Comparative Guides

Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.

Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.

Start by selecting your Topic of interest below. Then choose your Regions and finally refine the exact Subjects you are seeking clarity on to view detailed analysis provided by our carefully selected internationally recognised experts.

4. Results: Answers
Cartels
2.
Definitions and scope of application
2.1
How is a ‘cartel’ defined in the cartel legislation?
Romania

Answer ... The Romanian cartel legislation mirrors Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and employs a broad definition of ‘cartel’. Accordingly, it prohibits all agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition on the Romanian market. The content and contours of this definition were refined in 2017 when the EU Private Damages Directive was transposed into national law. Under this updated definition, a ‘cartel’ is an agreement or concerted practice between two or more competitors aimed at coordinating their competitive behaviour on the market or influencing the relevant parameters of competition through practices such as:

  • the fixing or coordination of purchase or sale prices or other trading conditions, including in relation to IP rights;
  • the allocation of production or sales quotas;
  • the sharing of markets or customers, including bid-rigging;
  • the restriction of imports or exports; or
  • anti-competitive actions against other competitors.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
2.2
What specific offences are defined in the cartel legislation?
Romania

Answer ... In line with Article 101 TFEU, Romanian law sets out the following examples of cartel behaviour:

  • price fixing;
  • output limitation;
  • market sharing;
  • application of dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties (thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage); and
  • imposition of supplementary obligations which have no connection with the subject of a contract as conditions for its conclusion.

These are not distinct offences, but rather examples of cartel infringements. Accordingly, any other coordinated behaviour that falls within the scope of the general prohibition (ie, that has an anti-competitive object or effect) may be investigated by the Romanian Competition Councill and fines imposed accordingly.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
2.3
Is liability under the cartel legislation civil, criminal or both?
Romania

Answer ... Liability under the cartel legislation is civil only (ie, administrative fines).

However, the managers of companies that are found guilty of cartel offences may be criminally liable. As such, directors, managers and legal representatives of undertakings who deliberately conceive of or organise a cartel may be punished with either:

  • imprisonment for between six months and five years; or
  • a fine of up to approximately €30,000.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
2.4
Can both individuals and companies be prosecuted under the cartel legislation?
Romania

Answer ... Only individuals may face criminal prosecution for breach of the cartel legislation.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
2.5
Can foreign companies be prosecuted under the cartel legislation?
Romania

Answer ... Foreign companies that breach the cartel legislation may be fined by the Romanian Competition Council. Companies (whether foreign or domestic) will not face criminal prosecution for cartel infringements.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
2.6
Does the cartel legislation have extraterritorial reach?
Romania

Answer ... Yes. As long as the effects of a cartel arise in Romania, the undertakings involved may be fined by the Romanian Competition Council.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
2.7
What is the statute of limitations to prosecute cartel offences in your jurisdiction?
Romania

Answer ... Five years. However, the statute of limitations starts to run only once the infringement has terminated. In practice, this may result in the investigation of cartels more than five years after the date on which the undertakings entered into the anti-competitive agreement.

Further, any actions taken by the Romanian Competition Council for the purpose of investigating a cartel trigger the commencement of a new five-year period; however, this cannot exceed 10 years from the date on which the statute of limitations began to run.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
Contributors
Topic
Cartels