Moldova: Competition Council
Moldova, Republic of
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Moldova: Competition Council

Moldova: Competition Council

Moldova, Republic of

Moldova: from the enforcer

Address: Stefan cel Mare Str, 73/1, Chisinau, MD-2001, Moldova
Tel: +373 22 27 34 43 / 45 65
Fax: +373 27 06 06 / 37 43
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.competition.md

Contacts:

The Chairperson

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Marcel Răducan
President of the Competition Council, Chair of the Plenum of the Competition Council
Email: [email protected]

The members of the board

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Mihail Cibotaru
Vice President of the Competition Council, Vice President of the Plenum of the Competition Council

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Ion Maxim
Vice President of the Competition Council, Vice President of the Plenum of the Competition Council

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Ala Popescu
Member of the Plenum of the Competition Council

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Viorel Moșneaga
Member of the Plenum of the Competition Council

Questions and answers:

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

The duration of the Competition Council president’s term is five years. He can be entitled to two consecutive mandates.

When is he or she due for reappointment?

The President was appointed on 30 November 2018, he is due for reappointment in December 2023.

Which posts within the organisation are political appointments?

The President and members of the Competition Council Plenum are appointed by the Parliament, at the proposal of the Speaker of the Parliament with the endorsement of the specialty parliamentary commission. According to the Competition Law 183/2012 article 42, paragraph (2) the members of the Competition Council Plenum do not represent the appointing authority and are independent in decision making, ibidem paragraph (8) the members of the Competition Council Plenum cannot be members of political parties.

What is the agency’s annual budget?

The Competition Council budget is as follow:

year201520162017201820192020
million MDL*15.517.619.523.124.0324.01

*MDL, leu - the Republic of Moldova’s currency.

How many staff are employed by the agency?

As at 1 August 2020, 89 staff members were employed.

To whom does the head of the agency report?

The Competition Council is an autonomous public authority liable towards Parliament. On an annual basis, the Competition Council prepares a report on its activity. According to the modification from February 2020, the Competition Council’s report is adopted by the Competition Council’s Plenum, and shall be presented to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova in plenary session by 1 June, after which it shall be published on the Competition Council’s official website.

Do any industry-specific regulators have competition powers?

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova article 9, paragraph (3) and article 126 paragraph (1), (2) (b) all public authorities shall ensure the protection of fair competition.

If so, how do these relate to your role?

Each public authority promotes competition in their specific sectors. The Competition Council promotes fair competition in all economic sectors.

Do politicians have any right to overrule or disregard the decisions of the authority?

No.

Does the law allow non-competition aims to be considered when taking decisions?

No.

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?

The competent administrative contentious court hears appeals against the decisions or prescriptions issued by the Plenum of the Competition Council. The Chişinău Court, the Chişinău Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Justice are fully entitled to control the Competition Council decisions.

Has the authority ever blocked a proposed merger?

The Competition Council blocked an unnotified merger between two tour operators in July 2015.

Has the authority ever imposed conditions on a proposed merger?

To prevent competition distortion, the Competition Council imposed conditions on mergers: in July 2014, July 2016 and September 2018. In 2019, the authority imposed conditions by Decision DCE – 54 as of 25.07.2019, with reference to the merger notified by Moldretail Group Llc, what was to be achieved by taking over the lease and sublease of some commercial spaces for the retail activity in non-specialist stores, with the predominant sale of food, beverages and tobacco products belonging to the company Slavena Lux Llc.

Has the authority conducted a Phase II investigation in any of its merger filings?

The Competition Council conducted a Phase II investigation in some of its merger filings in 2014, 2016, 2018. In 2020, the Competition Council entered a Phase II investigation on the notification of the operation of taking control by Banca Transilvania JSC over Microinvest Llc. This operation is currently under investigation.

Has the authority ever pursued a company based outside your jurisdiction for a cartel offence?

No.

Do you operate a leniency programme? Whom should potential applicants contact?

Section III, articles 84–92 of the Competition law refer to the leniency programme. Applicants should directly contact the Competition Council.

In 2018–2019, only one leniency application was submitted to the Competition Council in connection with an investigation concerning the conclusion of alleged anticompetitive agreements on bid rigging by the undertakings involved in public procurement procedures.

It is important to point out that only in 2018 the Law for amending and supplementing the Criminal Code was approved to exempt from the application of the criminal law the representatives of the undertakings that collaborate with the Competition Council, within the limits of the implementation of the leniency policy provided by the Competition Law.

Following the entry into force of these amendments to the Criminal Code, which provided for criminal liability for restricting competition, the natural persons are granted the right to be exempt from criminal liability, if they are representatives of the undertakings collaborating with the Competition Council, within the limits of the leniency policy.

Is there a criminal enforcement track? If so, who is responsible for it?

No.

Are there any plans to reform the competition law?

The year 2020 began with the Competition Law amendment. According to Directive No. 1/2019 of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, it has been entrusted to EU member states and associated countries to amend competition law. We have a joint project with the World Bank who was contracted and activities initiated.

When did the last review of the law occur?

The last review of the law occurred in February 2020, by Law No. 38/2020 for the modification of some normative acts.

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

There is no separate economics unit or team, but within each Competition Council Directorate the staff is mixed: economists and lawyers.

Has the authority conducted a dawn raid?

In 2015, the authority conducted dawn raids in five cases: in exchange offices, in grocery supermarkets, in electronics supermarkets, at the premises of baby food companies and at the premises of an airport operator.

In 2016, one dawn raid was conducted on undertakings acting in the market of public procurement in constructions and repairs.

In 2017, eight dawn raids (each to several enterprises) were carried out in the following areas: transportation, commercialisation of gas, commercialisation of computer engineering, video monitoring services, engineering installations, construction and tourism.

In 2018–2019, the Competition Council carried out 48 dawn raids (32 in 2018 and 16 in 2019) on cartel cases and one dawn raid on abuse of dominant position case.

In 2020, 11 dawn raids were carried out on the chemical trading market. The file is currently under investigation.

Has the authority imposed penalties on officers or directors of companies for offences committed by the company?

No.

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

According to article 22 paragraph (1) of the Competition Law No. 183/2012, mergers are subject to assessment and shall be notified to the Competition Council prior to their implementation, in case the aggregate amount of the turnover of the undertakings concerned registered for the year prior to the operation exceeds 25,000,000 leu and there are at least two undertakings concerned in the operation which register each separately a turnover more than 10,000,000 leu for the year prior to the operation, on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. However, according to the provisions of article 251 of the Competition Law 183/2012, special legislative acts in the field of media may provide thresholds for mergers notification other than the thresholds specified above.

Are there any restrictions on minority investments?

No.

What discounts are available to companies that cooperate with cartel investigation?

According to article 89 of the Competition Law No. 183/2012, the undertakings and the associations of undertakings that disclose their participation to an agreement which affect the competition, may benefit from a reduction of the fine quantum, compared to the level that would have been applied regularly. Article 89, paragraph (7) let. a), b), c) establishes  the discounts from which enterprises can benefit depending on the gravity of the deed and the moment when they started to cooperate with Competition Council.

Does the authority conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions for cartel activity? If not, is there another authority in the country that does?

The authority does not conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions for cartel activity. The criminal prosecution body is responsible for conducting criminal investigations. The files are sent according to the competence to the General Prosecutor’s Office.


Moldova: from the enforcer's competition economists

Address: Stefan cel Mare Str, 73/1, Chisinau, MD-2001, Moldova
Tel: +373 22 27 34 43 / 45 65
Fax: +373 27 06 06 / 37 43
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.competition.md

Contacts:

image 7
Marcel Răducan
President of the Competition Council, Chair of the Plenum of the Competition Council
Email: [email protected]

image 78
Mihail Cibotaru
Vice President of the Competition Council, Vice President of the Plenum of the Competition Council

image 79
Ion Maxim
Vice President of the Competition Council, Vice President of the Plenum of the Competition Council

image 83
Ala Popescu
Member of the Plenum of the Competition Council

image 82
Viorel Moșneaga
Member of the Plenum of the Competition Council

Questions and Answers

How many economists do you employ?

Within the Competition Council are employed 30 economists.

Do you have a separate economics unit?

There is no a separate economics unit, but within each Competition Council Directorate the staff is mixed: economists and lawyers.

Do you have a chief economist?

There is no a chief economist.

How many of your economists have a PhD in industrial economics?

There are two staff members who have a PhD in economics.

Does the agency include a specialist economist on every case team? If not, why not?

The Competition Council internal regulation does not expressly provide for one of the case team members to be an economist. It depends on every specific case. Usually, the cases imply some economical evaluation and estimation, thus an economist is included on the case team.

Is the economics unit a ‘second pair of eyes’ during cases – is it one of the agency’s checks and balances? If not, why not?

How much economics work is outsourced? What type of work is outsourced?

According to article 36, paragraph (1) of the Competition Law No. 183/2012, the Competition Council is financed from the state budget within the limits of the budgetary allocations approved by the annual budgetary law, including from the collected revenues.

Organisation chart

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