Oil companies investigated by Romanian Competition Council on possible fuel price fixing

Newsroom 18/11/2011 | 15:47

The Romanian Competition Council has sent an investigation report on alleged competition breaching that involves several key players on the Romanian fuels market. The investigation started 6 years ago.

According to procedures, investigated companies have 30 days to formulate observations on the investigation report and will be able to state a point of view during hearings that will be held on December 21.

After the hearing, the board of the Competition Council will make a decision regarding the existence of competition law breaching.

“Any investigation of the Competition Council is finalized through a report that contains the conclusions of the investigation. In the report, the investigation teams make propositions on a possible anti-competition practice, but the final decision belongs, to the Board, which will hear all the involved sides”, explained Bogdan Chiritoiu, president of the Competition Council.

In accordance with applicable antitrust regulations, a company may receive a maximum fine up to 10 percent of the annual turnover.

Oil and gas producer Petrom, one of the companies involved in the investigation stated that “the allegations are unjustified”. Petrom is accused of withdrawing a retail product which may have harmed consumer interest. It concerns Eco Premium (unleaded gasoline pre-mixed with lead substitute) which had a 2 percent market share. Petrom states that the decision to withdraw the product was based on economic and environmental reasons.

Earlier this week, President Traian Basescu said that Petrom has a monopoly on the local oil deposits. ” I didn’t like when Mariana Gheorghe, CEO of Petrom, announced during harvest season that diesel prices will go up, as the demand had increased”, added Basescu, for the national broadcaster TVR.      

Ovidiu Posirca

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