In this period of economic uncertainty and market fluctuations, the competition authority has made the necessary efforts to fully exercise its powers conferred by the Competition Law No. 183/2012. In this context, the Development Program of the Competition Council for the period 2021-2023 was elaborated and approved, in which it aims to achieve the general objective of protecting, maintaining and stimulating competition in order to promote the legitimate interests of consumers, through the following 4 specific objectives:
1. Promoting the competition culture (Advocacy), enforcing and complying the competition law and advertising.
2. Enforcing and complying the state aid legislation.
3. Improving the legal framework in the field.
4. Institutional development.
Based on these, during 2021, the Competition Council examined, through both market studies and case investigations, the following markets: socially important products market, agri-food processing market, cereals and oilseeds sales and processing market, meat and meat products import, processing and sales market, medical devices market, transport and related activities market, advertising market, petroleum products market, plant protection products market, energy market, construction market, rail freight market and others. As a result, 19 cases of alleged signs of competition law infringement were completed, 10 of which were violation findings.
The Competition Council recorded a high result regarding its activity in the court. Following the examination by the courts of the Competition Council cases, the share of the irrevocable decisions pronounced by the courts in favor of it was 100%.
With regard to State aid activity, it is important to mention that 25 support measures have been authorized and 15 existing State aid schemes have been aligned.
The main performance indicator for the competition authorities is the consumers welfare impact. According to the calculation methodology, the impact of the Competition Council activity on the consumers welfare was 1,564 million MLD for 2021. This is determined by the completion of the investigation of a resonance case regarding the finding of horizontal hardcore cartel agreements, manifested by the continuous concerted practice aimed at establishing / fixing directly and indirectly the selling prices and other trading conditions of the phytosanitary products and fertilizers to third parties. In this case, the Competition Council imposed fines on the companies involved, cumulatively of about 129 million MLD. At the same time, it should be mentioned that, during 2021, the Competition Council Plenum adopted decisions for fines application amounting about 131 million MLD, as a result of investigations completion.
Thus, based on the calculation methodology, taking into account the best international practices and OECD recommendations for assessing the impact of the competition authorities activity, the correlation between resources used and the positive impact on consumer welfare was 1:61, for 2021, also established in the Medium Term Budget Framework (CBTM). Therefore, for 1 MLD of public resources used for the Competition Council activities, the positive impact on consumer welfare was 61 MLD