in Romania.
According to the Council, the Price Monitor aims to provide the consumer with the information they need for their weekly food shopping, helping them make an informed choice between the offers of several stores and increase the competitive pressure on the shops.
As far as the fuel Price Monitor is concerned, it will be an instrument to stimulate competition, both by price and through the services offered, between companies involved in the retail sale of automotive fuel.
The online platform will display prices for all types of petrol (gasoline and diesel) in the OMV, Petrom, Rompetrol, Mol, Lukoil, Socar and Gazprom networks across the country.
“The development of this price monitoring system will lead to market transparency for consumers by enabling them to be informed about the prices charged by the main retailers of food and the main automotive fuel distribution networks, to choose the products with the best price-quality ratio,” Chiriţoiu said.
Thus, in order to create the online Price Monitor platform, the competition authority wants to acquire an Integrated Information System that includes a set of IT applications and operating licenses, hardware, application maintenance services, and services training of users/administrators.
The estimated value of the contract is RON 1.7 million, an amount stipulated in the approved budget of the Competition Council for 2018.
“We want to acquire a complex, robust and stable IT solution, since it will manage an impressive volume of data, namely over one million products. At the same time, this application will be of interest to consumers and must have the ability to support a large number of simultaneous visits. I think you remember, when we released the Food Pricing Monitor pilot, there were over 1.9 million hits on the first day and the app crashed,” added Chiriţoiu.
In November 2016, the Competition Council launched www.monitorulpreturilor.info, a pilot project accessible to Bucharest and Ilfov, which offers prices for 128 products (64 generic product categories, for each of which two product prices are available individual: the cheapest and the best-selling).
The platform was built with the support of the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC), the Nielsen Market Research Company, the GS1 Association and retailers.
The Government also approved at the end of last year a Memorandum on the creation of a system for monitoring and comparison of prices for fuels, similar to that for food products.