Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
Cartels
6.
Penalties and sanctions
6.1
What penalties may be imposed in criminal proceedings on companies? What penalties may be imposed on individuals?
Romania

Answer ... There is no criminal liability for undertakings in cartel investigations under the Competition Law. As regards the criminal liability of individuals, the Competition Law provides that a director, legal representative or manager of an undertaking who intentionally conceives or organises a restrictive agreement may be sanctioned with imprisonment for between six months and five years, or with a criminal fine.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
6.2
What penalties may be imposed in civil proceedings on companies? What penalties may be imposed on individuals?
Romania

Answer ... The fines for restrictive agreements that are not subject to exemption range from 0.5% to 10% of the undertaking’s total turnover (not merely in the relevant market) in the year preceding the fining decision. There are specific rules on the calculation of turnover for insurance companies, credit institutions and non-banking financial institutions. Individuals have no tort liability for cartel activity, but risk criminal liability where they conceive or organise cartels.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
6.3
How are penalties in cartel cases determined? In deciding on the applicable penalties, will the enforcement authorities consider penalties imposed in other jurisdictions?
Romania

Answer ... The fines for restrictive agreements that are not subject to exemption range from 0.5% to 10% of the undertaking’s total turnover (not merely in the relevant market) in the year preceding the fining decision. The amount of the fine will be determined on the basis of the council’s fining guidelines, by first taking into account the gravity and duration of the infringement, and then factoring in any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

The council has full discretion to determine the amount of fines. For instance, when assessing the gravity of a specific horizontal infringement, the fining guidelines allow the council to treat such an infringement as either a medium-gravity infringement (with a fining band of 2% to 4% of the total turnover) or a high-gravity infringement (with a fining band of 4% to 8% of the total turnover).

The fining guidelines provide for an increase of up to 10% of the fine for each year of infringement. Again, the council has full discretion to impose this increase. In some cases involving resale price maintenance infringements, the perpetrators received a 1% increase for each year of infringement; while in other cases involving similar infringements, the council applied a 10% increase for each year of infringement. Cartel activity will be treated as a high-gravity infringement and will incur fines in the 4% to 8% band.

For more information about this answer please contact: Gelu Goran from Biris Goran SPARL
6.4
Can a defendant company pay the legal costs incurred by and/or penalties imposed on its employees?
Romania

Answer ... Nothing in the Competition Law prohibits an undertaking from paying the legal fees of employees in criminal proceedings arising from their involvement in a cartel.

However, this might be questionable under the general principles of Romanian corporate law, as it may be viewed as not being in the corporate interest of the undertaking.

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