Romania: the Competition Council keeps an eye on bid rigging

In 2013, the Romanian Competition Council finalised five investigations concerning bid-rigging infringements (amounting to almost a quarter of the authority’s investigations on competition law infringements), of which one led to fines of €2.8m (£2.2m) and the other four were closed for lack of evidence. Last year, the competition authority also launched two new investigations on possible bid-rigging infringements. The average duration for investigation of this type of infringement is approximately two years.

In recent years, the Competition Council has focused a significant part of its resources on the fight against bid rigging and also for its prevention.

The illegal practice of bid rigging exposes the concerned undertakings to fines of up to 10 per cent of their total annual turnover; in addition, the involved individuals (such as managers, legal representatives of the company or any other individuals that hold management positions) may face criminal charges (the felony of misappropriation of public tenders provided for in the Criminal Code is sanctioned with up to five years of jail time). Moreover, unlike the other competition law infringements provided for in article 5 (correspondent of article 101 TFEU) of Competition Law no. 21/1996 in Romania, the undertakings involved a bid-rigging infringement may not apply for leniency and the involved individuals cannot seek immunity from criminal liability…

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