Iuliana Zlatcu, Senior Consultant - Competition Economics, participates in the annual conference of the Association of Economics and Competition (ACE) hosted by the University of Bologna. Most relevant cases will be discussed, such as Qualcomm merger, Google's dominant position abuse for operating smartphones, European collusion cases and also an interesting case of excessive drug prices in Italy.

15th to the 16th of November 2018

Romania needs to recover €60 million of incompatible aid from energy producer CE Hunedoara

Brussels, 8 November 2018

The European Commission has found that energy producer Complexul Energetic Hunedoara (CE Hunedoara) received around €60 million of incompatible State aid from Romania through four publicly financed loans. Romania now needs to recover the illegal aid plus interest.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "... we found that the public loans granted by Romania to CE Hunedoara gave the company an unfair economic advantage. This means that the state aid was illegal. Now Romania needs to recover the illegal aid that was granted to the company."

Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer engaged in so called "fixed or minimum resale price maintenance (RPM)" 

The four manufacturers intervened particularly with online retailers, who offered their products at low prices.

If those retailers did not follow the prices requested by manufacturers, they faced threats or sanctions such as blocking of supplies.

Many, including the biggest online retailers, use pricing algorithms which automatically adapt retail prices to those of competitors. In this way, the pricing restrictions imposed on low pricing online retailers typically had a broader impact on overall online prices for the respective consumer electronics products.

Moreover, the use of sophisticated monitoring tools allowed the manufacturers to effectively track resale price setting in the distribution network and to intervene swiftly in case of price decreases.