Albanian Competition Authority
Albania
Abstract Shape Background
Albanian Competition Authority

Albanian Competition Authority

Albania

Denmark: from the enforcer

Address: Rruga Sami Frashëri, Nr. 4, Kati IV, 1004, Tirana, Albania
Tel: +355 4 234 504
Fax: +355 4 234 497
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.caa.gov.al

Contacts

Juliana Latifi
Chairwoman
[email protected]

Eduard Ypi
Vice-Chairman
[email protected]

Leida Matja
Commissioner
[email protected]

Adriana Berberi
Commissioner
[email protected]

Helidon  Bushati
Commissioner
[email protected]

Indrit Reka
Head of Chairwoman’s Cabinet
[email protected]

Thomas Koleka
Chairwoman’s Adviser
[email protected]

Diana Dervishi
General Secretary
[email protected]

Production Markets Surveillance Directorate

Mimoza Kodhelaj
Director
[email protected]

Oltion Nano
Inspector
[email protected]

Niku Meko
Inspector
[email protected]

Ada Hasantaraj
Inspector
[email protected]

Miklovana Ymerali
Inspector
[email protected]

Integration and Communication Directorate

Vanina Vongli
Inspector
[email protected]

Non-Production/Services Markets Surveillance Directorate

Anisa Buxheli
Director
[email protected]

Vasken Spiru
Inspector
[email protected]

Diana Bardhi
Inspector
[email protected]

Anisa Zhamo
Inspector
[email protected]

Beart Llakaj
Inspector
[email protected]

Rin Zela
Inspector
[email protected]

Market Analysis and Methodologies Directorate

Dhurata Skënderi
Director
[email protected]

Albana Dibra (Kola)
Chief Economist/Inspector
[email protected]

Gerta Rama
Inspector
[email protected]

Anda Nelaj
Inspector
[email protected]

Edlira Gjonaj
Inspector
[email protected]

Piro Dhima
Inspector
[email protected]

Meri Bajko
Inspector
[email protected]

Legal and Judicial Affairs Directorate

Daniela Mehmeti (Laze)
Inspector
[email protected]

Erjon Pipiko
Inspector
[email protected]

Klaudjo Gjuzi
Inspector
[email protected]

Ilir Dhimitri
Inspector
[email protected]

Kris Kolasi
Inspector
[email protected]

Integration and Communication Directorate

Ola Daka
Director
[email protected]

Arizana Progni
Specialist
[email protected]

Anna Maria Monçe
Specialist
annamaria.monç[email protected]

Paola Gjika
Specialist
[email protected]

Ruela Çashku
Specialist
[email protected]

Support Services Directorate

Vitori Kristo
Director
[email protected]

Esmeralda Arizaj
Specialist
[email protected]

Eneida Kullakshi
Specialist
[email protected]

Questions and answers

How long is the head of agency’s term of office?

According to article 21 of Law No. 9121/2003 ‘On Competition Protection’ as amended, the head of the Albanian Competition Authority (ACA) is appointed by Albania’s parliament for a five-year term of office. He or she can be reappointed for another five-year term consecutively.

When is he or she due for reappointment?

The chairwoman of ACA was appointed for a first term by parliament in December 2016. The five-year term will end in 22 December 2021.

Which posts within the organisation are political appointments?

The political appointed posts at ACA are the members of Chairwoman’s Cabinet and its composed by the head of the Cabinet, the adviser and an office secretary. The rest of the staff has civil servant status.

What is the agency’s annual budget?

The annual budget for 2019 was 77.9 million Leke. For 2020, the ACA budget is foreseen to be 75.5 million leke.

How many staff are employed by the agency?

In 2019, ACA had in total 43 staff, 33 being civil servants, five members of the Commission, three personnel in the Cabinet.

To whom does the head of the agency report?

According to article 24 of Law No. 9121/2003, the Chairwoman reports the ACA’s annually activity to the Economy and Finance Commission at the Albanian parliament, in a plenary session.

Do any industry-specific regulators have competition powers?

The industry-specific regulators do not have direct competition powers. The ACA is the only institution responsible to protect the free and effective competition in the Albanian market. The ACA cooperates closely with the regulatory bodies in Albania and their respective markets: Energy Regulatory Authority (ERE), the Albanian Telecommunication and Postal Regulator (AKEP), the Bank of Albania (BOA) and the Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority (AMF), etc.

If so, how do these relate to your agency’s role?

Regulatory entities such as AKEP, BOA and AMF have special articles on their specific law that emphasise their obligation to refer each case to the ACA in markets when they face competition distortion from undertakings subject to their market’s regulation.

May politicians overrule or disregard authority’s decisions? If they have ever exercised this right, describe the most recent example.

Not applicable.

Does the law allow non-competition aims to be considered when your agency takes decisions?

Not applicable.

Which body hears appeals against the agency’s decisions? Is there any form of judicial review beyond that mentioned above? If so, which body conducts this? Has any competition decision by the agency been overturned?

Decisions of the Competition Commission (CC) are subject of appeal at the Administrative Court of Tirana. A certain decision taken by the CC can be appealed at the Administrative Court of First Instance, then at the Administrative Court of Appeal and then at the High Court.

Has the authority ever blocked a proposed merger? If yes, please provide the most recent instance.

No decision to block a merger has been issued so far. All the notified concentrations were authorised as no signs of anticompetitive issues have been arisen.

Has the authority ever imposed conditions on a proposed merger? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.

In 2019, the ACA has imposed conditions on a merger procedure. See the answer below.

The CC, by decision No. 580, dated 17 January 2019 On obtaining control through the sale and purchase of 98.83 per cent of the shares of Tirana Bank SHA from Piraeus Bank SHA to Balfin SHPK and Komercijalna Bank AD Skopje, decided to authorise the concentration with conditions and obligations for Tirana Bank and recommendations for the Bank of Albania. The transaction was classified as conglomerate concentration that showed no signs of limited competition in the banking services market or in a particular part of it as a result of the creation or strengthening of the dominant position.

After evaluating the respective market, the CC authorised the concentration, with conditions and obligations for Tirana Bank as follows:

  • to not apply uneven conditions for the same trading actions with parties, thus placing them in unfavourable competing situation;
  • to not set conditions regarding contract signing with other parties, such that the latter are forced to accept additional obligations that, owing to their own nature or according to trade practices, are not related to the object of the respective contracts;
  • to not undertake banking or financial activities with, and profiting from, persons related to it; and
  • to ensure, through this transaction, economic efficiency and give assurance on the stability of job contracts of existing staff of Tirana Bank SHA.

It was also decided to recommend to the Central Bank of Albania that:

  • for matters of financial stability, all trade undertakings controlled by Balfin SHPK that possess a dominant position or that will acquire this position in the future, should be monitored and be treated as activities related to the banking system, regardless of the object of their activity; and
  • to submit to the Competition Authority any change in the structure of the monitored undertakings, where a dominant position in the market may be created or strengthened.

Has the authority conducted a Phase II investigation in any of its merger filings? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.

The above-mentioned case was opened through CC Decision No. 579, dated 20 December 2018 decided "to initiate the in-depth investigation procedure in the transaction occurring between Piraeus Bank SA and Balfin Shpk and Komercijalna Banka AD Skopje".

Has the authority ever pursued a company based outside your jurisdiction for a cartel offence? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.

The Albanian Competition Law applies only within the Republic of Albania jurisprudence.

Do you operate a leniency programme? Whom should potential applicants contact? What discounts are available to companies that cooperate with cartel investigations?

The ACA has adopted a leniency programme through Decision No. 382, dated 17 November 2015, the Fines and Leniency programme. The purpose of the fine leniency programme is to provide immunity for undertakings that cooperate with ACA and help in detecting and disrupting prohibited agreements or cartels and punishing the participants involved.

There may be a full or partial leniency based on information provided by the parties at ACA. The discount may be:

  • 30 to 50 per cent of the fine for the first undertaking;
  • 20 to 30 per cent of the fine for the second undertaking; and
  • 20 per cent of the fine in cases where the undertaking applies for partial leniency and provides added value or information to the ACA regarding a prohibited agreement.

No leniency application has been made so far.

Is there a criminal enforcement track? If so, who is responsible for it? Does the authority conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions for cartel activity? If not, is there another authority in the country that does?

No.

Are there any plans to reform the competition law?

In 2019, the ACA started implementing an EU-funded IPA project for ‘Further strengthening the competition authority’s capacities to protect the free and effective competition in the market’ where Component I of the project is to carry out legal amendments (additions and changes) of Law No. 9121/2003 in accordance with the acquis of the European Union, and the issues raised during the implementation of the law, as well as a review of the secondary legal framework, the revision of the competition law. This project is ongoing.

When did the last review of the law occur?

Competition Law No. 9121/2003 was amended by Law No. 10317, dated 16 September 2010, for some additions and amendments to Law No. 9121, dated 28 July 2003 On Competition Protection.

Do you have a separate economics team? If so, please give details.

No. The directorates that conduct market surveillance (ie, production and non-production) have economists who deal with specific cases, such as cartels and abuse of a dominant position. The Market Analysis and Methodologies Directorate conducts economic and econometric analyses during merger and acquisition procedures. Besides this, there is the chief economist position that reports to the director of the Market Analysis and Methodologies Directorate.

Has the authority conducted a dawn raid?

In 2019, 11 investigative procedures (preliminary and in-depth) were conducted by the ACA and dawn raids were conducted. The markets under investigation included the market of banking services, the market for loading and unloading in the Port of Durres, the dental services market, the sport, crude oil, flour, taxi and energy markets.

Have the authority imposed penalties on officers or directors of companies for offences committed by the company? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.

Not applicable.

What are the pre-merger notification thresholds, if any, for the buyer and seller involved in a merger?

Decision No. 80, dated 5 June 2008, on the approval of the Regulation On the implementation of the procedures for the concentration of undertakings amended through Decision No. 165, dated 14 December 2010, article 6 states that undertakings can try a consultation procedure before the notification through providing the ACA less documentation than a normal procedure.

The thresholds are foreseen in accordance with article 12 of Law No. 9121/2003 ‘On competition Protection’:

  • concentrations of undertakings shall be notified to the ACA for authorisation if, in the financial year preceding the concentration:
  • the aggregate worldwide turnover of all the participating undertakings exceeds 7 billion leke and the individual turnover in Albania of at least one of the participating undertakings exceeds 200 million leke; or
  • the aggregate turnover in Albania of all the participating undertakings exceeds 400 million leke and the individual turnover of at least one of the participating undertakings on the domestic market is over 200 million leke.

Are there any restrictions on investments that involve less than a majority stake in the business?

No, there are no restrictions.

Organisation chart

Organisation chart - Albania

View all profiles

Get unlimited access to all Global Competition Review content