This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to technology laws and regulations that may occur in the Romania.
It will cover communications networks and their operators, databases and software, data protection, AI, cybersecurity as well as the author's view on planned future reforms of the merger control regime.
1. Are communications networks or services regulated? If so what activities are covered and what licences or authorisations are required?
Yes. The main legal instrument governing communication networks and services is the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 111/2011 on electronic communications ("GEO 111/2011"), which transposes the main EU provisions in the field of electronic communications. This legal instrument covers all activities in the field of communications networks and services. The GEO 111/2011 establishes the general framework for regulation of electronic communications networks and services, the authorization of such activities and promotes competition on the market. In addition, there is special legislation encompassing laws and emergency ordinances on certain topics as well as secondary legislation (mainly government decisions and enactments of the telecom body).
The provision of electronic communications networks and services is subject to (i) general authorization and (ii) licenses for the use of limited resources for the provisions of electronic communications networks and services, such as radio frequencies, numbering resources and other associated technical resources. These licenses are subject to certain technical parameters and are granted for a limited period of time. The general authorizations as well as the licensees are issued by the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications ("ANCOM") in accordance with its decision no. 987/2012 on the general authorization regime for the provision of electronic communications networks and services.
2. Is there any specific regulator for the provisions of communications-related services? Are they independent of the government control?
Yes. The regulatory authority in the sector of electronic communications is the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications ("ANCOM") (in Romanian Autoritatea Națională pentru Administrare și Reglementare în Comunicații). ANCOM was established pursuant to the Governemnet Emergency Ordinance no. 22/2009 as an autonomous public authority under the control of the Romanian Parliament and financed entirely from its own revenues.
3. Does an operator need to be domiciled in the country? Are there any restrictions on foreign ownership of telecoms operators?
The Romanian legislation in the sector of electronic communications does not require an operator to be established on the territory of Romania.
Under the Romanian legislation there are no foreign ownership restrictions with regard to telecom operators.
Originally published by The In-House Lawyer 2017.
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