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CUPRINS/CONTENT

10 ani n slujba consumatorului pentru protecia concurenei din Romnia


10 in the service of consumers for the protection of competition in Romania

2
3

10 ani de la aplicarea legii concurenei n Romnia - rezultate, provocri i


perspective
10 years of competition law enforcement in Romania results, challenges and
perspectives
Alexe GAVRIL

4
5

Politica de protecia mediului i ajutorul de stat n Romnia


Environmental protection policy and State aid in Romania
Jzsef Nndor NEMENYI
Lucian STROE

10
11

Controlul ajutoarelor de stat n Romnia (III)


State aid control in Romania (III)
Reimer von BORRIES

18
19

Importana analizei economice temeinice pentru politica n domeniul concurenei


The importance of sound economic analysis for competition policy
Deborah PLATT MAJORAS

26
27

Evoluii recente n aplicarea regulilor de concuren: o perspectiv comparativ


Recent evolutions in antitrust enforcement: a comparative perspective
Alberto HEIMLER

38
39

Raportul ajutoarelor de stat acordate n Romnia n perioada 2003-2005 evoluii


i concluzii
Repport of State aid granted in Romania in the period 2003-2005 evolutions and
conclusions
Daniel DIACONESCU, Constana DUMITRESCU, Anca CRISTEA

46
47

Abuzul de poziie dominant - reglementare i jurispruden european


Abuse of dominant position European regulations and case law
Anca ATOMI

54
55

Discounturile de fidelitate i poziia dominant pe pia - un studiu de caz


Fidelity rebates and dominant position a case study
Carmen BUCUR

60
61

Combaterea concurenei neloiale o tem mereu actual


Combating the unfair competition a theme of present interest
Petre CEPOI

68
69

Nouti n domeniul concurenei i ajutorului de stat


News from the field of antitrust and State aid
Carmen BUCUR

72
73

10 ANI N SLUJBA CONSUMATORULUI


PENTRU PROTECIA CONCURENEI DIN ROMNIA
Anul acesta, Consiliul Concurenei a srbtorit 10 ani de
la intrarea n vigoare a legii concurenei. Cu aceast
ocazie, autoritatea de concuren din Romnia a
organizat, pe data de 26 aprilie 2007, o manifestare
aniversar, dedicat acestui eveniment.
Organizat la sala Rond a Hotelului Intercontinental i
cu sprijinul partenerilor din cadrul Proiectului de
Twinning, manifestarea a reunit oficialiti din Romnia
dar i din strintate, membrii ai plenului, precum i
inspectori de concuren de la nivel central i teritorial.
n acest cadru festiv, au fost transmise mesaje aniversare
din partea domnului preedinte interimar al Consiliului
Concurenei, d-l Alexe Gavril, din partea ministrului
economiei i finanelor, d-l Varujan Vosganian i din
partea d-lui Iuliu Winkler, secretar de stat n Ministerul
pentru IMM, Comer, Turism i Profesii Liberale.
Manifestarea aniversar a constituit un bun prilej pentru
a cunoate prioritile Comisiei Europene n domeniul
concurenei, prezentate de d-l Director General
Adjunct a.i., Emil Paulis, din cadrul Direciei Generale
de Concuren.
De asemenea, n cadrul acestui eveniment au fost
susinute prelegeri de ctre invitaii din strintate,
respectiv:

1. Bruno Lassere, Preedintele Consiliului Concurenei


din Frana;
2. Abel Mateus, Preedintele Autoritii de Concuren
din Portugalia;
3. Zoltan Nagy, Preedintele Autoritii de Concuren
din Ungaria;
4. Frederic Jenny, Preedintele Comitetului de
Concuren, OCDE;
5. Alberto Heimler, Director Autoritatea de
Concuren din Italia;
6. Monica Widegren, eful Direciei de Strategie i
Afaceri Internaionale Autoritatea de Concuren din
Suedia;
7. Graham Branton, Director Departamentul pentru
Comer i Industrie din Marea Britanie;
8. Russell Pittman Director, Departamentul de Justiie
al SUA.
Pe parcursul evenimentului au fost acordate distincii
membrilor care au fcut sau fac parte din Plenul
Consiliului Concurenei, pentru activitatea desfurat
n cadrul autoritii, precum i delegailor strini, invitai
la aceast manifestare aniversar.

10 IN THE SERVICE OR CONSUMERS


FOR THE PROTECTION OF COMPETITION IN ROMANIA1
This year, Competition Council celebrated 10 years
from the entering into force of competition law. With
this occasion, the Romanian competition authority
organised, on 26th of April 2007, an anniversary
dedicated to this event.

Organised with the support of Competition Council's


partners from the Twinning Project, the event has
gathered officials from Romania and from abroad,
members of the Plenum and competition inspectors.

In this festive atmosphere, anniversary speeches were


delivered by Competition Council's acting president,
Mr. Alexe Gavril, by minister of economy and finance,
Mr. Varujan Vosganian and by minister for SMEs,
commerce, tourism and liberal professions, Mr. Ovidiu
Silaghi.
The anniversary event proved to be a good occasion to
know better the European Commission's priorities in the
field of competition, as presented by Mr. Emil Paulis,
acting Deputy Director General within the Competition
Directorate General.
Speeches were also delivered by other guests from
abroad:

Translated into English by Georgeta Gavriloiu.

1. Bruno Lassere, President of the French Competition


Council;
2. Abel Mateus, President of the Competition Authority
from Portugal;
3. Zoltan Nagy, President of Competition Authority
from Hungary;
4. Frederic Jenny, President of Competition
Committee, OECD;
5. Alberto Heimler, Director Competition Authority
from Italy;
6. Monica Widegren, Chief of Directorate for Strategy
and International Affairs, Competition Authority from
Sweden;
7. Graham Branton, Director Department for Trade
and Industry of the United Kingdom;
8. Russell Pittman, Director - Department of Justice,
USA.
Special awards were granted to present and former
members of the Competition Council's plenum for their
activity and also to the foreign delegates, invited to this
anniversary event.

10 ANI DE LA APLICAREA
LEGII CONCURENEI N ROMNIA
- rezultate, provocri i perspectiveAlexe GAVRIL
Preedintele interimar al Consiliului Concurenei
Rezumat
Celebrarea a 10 ani de implementare a legislaiei de concuren n Romnia reprezint un foarte bun prilej de reflecie
asupra eforturilor care ne permit n prezent s vorbim despre succesele obinute de-a lungul timpului n acest
domeniu, dar n acelai timp i o excelent oportunitate de a examina provocrile ce ne ateapt n perioada
urmtoare.
Consiliul Concurenei aniverseaz 10 ani de existen chiar n anul n care instituia a obinut statutul de membru cu
drepturi depline al Reelei Europene de Concuren. Aadar, putem afirma c autoritatea romn de concuren a
reuit n aceti 10 ani s ating cu succes pragul de maturitate cerut de standardele europene n domeniu. Acest
moment festiv ar fi fost lipsit de substan dac instituia noastr nu contribuia n ultimii ani la obinerea unor
performane notabile, ce i-au permis s-i gseasc un loc bine meritat n rndul autoritilor europene de
concuren. n acest sens, se impune s amintim o serie de rezultate pozitive ce au marcat istoria recent a Consiliului
Concurenei: obinerea de ctre Romnia n 2004 a statutului de economie de pia funcional i finalizarea n
acelai an a negocierilor de aderare la capitolul de concuren; obinerea statutului de observator la Comitetul de
concuren din cadrul OCDE; evaluarea favorabil a domeniului concurenei n Rapoartele de ar din 2005 i 2006,
evaluare ce a nlturat riscul aplicrii clauzei specifice de salvgardare ce ar fi putut determina amnarea cu un an a
aderrii rii noastre la Uniunea European.
Cuvinte cheie: reguli de concuren, legislaie, ajutor de stat.
Importana politicii de concuren
Ne punem acum ntrebarea: de ce a fost necesar ca
Romnia s creeze un cadru legislativ i instituional
complex, care s asigure desfurarea n condiii
normale a relaiilor concureniale dintre agenii
economici? Pentru a gsi un rspuns la aceast
ntrebare, este necesar nainte de toate s nelegem
rolul pe care politica de concuren l joac ntr-o
economie de pia funcional.
Concurena n sine reprezint un stimulent pentru
companii, ncurajndu-le s acioneze la potenial
maxim pentru a produce bunuri i furniza servicii de cea
mai nalt calitate i la cel mai mic pre. Concurena
impulsioneaz spiritul antreprenorial i intrrile de noi
firme pe pia, recompensnd companiile eficiente i
sancionndu-le pe cele ineficiente.
n condiii ideale de pia companiile reacioneaz
rapid i flexibil fa de noii intrai i la modificrile ce
apar n structura cererii. Intrarea unor noi competitori
pe pia determin adaptri n strategia firmelor
existente. Capacitatea companiilor existente de a-i
ajusta poziia fa de noii intrai n pia i viteza cu care
se realizeaz aceste modificri strategice sunt indicatori

ai eficienei i competitivitii unei firme. Ideal ar fi ca


economiile naionale s funcioneze fr intervenia
autoritilor publice, doar pe baza raportului dintre
cerere i ofert, ntr-un sistem care s recompenseze
companiile eficiente ce se adapteaz cel mai bine la
cerinele pieei. Dar cum acest lucru este greu de
realizat n practic, Romnia a neles c este foarte
important s stabileasc reguli clare menite s asigure
corectitudinea i echilibrul raporturilor din pia i s
nfiineze o instituie solid n acest domeniu, capabil
s aplice de o manier strict aceste norme. Astfel a
intrat n vigoare la 1 februarie 1997 Legea concurenei,
n condiiile n care la 6 septembrie 1996 se constituise
autoritatea ce astzi reprezint unul dintre pilonii de
baz ai economiei de pia din ara noastr, Consiliul
Concurenei.
Stadiul actual de dezvoltare legislativ
n prezent, mediul de afaceri din Romnia este
beneficiarul unui climat concurenial normal. Legislaia
naional n domeniu este integral armonizat cu
acquis-ul comunitar, iar Consiliul Concurenei, o
instituie solid i independent, este un arbitru
echidistant ce aplic n mod unitar regulile relevante.

10 YEARS OF COMPETITION
LAW ENFORCEMENT IN ROMANIA
- results, challenges and perspectives
Alexe GAVRIL
Competition Council's acting president
Abstract2
The anniversary of 10 years of competition law enforcement in Romania represents a very good occasion to think at
the efforts which allow us to speak about the success obtained over the years in this field and, at the same time, an
excellent opportunity to examine the challenges for the future.
Competition Council celebrates ten years of existence in the same year when the institution obtained the status of
fully-fledged member of the European Competition Network. Thus, we can say that Romanian competition authority
succeeded during these ten years to reach the maturity level required by the European standards. This anniversary
moment would have lacked substance if our institution would have not been contributed during the last years to the
accomplishment of notable performances, which allowed it to find its own well-deserved place among the European
competition authorities. To this end, it is worth to remind a series of positive results which marked the Competition
Council's recent history: in 2004, Romania obtained the status of a functional market economy and, in the same year,
the accession negotiations for competition chapter were closed, Competition Council obtained observer status at the
Competition Committee of OECD; the favorable evaluation of the competition field through the Country Reports
from 2005 and 2006, evaluation which eliminated the risk of the safeguard clause's application which would have led
to the postponement by one year of our country's accession to the European Union.
Keywords: competition rules, legislation, State aid.

Importance of competition policy


We ask ourselves today: why was it necessary that
Romania create a complex legal and institutional
framework, which to ensure the normal operation of
competitive relations between economic operators? To
find an answer to this question it is necessary, first of all,
to understand the role played by the competition policy
in a functional market economy.
Competition in itself represents an incentive for
companies, encouraging them to act to their full
potential for producing goods and providing services of
highest quality and at the lowest price. Competition
promotes the entrepreneurial spirit and the entrance on
the market of new firms and, this way, it rewards the
efficient companies and sanctions the inefficient ones.

competitiveness. It would be ideal if national economies


would function without the public authorities'
intervention, based solely on the rapport between
demand and offer, in a system which rewards the
efficient companies which adapt best to the market
demands.
Nevertheless, as this is difficult to achieve in practice,
Romania has understood that it is very important to set
up clear rules aimed to ensure the correctness and the
equilibrium of market rapports and to set up a solid
institution in this field, able to apply strictly these rules.
Thus, on 1st of February 1997, the Competition law
entered into force, after the set up, on 6th of September
1996, of Competition Council, authority that represents
today one of the main pillars of our country's market
economy.
Current stage of legislative development

In ideal market conditions, companies react rapidly and


flexibly to new entrants and to changes occurring in the
structure of demand. The entrance on the market of
new competitors generates adjustments in the strategy
of the existing firms. The capacity of the existing
companies to adjust their position toward the new
entrants on the market and the speed of these strategic
changes are indicators of a firm's efficiency and
2

Translated into English by Georgeta Gavriloiu.

At present, the business community from Romania is the


beneficiary of a normal competition environment.
National legislation in the field is fully harmonized with
the acquis communautaire and the Competition
Council, a solid and independent institution, is an
equidistant arbiter applying consistently the relevant
rules.

Legea concurenei are drept scop protecia, meninerea


i stimularea concurenei i a unui mediu concurenial
normal n scopul protejrii consumatorilor, sens n care
interzice nelegerile anticoncureniale dintre agenii
economici, abuzul de poziie dominant i
concentrrile economice care ar putea conduce la
nlturarea, restrngerea sau denaturarea semnificativ
a concurenei.

adoptat peste 3000 de decizii n materie de antitrust,


aplicnd n toat aceast perioad amenzi n valoare de
aproximativ 80 de milioane de euro. n plus, Consiliul
Concurenei a reuit s gestioneze cazuri dificile
precum cel n care a fost implicat cea mai important
companie din domeniul telefoniei fixe din Romnia,
cazul privind firmele productoare de ciment, cel
referitor la anumii operatori de cablu.

n plus, autoritatea romn de concuren joac un rol


important i n domeniul ajutorului de stat. n anul 1999
a fost adoptat Legea nr.143 privind ajutorul de stat ce a
intrat n vigoare la 1 ianuarie 2000. n temeiul acestei
legi, pn la data aderrii, rolul pe care Comisia
European l are n domeniul ajutorului de stat la nivel
comunitar a fost conferit n Romnia autoritii
naionale de concuren. Astfel, anterior datei de 1
ianuarie 2007, orice ajutor de stat putea fi acordat n
ara noastr numai dup autorizarea Consiliului
Concurenei. Odat cu obinerea statutului de membru
al UE, aceast competen a trecut n mod firesc la
nivelul Comisiei Europene, ns autoritatea romn de
concuren va avea i n continuare atribuii importante
n materia ajutorului de stat.

n materie de ajutor de stat, Consiliul Concurenei a


impus un control strict al msurilor de sprijin promovate
de furnizori, reuind totodat s recupereze sume
importante ce au fost acordate fr a respecta criteriile
aplicabile n acest domeniu. La finele anului 2006
cuantumul ajutoarelor ilegale recuperate se ridica la
peste 16 milioane euro. Aceste evoluii au determinat
Comisia European s recunoasc, chiar n Raportul de
ar din 2001, faptul c autoritatea romn de
concuren aplic la parametri satisfctori regulile din
domeniul antitrust, n timp ce confirmarea capacitii de
a implementa de o manier corespunztoare legislaia
n domeniul ajutorului de stat a venit odat cu Raportul
de ar din mai 2006.
Rolul altor actori n aplicarea regulilor de concuren

Importana aplicrii adecvate a regulilor de


concuren
Fr a minimaliza eforturile remarcabile ale celor ce au
fcut posibil apariia unei Legi a concurenei n
Romnia, a vrea totui s subliniez faptul c n acest
domeniu o mai mare importan o are modul n care
autoritatea de concuren nelege s interpreteze i s
aplice cadrul legislativ specific. Acest lucru se datoreaz
faptului c implementarea regulilor de concuren nu
reprezint doar un simplu exerciiu de natur juridic,
necesitnd i existena la nivelul autoritii de profil a
unei importante abiliti de analiz economic. n
aceste condiii, pe lng alinierea legislaiei naionale cu
cea comunitar, aderarea Consiliului Concurenei la
familia european de concuren a cerut mai ales
consolidarea capacitii administrative a acestei
instituii pentru a-i permite s implementeze la
parametri corespunztori regulile relevante.
Existena unei legislaii armonizate cu acquis-ul
comunitar i o capacitate administrativ solid au fost
ingredientele ce au permis Consiliului Concurenei s
asigure o implementare corespunztoare a legislaiei
specifice (antitrust i ajutor de stat).
n domeniul antitrust, autoritatea romn de
concuren s-a fcut n special remarcat printr-o
prezen activ pe pia, ceea ce a permis aplicarea de
amenzi substaniale, deschiderea a numeroase
investigaii din proprie iniiativ i realizarea de inspecii
inopinate. Trebuie spus faptul c de la momentul
nfiinrii i pn n prezent, autoritatea de concuren a

Dei Consiliul Concurenei a fost elementul principal n


ecuaia prin care s-a gsit n Romnia soluia aplicrii la
standarde comunitare a acquis-ului privind concurena,
nu trebuie uitat rolul altor actori a cror implicare ne
permite acum s vorbim despre succesele obinute n
acest domeniu. Astfel, sprijinul permanent al
Guvernului Romniei, al Comisiei Europene, eforturile
furnizorilor de ajutor de stat, ale autoritilor de
reglementare i ale altor instituii au oferit consistena
att de necesar aciunilor noastre. n plus, politica n
domeniul concurenei trebuie cunoscut, neleas i
acceptat de toi cei care sunt implicai n viaa
economic, iar acest lucru nu se poate realiza fr
aplicarea consecvent a principiilor transparenei i
nediscriminrii. n acest sens, Consiliul Concurenei a
dezvoltat un dialog permanent cu agenii economici,
actorii din pia, cei care trebuie s neleag rolul
autoritii naionale de concuren n meninerea
funcional a economiei de pia, modalitile prin care
acioneaz acesta i scopul aplicrii cu consecven a
regulilor de concuren. Receptivitatea de care ne-am
bucurat din partea mediului de afaceri a avut un rol
extrem de important n activitatea noastr.
Din aceste considerente, doresc s adresez mulumiri
tuturor celor care au neles c dezvoltarea economic a
rii noastre nu putea avea loc fr o politic de
concuren coerent i riguros aplicat.
Cooperarea extern a Consiliului Concurenei
Fiind singura autoritate de concuren din ara noastr,
Consiliului Concurenei i revine i rolul de a reprezenta

Competition law has as its aim the protection,


maintenance and stimulation of competition and of a
normal competitive environment with a view to protect
consumers, reasons for which it prohibits
anticompetitive agreements between undertakings,
abuse of dominant position and economic
concentrations which could lead to the significant
prevention, restriction and distortion of competition.
In addition, the Romanian competition authority plays
an important role in the field of State aid. In 1999, it was
adopted the Law no.143 on State aid, which entered
into force on 1st of January 2000. According to this law,
before accession, the role held by European
Commission in the field of State aid at Community level
was entrusted, in Romania, to the national competition
authority. Thus, before 1st of January 2007, any State aid
could be granted in our country only after it was
authorised by Competition Council. Once Romania
obtained the status of EU Member State, this
competence was transferred, naturally, to the European
Commission; Romanian competition authority will
continue to have important attributions in the field of
State aid.
Importance of adequate enforcement of competition
rules
Without minimizing the remarkable efforts of those who
made possible the adoption of a competition law in
Romania, I would like to underline the fact that, in this
field, of a great importance is the way in which the
competition authority understands to interpret and
apply the specific legal framework. This is the
consequence of the fact that the enforcement of
competition rules is not a mere legal exercise but it
requires also the existence at the level of the authority of
important abilities of economic analysis. In these
conditions, together with the alignment of national
legislation to the community one, Competition
Council's entrance in the European family of
competition has required especially the consolidation of
this institution's administrative capacity in order to allow
it to enforce the relevant rules at adequate parameters.
The existence of a legislation harmonized with the
acquis communautaire and a solid administrative
capacity were the ingredients which allowed the
Competition Council to ensure an adequate
enforcement of specific legislation (on antitrust and
State aid).
In the field of antitrust, the Romanian competition
authority has made itself known through an active
presence on the market, which led to the imposition of
substantial fines, to the initiation of numerous ex officio
investigations and to the carrying out of unannounced
inspections. It must be said that, from its outset and until

now, the competition authority has issued more than


3000 decisions on antitrust and has imposed fines in a
total amount of approximately 80 million EUR.
Moreover, Competition Council has dealt with difficult
cases such as those involving the most important
company of fixed telephony from Romania, the cement
producers, the TV cable operators' case.
In the field of State aid, Competition Council has
imposed a strict control of the support measures
promoted by grantors and it succeeded to recover
considerable amounts granted without the observance
of criteria applicable in this field. At the end of 2006,
illegal aids mounting to more than 16 million EUR have
been recovered. These evolutions have determined the
European Commission to acknowledge, even from the
Country Report of 2001, that Romanian competition
authority applies adequately the antitrust rules, while
the confirmation of capacity to enforce effectively the
legislation in the field of State aid came with the Country
Report of May 2006.
Role of other actors in competition rules enforcement
Even though Competition Council was the central
element in the equation through which Romania found
the solution to enforce the competition acquis at
community standards, one must not forget the role of
other actors whose involvement allows us to discuss
now about the successes in this field. Thus, the
continuous support from the Romanian Government,
the European Commission, the efforts of State aid
grantors, of the regulatory agencies and of other
institutions gave to our actions the consistency so
necessary. In addition, competition policy must be
known, understood and accepted by all those involved
in the economic life and this cannot be accomplished
without the consistent enforcement of principles of
transparency and non-discrimination. To this end,
Competition Council has developed a permanent
dialogue with the economic operators, the actors on the
market, those who have to understand the national
competition authority's role in maintaining the
functional market economy, its methods of action and
the aim regarding the consistent enforcement of
competition rules. The business environment's
receptivity has played an extremely important in our
activity.
From these reasons, I would like to express my thanks to
all those who understood that the economic
development of our country could not happen without
a coherent and rigorously applied competition policy.
Competition Council's external cooperation
As the only competition authority in our country,
Competition Council has the role to represent Romania

Romnia n relaiile cu organizaiile i instituiile


internaionale de profil i de a coopera cu autoritile de
concuren comunitare i extracomunitare. n acest
context, Consiliul Concurenei a fost instituia
desemnat de Guvernul Romniei s asigure
coordonarea, pn n decembrie 2004, a negocierilor la
capitolul de concuren n cadrul procesului de aderare
a Romniei la Uniunea European, iar dup acea dat s
gestioneze rezolvarea problemelor ce ar fi putut activa
clauza de salvgardare. Relaiile de cooperare
internaional stabilite de Consiliul Concurenei nc de
la nfiinarea sa au facilitat un schimb foarte util de
experien pe probleme specifice i au permis
familiarizarea din timp a instituiei cu provocrile i
responsabilitile unei autoriti europene. n aceste
condiii, autoritatea naional de concuren va
continua s acorde activitii sale internaionale o
atenie primordial.
Noi provocri n domeniul concurenei
Politica de concuren este o component a vieii
economice aflat n permanent micare, iar autoritatea
de concuren trebuie s fie cea care d prima semnalul
adaptrii la provocrile ce apar n acest domeniu. n
acest sens, aderarea Romniei la Uniunea European a
reprezentat un moment ce a influenat evoluia
autoritii naionale de concuren. Astfel, n materie de
antitrust, ncepnd cu 1 ianuarie 2007 Consiliul
Concurenei aplic direct prevederile acquis-ului,
respectiv articolele 81 i 82 din Tratatul CE i legislaia
secundar comunitar emis n aplicarea acestor
articole. Asta nu nseamn c Legea concurenei
nr.21/1996, republicat, a devenit caduc, dimpotriv
ea va continua s fie aplicat la cazurile de dimensiune
naional. ns, pentru acele practici i nelegeri
anticoncureniale ce afecteaz comerul dintre statele
membre, Consiliul Concurenei va aplica direct acquisul comunitar n colaborare cu Comisia i cu autoritile
naionale de concuren. Aceast colaborare ntre
Consiliul Concurenei, Comisie i restul autoritilor
europene de concuren se va realiza n cadrul Reelei
Europene de Concuren.
Pe lng cooperarea n cadrul Reelei Europeane de
Concuren, politica comunitar n acest domeniu mai
dispune i de alte instrumente menite s garanteze
consumatorilor cele mai avantajoase opiuni i, n
acelai timp, s susin obiectivul principal al Strategiei
Lisabona de a crea o economie european durabil, cea
mai competitiv din lume. Pentru a permite rii noastre
s-i aduc propria contribuie la atingerea acestui
obiectiv, este important ca i n viitor Consiliul
Concurenei s-i menin atitudinea proactiv n
materie de antitrust, ceea ce se poate traduce prin:

concentrarea resurselor asupra cazurilor importante


de distorsionare a concurenei,

utilizarea adecvat a instrumentelor de investigaie i

aplicarea de sanciuni severe n caz de nclcare

grav a regulilor relevante.


n ceea ce privete ajutorul de stat, aa cum am precizat,
de la data aderrii, responsabilitatea autorizrii
msurilor naionale de sprijin a trecut de la nivelul
Consiliului Concurenei n competena Comisiei
Europene. Aceast modificare de atribuii nu va nltura
ns autoritatea romn de concuren de la aplicarea
regulilor n domeniu. Actualele proceduri naionale n
domeniul ajutorului de stat confer Consiliului
Concurenei statutul de autoritate de contact n relaia
cu Comisia European. Astfel, autoritatea romn de
concuren reprezint interfaa naional dintre forul
comunitar, pe de o parte, i autoritile naionale ce pot
acorda ajutor de stat, pe de alt parte.
De asemenea, pentru a rspunde mai bine cerinei din
ce n ce mai stringente de a acorda ajutoare mai puine
i mai bine direcionate, Comisia European a lansat un
amplu proces de adaptare a regulilor europene
relevante. Aceast reforma va permite creterea
gradului de predictibilitate i transparen n domeniu,
va ncuraja analiza economic a msurilor de ajutor de
stat pentru a le reorienta astfel nct acestea s
contribuie de o manier consistent la implementarea
Strategiei Lisabona.
n aceste condiii, eforturile viitoare ale Consiliului
Concurenei n domeniul ajutorului de stat vor urmri s
asigure gestionarea n mod adecvat a celor dou mari
provocri ce se vor regsi pe agenda de lucru a
autoritii romne n perioada urmtoare, respectiv:
modificarea de atribuii determinat de transferul

competenei de autorizare a ajutoarelor de la nivel


naional la nivel comunitar i
adaptarea politicii naionale n domeniu la reformele

ce au loc n prezent la nivel european.


Abordarea sarcinilor viitoare
Pn la 1 ianuarie 2007 instituia noastr a avut ca
prioritate s rezolve ct se poate de eficient aspectele
specifice etapei de preaderare. Pentru perioada care
urmeaz ne propunem o consolidare a poziiei pe care
o avem n cadrul familiei europene de concuren n
primul rnd printr-o mai mare implicare n activitatea
Reelei Europene de Concuren.
Doar astfel Consiliul Concurenei va rmne un
partener de ncredere pentru autoritile din celelalte
state membre i pentru Comisia European i va putea
astfel s contribuie de o manier consistent la
soluionarea aspectelor de interes pentru domeniul
concurenei ce se regsesc pe agenda de lucru a
Uniunii.

in relation with the relevant international organizations


and institutions and to cooperate with the Community
and extra-Community competition authorities. In this
context, Competition Council was the institution
appointed by the Romanian Government to coordinate,
before December 2004, the negotiations for the
Competition chapter within the process of Romania's
accession to the European Union, and, after that date, to
solve the problems which might have triggered the
activation of the safeguard clause. The relations of
international cooperation established by the
Competition Council from the very beginning of its
activity have facilitated a very useful exchange of
experience on specific issues and have allowed our
institution to familiarize itself with the challenges and
responsibilities of a European authority. In these
conditions, the national competition authority will
continue to grant a special attention to its international
activity.
New challenges in the field of antitrust
Competition policy is a component of economic life in
continuous movement, and the competition authority
must be the first one which gives the signal for the
adaptation to the challenges which occur in this field. To
this end, Romania's accession to the European Union
represented a moment which influenced the evolution
of the national competition authority. Thus, in the
antitrust field, starting with 1st of January 2007,
Competition Council applies directly the provisions of
Articles 81 and 82 EC and the secondary legislation
based on these. This does not mean that Competition
Law no.21/1996, republished, became obsolete; on the
contrary it will continue to apply to cases having national
dimension. Nevertheless, for those practices and
agreements which affect the trade between Member
States, Competition Council will apply directly the
acquis communautaire in cooperation with the
Commission and with the national competition
authorities. This cooperation between Competition
Council, Commission and the other European
competition authorities will be done within the
European Competition Network.
In addition to cooperation within the European
Competition Network, the Community policy in this
field holds other instruments to guarantee for
consumers the most advantageous options and, at the
same time, to sustain the main objective of Lisbon
Strategy the creation of a durable European economy,
the world's most dynamic. To allow our country to
contribute to the accomplishment of this objective, it is
important that the Competition Council maintain in the
future a pro-active attitude in the antitrust field, which
can be translated through:

focus of resources on the most important cases of


distortion of competition,

adequate use of investigative instruments and

imposition of severe sanctions in case of severe

infringement of relevant rules.


As mentioned above, with regards to State aid, as of the
date of accession, the responsibility to authorize
national support measures was transferred from the
Competition Council to the European Commission. This
change of attributions will not remove the Romanian
competition authority from the enforcement of the rules
in the field. The current national procedures on State aid
confer the Competition Council the status of contact
authority in relation with the European Commission.
Thus, Romanian competition authority represents the
national interface between the community institution,
on one hand, and the national authorities able to grant
State aid, on the other hand.
At the same time, in order to respond better to the
requirement for less and better targeted aids, the
European Commission has launched an extensive
process for the adaptation of relevant European rules.
This reform will determine an increase of the degree of
predictability and transparence in this field; it will
encourage the use of economic analysis of State aid
measures with a view to their reorientation so that they
contribute significantly to the implementation of Lisbon
Strategy.
In these conditions, the Competition Council' future
efforts in the field of State aid will aim to ensure the
adequate management of the two great challenges from
Romanian authority's agenda of, namely:
the change of attributions generated by the transfer

of authorization competence from national to


community level;
the adaptation of the national policy in the field to

the reforms undertaken at European level.


Future tasks approach
Before the 1st of January 2007, the priority of our
institution was to resolve as efficiently as possible the
problems specific to the pre-accession period. For the
coming period, we aim to consolidate our position in
the European competition family, mainly through a
greater involvement in the activity of the European
Competition Network;
Only in this way will the Competition Council remain a
trustworthy partner for the authorities of the other
Member States and for the European Commission and it
will be able this way to contribute in a consistent manner
to solving problems of interest for the antitrust field
which are on the Union's working agenda.

POLITICA DE PROTECIA MEDIULUI


I AJUTORUL DE STAT N ROMNIA
3

Jzsef Nndor NEMENYI3


Lucian STROE4
Rezumat
Obligaia statului de a asigura refacerea i ocrotirea mediului, aa cum a fost ea instituit prin Declaraia de la
Stockholm, din 1972, nu se rezum doar la adoptarea de reglementri n domeniu, ci i la corelarea cerinelor de
mediu cu celelalte politici de interes public, inclusiv cu politica n domeniul concurenei.
Elementul comun dintre politica de mediu i cea a concurenei l reprezint aplicarea principiului poluatorul
pltete. Principiul, afirmat pentru prim oar n Declaraia Consiliului Europei din 1968 privind lupta impotriva
polurii aerului, are la baz elemente din teoria economic potrivit creia costurile sociale externe care nsoesc
producia trebuie s fie internalizate, respectiv s fie incluse n costurile de producie ale ntreprinderilor.
Astfel, orice cheltuieli legate de poluare (repararea prejudiciului ecologic, cheltuielile legate de diminuarea efectelor
polurii i cheltuielile de prevenire a polurii) trebuie s fie suportate de cel care cauzeaz poluarea i nu de societate
n ansamblul su. Aceasta nu nseamn c statul nu trebuie s-i ndeplineasc obligaia de a asigura cetenilor un
mediu sntos, ci face referire la faptul c trebuie gasite mijloacele legale care s permit identificarea poluatorului i
obligarea acestuia s plteasc.
Asigurarea unui just echilibru ntre responsabilitatea autoritilor de a proteja mediu i aplicarea principiului
poluatorul pltete este realizat att prin intermediul normelor care au ca scop direct meninerea echilibrului
ecologic, ct i prin regulile specifice dreptului concurenei.
Cuvinte cheie: poluare, dezvoltare sustenabil, ajutor de stat pentru protecia mediului, necesar de finanare,
standarde de mediu.

Protecia mediului n Romnia


n Romnia, protecia mediului a aprut ca un domeniu
de sine stttor al politicilor naionale abia n anul 1990,
cnd a fost nfiinat primul Minister al Mediului. Primul
document oficial ce stabilete obiectivele naionale n
domeniu Strategia Naional de Protecia Mediului a
fost elaborat abia n 1992. Necesitatea armonizrii
politicii naionale n domeniul proteciei mediului cu
cea comunitar a determinat reactualizarea
documentului n 1996 i 2002.
Strategia autoritilor romne n domeniul mediului
nconjurtor a fost fundamentat, mai ales n ultima
perioad, pe studiile realizate la nivel naional, studii
care au condus la identificarea principalelor categorii
de probleme de mediu i la stabilirea necesarului de
finanare pentru reglementarea situaiei existente.
3
4

Analiznd perioada 2001 2006 din punctul de vedere


al fondurilor alocate de statul romn n vederea
soluionrii problemelor de mediu, se remarc
implicarea simultan a Ministerului Finanelor Publice,
Ministerului Economiei i Comerului, Ministerului
Mediului (inclusiv prin Administraia Fondului pentru
Mediu), precum i a autoritilor locale, prin utilizarea
unor mijloace diverse, constnd n subvenii, alocaii,
prime, scutiri i reduceri la plata obligaiilor fiscale,
participarea cu capital a statului, scutiri de dobnd la
creditele bugetare, scutiri i reduceri la plata majorrilor
de ntrziere i a penalitilor aferente sau acordarea de
garanii de ctre stat.
Lipsa unei situaii centralizatoare la nivel naional ne
pune n imposibilitate de a evalua volumul investiiilor
de mediu realizate n Romnia, indiferent de orizontul

Consilier de concuren, Consiliul Concurenei.


Inspector de concuren, Direcia Monitorizare Teritorial, Consiliul Concurenei.

10

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION POLICY


AND STATE AID IN ROMANIA
5

Jzsef Nndor NEMENYI5


Lucian STROE6
Abstract7
The state's obligation to ensure the environmental rehabilitation and preservation, as established through Stockholm
Declaration's from 1972 affirms not only the obligation to adopt rules in the field of environmental protection, but
also the necessity to correlate the environment policy with others public policies, including the competition policy.
The common element between the environmental and competition policy is the application of the ''polluter pays''
principle. This principle, claimed for the first time in the Council of Europe's Declaration from 1968 on the fight against
atmospheric pollution, has as its fundament elements from the economic theory, according to which the external
social costs which are related to production must be considered as part of the internal production costs of the
undertakings.
Thus, any costs related to the pollution (costs related to the rehabilitation of the environmental damages, diminishing
the effects of the pollution and the prevention costs) must be supported by those who causes the pollution and not by
the society as a whole. This does not mean that the State does not have to fulfill its obligation to ensure a healthy
environment for its citizens. The State must find the legal means in order to identify the polluter and to force him pay.
The ensurance of a correct equilibrium between the authorities' responsibility to protect the environment and the
application of the polluter pays principle is attained through normative acts pursuing the maintenance of the
environmental equilibrium and also through rules specific to competition law.
Keywords: pollution, sustainable development, State aid for environmental protection, required financing,
environmental standards.

Environmental protection in Romania


In Romania, the environmental protection policy
became a distinct area only in 1990, when the first
Ministry of Environmental Protection was set up. First
official document that set up the national objectives in
the field The National Strategy in the Field of
Environmental Protection, was issued only in 1992. The
necessity to harmonize the national environmental
policy with the community one determined the
successive amendment of this document in 1996 and
2002. The Romanian authorities' environmental
strategy was based, in particular in the last period of
time, on studies carried out at national level, studies that
identified the main categories of environmental issues
and quantified the required financing necessary for the
rehabilitation of the existing situation.

Analyzing the period 2001 2006 from the point of


view of the financial resources granted by the Romania
with the purpose to solve the environmental issues, one
can notice the simultaneous participation of the
Ministry of Public Finance, Ministry of Economy and
Commerce, Ministry of Environmental Protection
(including the Administration of Environmental Fund)
and of the local public authorities, by the meaning of
subventions, allocations, bonuses, exemptions and
adjustments from the payment of the fiscal taxes, capital
injections, exemptions and reductions for the payment
of debts, penalties and surcharges or granting state
guaranties.
Due to the lack of a summarized table at national level,
impede us to evaluate the level of investments in the

Competition councelor, Competition Council.


Competition inpector, Territorial Monitoring Directorate, Competition Council.
7
Translated into English by Lucian Stroe.
6

11

de timp analizat. Singurele date statistice disponibile


sunt cele referitoare la ajutoarele de stat acordate
agenilor economici, date centralizate la nivelul
Consiliului Concurenei (tabel nr.1):
tabel nr.1

30.253,24
44.121,72
40.869,22
43.770,90
28.582,97

deeurilor, inclusiv a deeurilor periculoase, deeurile


de rumegu, incinerarea deeurilor, deeurile provenite
din acumulatori i baterii auto, deeurile de mase
plastice, gestionarea deeurilor menajere, epurarea

14.116,58
10.882,25
10.799,07
7.888,36

Pentru comparaie, ponderea ajutoarelor destinate


proteciei mediului nconjurtor n totalul ajutoarelor de
stat acordate la nivel european, n UE-25, este de circa
19%, ceea ce determin o pondere a acestora n PIB de
circa 0,1900%.
n vederea autorizrii facilitilor cu destinaia protecia
mediului/dezvoltare regional acordate de furnizori n
perioada 2001 - 2005, Consiliul Concurenei a emis un
numr de 8 decizii, beneficiarii fiind: SC
TERMOCENTRALA Mintia Deva, SC LUKOIL BLACK
SEA ROMANIA SRL, SC ISPAT SIDEX SA Galai, SC
METALOPLAST SA Braov, SC REFRABRAZ SA Deva, SC
ORIGINAL PROD SRL tei, SC IRA SA Cmpina, SC
AUTOMOBILE DACIA SA Piteti, SC TERMICA SA
TARGOVITE. Valoarea total a ajutoarelor de stat
acordate a fost de 6.838.229,8 lei. Instrumentele
financiare utilizate au fost de natur fiscal, mbrcnd
forma reducerilor de la plata majorrilor i penalitilor
de ntrziere datorate bugetului de stat sau a scutirii de
la plata taxelor vamale i a TVA.
ncepnd din anul 2005, o pondere important n
totalul investiiilor de mediu realizate la nivel naional
au fost derulate prin intermediul Administraiei
Fondului pentru Mediu. Menionm finanarea
nerambursabil, iniiat n anul 2005, a lucrrilor pentru
ndeprtarea efectelor produse de inundaiile din 2005
(39 obiective n valoare de 28.000.000 lei) i pentru
ndeprtarea urmrilor dezastrului produs n localitatea
Costineti, (n valoare de 14.240.000 lei), precum i
proiecte cu impact social deosebit, 4 proiecte viznd
educaia i contientizarea publicului, (n valoare de
6.186.829 lei) i Programul de stimulare a nnoirii
Parcului naional auto, pentru scoaterea din uz a
15.100 autoturisme cu vechime mai mare de 12 ani de
la data fabricaiei (n valoare de 45.300.000 lei).
Tot din Fondul pentru mediu au fost aprobate pentru
finanare proiecte referitoare la: controlul emisiilor de
compui organici volatili (COV), reducerea impactului
asupra atmosferei, apei i solului, gestionarea

12

1,64
1,18
0,68
1,34

0,0260
0,0290
0,0207
0,0176
0,0099

apelor uzate oreneti, protecia i conservarea


biodiversitii, administrarea ariilor naturale protejate,
educaia i contientizarea publicului privind protecia
mediului.
n conformitate cu Raportul privind activitatea
desfurat de Ministerul Mediului i Gospodririi
Apelor n anul 2006, la finele anului 2006, Administraia
Fondului pentru Mediu avea ncheiate 87 contracte de
finanare, n valoare de 80.811.809 lei i era n faza de
aprobare a unui numr de alte 29 de proiecte.
Dac ne limitm ns la a face referire direct la
schemele de ajutor de stat autorizate de ctre Consiliul
Concurenei, din totalul de 10 scheme, cu un buget total
prevzut de 353.600.000 RON, doar 4 scheme s-au
dovedit atractive pentru beneficiarii finali, fondurile
epuizate cifrndu-se la 2.857.947 lei (0,81% din total).
Evaluarea msurilor de sprijin promovate prin schemele
anterior-menionate a fost realizat de ctre Consiliul
Concurenei n baza criteriilor prevzute n Liniile
directoare comunitare n domeniul ajutorului de stat
regional sau n Regulamentul CE nr. 69/2001 privind
aplicarea art. 87 i 88 din Tratatul CE in cazul ajutorului
de minimis datorit dificultilor de determinare exact
a extra-costurilor aferente investiiilor de mediu.
Fundamentarea necesarului de finanare la nivel
naional pentru perioada 2007 2013
Valoarea total estimat a costurilor pentru
conformarea cu Directivele UE de mediu este de 29,3
mld. EURO pna n 2018, din care circa 19 mld. EURO
sunt necesare pentru realizarea investiiilor privind
tratarea apelor uzate, furnizarea de ap potabil i
protecia mpotriva inundaiilor, 4 mld. EURO pentru
managementul deeurilor, 5 mld. EURO pentru
protecia aerului i circa 1 mld. EURO n vederea
proteciei biodiversitii. Pentru susinerea acestor
cheltuieli au fost prevzute urmtoarele surse de
finanare:

field of the environmental protection in Romania, in any


period of time. The only available statistical data,
summarized by the Competition Council, are those
concerning the State aid granted to the undertakings
(table no.1):
table no.1

30.253,24
44.121,72
40.869,22
43.770,90
28.582,97

emission of volatile organic compounds, reduction of


the impact over atmosphere, water and soil,
management of wastes (including the dangerous wastes,
sawdust wastes, burning of wastes, wastes from auto

14.116,58
10.882,25
10.799,07
7.888,36

As a comparison, the statistical weight of the granted


State aid for environmental protection in the total of the
State aid granted at European level (EU-25), is 19%,
having as final result a statistical weight in GDP of
0,19%.
With the view to authorise the facilities granted with the
purpose of environmental protection/regional
development, in the period 2001 2005, the
Competition Council issued a number of 8 decisions,
having as beneficiars: SC TERMOCENTRALA Mintia
Deva, SC LUKOIL BLACK SEA ROMANIA SRL, SC ISPAT
SIDEX SA Galai, SC METALOPLAST SA Braov, SC
REFRABRAZ SA Deva, SC ORIGINAL PROD SRL tei,
SC IRA SA Cmpina, SC AUTOMOBILE DACIA SA
Piteti, SC TERMICA SA Trgovite. The total amount of
State aid granted was 6.838.229,8 lei. The financial
instruments used had a fiscal nature, taking the form of
adjustments from the payment of penalties and
surcharges due to the state budget or the form of
exemptions from the payment of custom taxes and VAT.
Starting with 2005, a significant weight in the total
amount of the investments having as objective the
environmental protection, had been supported by the
Administration of the Environmental Fund. We can
mention the non-repayable financing, initiated in 2005,
of the works having as purpose to make good the effects
caused by the flooding in 2005 (39 objectives, with a
total value of 28.000.000 lei) and of the works for having
as purpose to make good the effects of the disaster from
Costinesti (with a total value of 14.240.000 lei), as well
as projects with a significant social impact, 4 projects
concerning the education and acknowledgment of the
people (with a total value of 6.186.829 lei) and the
Stimulating program on the renewal of the National
auto fleet that has like a purpose the cassation of a
15.100 cars, older than 12 years (with a total value of
45.300.000 lei).
Similarly, had been approved for financing from the
Environmental Fund projects concerning: control of the

13

1,64
1,18
0,68
1,34

0,0260
0,0290
0,0207
0,0176
0,0099

batteries and accumulators, plastic material wastes,


management of garbage), purification of wasted waters,
protection and preservation of bio-diversity,
administration of protected natural areas, education
and acknowledgment of people in the field of
environmental protection.
According to the Report concerning the activity carried
out by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in
2006, at the end of 2006, the Administration of the
Environmental Fund had had concluded 87 financing
contracts, with a total value of 80.811.809 lei and it had
in the final approval phase a number of other 29
projects.
If we are consider only the State aid schemes authorized
(by the Competition Council), from the total number of
10 schemes, having allocated a total budget of
353.600.000 lei, only 4 schemes have proved to be
attractive for the final beneficiaries. The total consumed
funds was 2.857.947 lei (0,81% from the total amount).
Evaluation of supporting measures promoted through
the above-mentioned schemes was made by the
Competition Council with respect of the criterion
provided by the Guidelines on national regional aid or by
the Commission Regulation 69/2001 on application of
art. 87 and 88 to de minimis aid due the difficulty to
correctly determine the extra-costs afferent to the
environmental investments.
Estimation of the required financing at national level
for the period 2007 - 2013
Total estimated value of the costs raised by the necessity
to observe the EU Environmental Directives is 29,3
billion EURO until 2018, from which almost 19 billion
EURO are necessary for the completion of the
investments linked by the wasted water management,
providing drinkable water and protection against
flooding, 4 billion EURO are necessary for wastes

5,4 mld. EURO - buget de stat i buget local (18%);

9,9 mld. EURO - fonduri UE (34%);

7,8 mld. EURO - sector privat (27 %);

6,2 mld. EURO - alte surse (21%).

Investiiile totale necesare n perioada 2007 - 2013 au fost


evaluate la un nivel de circa 18 mld. EURO, din care
aproximativ 6,4 mld EURO au fost prevzui din fonduri UE.
Obligativitatea atragerii i utilizrii eficiente a fondurilor
comunitare pune actualmente autoritile cu atribuii n
domeniul proteciei mediului n faa necesitii
respectrii reglementrilor europene, att n domeniul
mediului, ct i n cel al concurenei i al ajutorului de
stat. Rolul Consiliului Concurenei este, n aceast
perioad, de a sprijini furnizorii, n elaborarea de noi
scheme de ajutor de stat, de a aviza facilitile acordate
de acetia i de a susine poziia Romniei n faa
Comisiei Europene.
Investiii de mediu susinute de Administraia
Fondului pentru Mediu ncepnd cu 1 ianuarie 2007
Pn n prezent, Consiliul Concurenei a analizat, avizat
i transmis Comisiei Europene spre informare,
urmtoarele scheme de ajutor de stat, aplicabile n
Romnia pentru perioada 2007 2011, elaborate de
Administraia Fondului pentru Mediu cu respectarea
prevederilor Regulamentului CE nr. 1.628/2006 privind
aplicarea art. 87 i 88 din Tratatul CE in cazul ajutoarelor
de stat pentru investiii (tabel nr.2):

respectarea acquis-ului comunitar de mediu.


Pentru aceasta, POS Mediu aloc fonduri spre axele
prioritare (tabel nr.3).
Tendine noi n domeniul ajutorului de stat pentru
protecia mediului la nivel european
n vederea dezvoltrii unei politici integrate durabile n
domeniul schimbrilor climatice i al energiei, Consiliul
European a stabilit un plan de aciune privind energia,
pentru perioada 2007 2009, avnd n vedere c
producia i utilizarea energiei sunt principalele surse
ale emisiilor de gaze cu efect de ser. Totodat, Consiliul
a invitat Comisia European s nainteze propuneri n
sprijinul obiectivelor stabilite prin planul de aciune.
Comisia a propus revizuirea Orientrilor comunitare
privind ajutorul de stat pentru protecia mediului,
aceste noi orientri constituind unul din instrumentele
pentru punerea n aplicare a planului de aciune i a
obiectivelor privind energia i schimbrile climatice
hotrte de Consiliul European. Noile reglementri
propuse de Comisia European au n vedere i
obiectivele stabilite n Planul de aciune privind ajutorul
de stat pentru perioada 2005-2009, respectiv ajutoare
mai bine direcionate, raionamente mai economice i
proceduri mai eficiente, lund n considerare i
evoluiile n planul tehnologiilor de mediu.

tabel nr. 2

Investiii de mediu susinute prin Programul


Operaional Sectorial de Mediu
POS Mediu este unul dintre cele mai importante
programe operaionale din punct de vedere al alocrii
financiare, pentru implementarea axelor prioritare
prezentate dispunnd de o alocare financiar de
aproximativ 4,5 miliarde EURO din Fondul European
de Dezvoltare Regional i Fondul de Coeziune, la care
se adaug i cofinanarea naional de aproximativ 1
miliard EURO.
Acionnd pe un orizont de timp care se ntinde
ncepnd din 2007 pn la finele anului 2013, POS
Mediu vizeaz mbuntirea standardelor de via ale
populaiei i a standardelor de mediu, n paralel cu

14

Noile orientri comunitare privind protecia mediului


sunt n prezent supuse analizei Statelor Membre,
urmnd ca acestea s transmit Comisiei observaii i
propuneri. Fa de vechile orientri comunitare privind
ajutorul de stat pentru protecia mediului, noile
reglementri stabilesc norme pentru dou tipuri de
evaluri: o evaluare standard, pentru msurile de ajutor
de stat a caror valoare se situeaz sub un anumit prag i o
evaluare detaliat, pentru msuri de ajutor a cror
valoare depete respectivul prag.
n contextul revizuirii legislaiei n domeniul ajutorului
de stat pentru mediu se nscrie i ncadrarea anumitor
ajutoare pentru protecia mediului n categoria
ajutoarelor de stat exceptate de la obligaia notificrii la
Comisia European. n acest sens, Comisia a elaborat un

management, 5 billion EURO for air protection and


about 1 billion EURO for maintaining the biodiversity. In
order to sustain these expenses, have been provided the
following financial sources:

5,4 billion EURO from state and local budget


(18%);

9,9 billion EURO from EU funds (34%);

7,8 billion EURO from private sector (27 %);

6,2 billion EURO from other sources (21%).


The necessary of total investments in the period 2007 2013 have been evaluated to a level of almost 18 billion
EURO, from which almost 6,4 billion EURO have been
provided from EU funds.
The obligation to attract and use efficiently the
community funds obliges the authorities with
competences in the field of environmental protection to
observe the European regulations, both in the field of
environment, competition and State aid. In this period,
the Competition Council's role is to support the grantors
in issuing new State aid schemes, to approve the
facilities granted by them and to sustain the Romania's
position in front of the European Commission.
Environmental investments sustained by the
Administration of Environmental Funds after 1
January 2007
Until now, the Competition Council analyzed,
preliminary approved and send for information to the
European Commission the following State aid scheme,
applicable in Romania for the period 2007 2011,
issued by the Administration of Environmental Fund,
with respect of the Commission Regulation 1.628/2006
on application of art. 87 and 88 to investment aid (table
no.2):

Starting from 2007 and operating until December 31st


2013, SOP Environment supports the improvement of
the population living standards and the improvement of
the environmental standards, at the same time with the
observing the community environment rules.
For this, SOP Environment allocates funds to the priority
axes (table no. 3).
New orientations in the field of environmental State
aid at European level
For the development of a durable integrated policy in
the field of climatic changes and energy, the European
Council set up an action plan concerning energy for the
period 2007 2009, considering the fact that the
production and use of energy are the main sources of
gas with greenhouse effect, Therewith, the Council
invited the European Commission to elaborate and
sustain propositions in support of the objectives set up
through the action plan.
The Commission proposed the modification of the
Community Guidelines on State aid for environmental
protection. These new guidelines will constitute one of
the main instruments used for appliance of the action
plan and of the objectives concerning energy and
climatic changes, as was established by the European
Council. The new rules takes into consideration both
the objectives established by the Action plan in the field
of State aid 2005 2009, respectively less and better
aid, a more economical approach, a more efficient
procedures and the evolutions in the field of
environmental technologies.

table no.2

The environmental investments sustained by the


SOP Environment
SOP Environment is one of the most important
operational programs from the point of view of financial
allocations. It allocates for the implementation of its
priority axes a total amount of almost 4,5 billion EURO
from the European Fund for Regional Development and
the Cohesion Fund and also 1 billion EURO from
national sources.

15

Currently, the new community guidelines concerning


the environmental protection are analyzed by the
Member States. In the next period, the Member States
will submit their observations to the Commission. In
comparison with the old guidelines in the field of
environmental protection, the new guidelines set up
rules for two types of evaluations: a standard evaluation,
for the State aid measures with a total value below a
certain threshold and a detailed evaluation, for those

tabel nr.3

proiect de regulament general de exceptri n bloc,


supus de asemenea dezbaterii Statelor Membre, n care,
pentru prima dat, sunt prevzute i exceptri n
domeniul ajutorului de stat pentru protecia mediului,
cu condiia ca ajutorul s ndeplineasc toate condiiile
de exceptare prevzute n regulament.
Ambele proiecte de reglementri comunitare care
privesc ajutorul pentru protecia mediului sunt
publicate pe site-ul Comisiei Europene i pot fi
consultate n limba romn la adresa
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state_aid/refor
m/reform.html.
*
Dezvoltarea durabil (sustenabil) presupune
desfurarea activitilor economice cu prezervarea
resurselor naturale i a ecosistemelor, asigurnd accesul
generaiilor viitoare la resursele planetei. Bazat nc
din 2005 pe structurile economiei de pia, economia
romneasc trebuie s in seama, n acelai timp, de
dimensiunea social i de mediu, lucru imposibil de

16

realizat fr o suficient alocare de resurse financiare


din partea tuturor factorilor implicai.
Prevederile art. 135 alin. (2) lit. e) din Constituia
Romniei (ediia 2003) definesc cu claritate rolul
statului, care este obligat s asigure refacerea i
ocrotirea mediului nconjurtor, precum i meninerea
echilibrului ecologic [...] contribuind la crearea
condiiilor necesare pentru creterea calitii vieii.
Resursele alocate pn n prezent pentru protecia
mediului n Romnia, sunt departe de a satisface
necesitile reale de combatere a polurii. n anumite
condiii, msurile de natura ajutorului de stat pot
contribui la completarea acestor resurse. Rolul
Consiliului Concurenei este de a asigura cheltuirea
eficient a resurselor statului romn, n condiiile
creterii nivelului general de protecie a mediului i a
asigurrii respectrii stricte a standardelor europene n
domeniul limitrii emisiilor poluante, prevederi
obligatorii i n Romnia, ncepnd cu data de 1 ianuarie
2007.

table no.3

measures with a total value that exceed the abovementioned threshold.


In the same context of reviewing the legal framework in
the field of State aid for environmental protection, some
State aid for environmental protection will be exempted
from the notification obligation. To this end, the
Commission elaborated a draft general block
exemption regulation that is now also debated by the
Member States. In this draft, for the first time, there were
also included exemptions in the field of State aid for
environmental protection.
Both drafts are published on the European Commission
site and can be read in Romanian at:
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state_aid/refor
m/reform.html.
*
Sustainable development means that the carrying out of
the economic activities is made with the preservation of
the natural resources and eco-systems, assuring the
access of future generations to the Earth resources.
Based on the principle of a functional market economy

17

since 2005, the Romanian economy must respect also


the social and environmental dimension, which is
impossible to achieve if the financial resources granted
by the responsible factors are insufficient.
The Romanian Constitution (edition 2003) provides in
art. 135 par. (2) let. e) a clear definition of the state's role.
This must ensure the rehabilitation and preservation of
the environment, as well as the maintenance of the
ecologic equilibrium [] contributing to the creation of
necessary conditions for increasing the level of life
quality.
The financial resources allocated until now in Romania
were not sufficient for satisfying the real necessities in
the field of fight against pollution. In certain conditions,
the State aid measures can contribute to the completion
of these resources. The Competition Council's role is to
ensure that the state resources are used efficiently, at the
same time with the increasing of the general level of
environmental protection and assuring the strict
observing of European standards in the field of reducing
pollutant emissions, standards which are compulsory for
Romania since January 1st 2007.

CONTROLUL AJUTORULUI DE STAT N ROMNIA (III)8


Prof. dr. Reimer von BORRIES9
Rezumat10
Comisia European a identificat, cu regularitate, controlul ajutoarelor de stat drept una dintre zonele cu probleme,
care puteau conduce la ntrzierea ncheierii negocierilor de aderare sau chiar la amnarea datei aderrii Romniei la
Uniunea European. Prin Raportul de monitorizare, publicat de Comisia European n luna mai 2006, au fost
recunoscute progresele realizate de Romnia n aplicarea legislaiei ajutorului de stat i s-a decis declanarea
procedurii ajutoarelor existente.
n evoluia controlului ajutoarelor de stat n Romnia pot fi identificate trei perioade distincte. Dup prezentarea n
numrul anterior al revistei, a celei de a doua perioade de control al ajutoarelor de stat n Romnia, prezentul articol,
continu cu descrierea perioadei 2005-2007.
Cuvinte cheie: ajutor de stat, autoritate de concuren, Consiliul Concurenei, controlul ajutoarelor de stat.
V. Finalizarea negocierilor de aderare i Tratatul de
aderare
1. Pe 8 decembrie 2004, negocierile tehnice pentru
Capitolul 6 privind concurena, precum i pentru
celelalte dou capitole care erau nc deschise (Justiie i
Afaceri Interne i Mediu) au fost finalizate. Aceasta a
pregtit terenul pentru finalizarea negocierilor de
aderare cu Romnia pe 14 decembrie 2004. n urma
acestui important eveniment, Consiliul European a
considerat, n Concluziile ntlnirii din 16-17 decembrie
2004 c Romnia este capabil ca, la data estimat a
aderrii sale (2007), s-i asume toate obligaiile de
membru, cu condiia continurii eforturilor n acest
sens i a realizrii ... tuturor reformelor i
angajamentelor ... n special a celor viznd Concurena
(pe lng Justiie i Afaceri interne i Mediu).
La ncheierea negocierilor, Romnia s-a angajat la
urmtoarele:
s asigure un control efectiv, prin intermediul

Consiliului Concurenei, al oricrui ajutor de stat


potenial, inclusiv n ceea ce privete ajutorul de stat sub
forma reealonrii plilor obligaiilor din domeniul
fiscal sau social ctre bugetul de stat ori a reealonrii
plilor privind furnizarea de energie;
s consolideze, fr ntrziere, mecanismele de

monitorizare a ajutorului de stat i s asigure un nivel


satisfctor al monitorizrii att n domeniul politicii
antitrust, ct i n domeniul ajutorului de stat;

s continue s aloce Consiliului Concurenei


mijloacele financiare adecvate, precum i resursele
umane suficiente i pregtite corespunztor;

s prezinte Comisiei, pn la mijlocul lunii


decembrie 2004, un plan revizuit de restructurare a
industriei siderurgice n conformitate cu cerinele
stabilite n Protocolul 2, privind produsele CECO, din
Acordul European 11.
2. ntruct Comisia i unele state membre continuau s
fie ngrijorate n legtur cu caracterul eficiena
controlului ajutoarelor de stat n Romnia, s-a decis ca
aceste angajamente s fie integrate n Tratatul de
aderare, semnat pe 25 aprilie 2005, iar ndeplinirea
acestora s fie o condiie pentru evitarea aplicrii aa
numitei super clauze de salvgardare coninut n art.
39 alin. (3) din tratat. Aceast clauz permite amnarea
cu un an, pn n ianuarie 2008, a datei aderrii,
prevzut pentru ianuarie 2007. n cazul Romniei,
super clauza de salvagardare putea fi activat dac erau
observate serioase deficiene n ndeplinirea de ctre
Romnia a obligaiilor din Acordul european sau a uneia
sau mai multor angajamente i cerine asumate de
Romnia la finalizarea negocierilor de aderare.
Activarea super clauzei de salvgardare n cazul

8
Acest articol a fost publicat n European State Aid Law Quartely, nr. 3/2006. Consiliul Concurenei a obinut acordul autorului pentru
publicarea articolului.
9
L.L.M Reimer von Borries a fost expert de preaderare la Consiliul Concurenei din Romnia ntre 2001 i 2002, respectiv 2003 i 2005.
nainte de a se pensiona, a fost consilier ministerial la Ministerul Federal de Finane din Germania i profesor onorific la Universitatea din
Osnabrck. Opiniile din prezentul articol reprezint punctele de vedere ale autorului.
10
Traducerea n limba romn a fost realizat de Georgeta Gavriloiu
11
Pentru textul integral al acestui angajament, a se vedea Anexa IX, punctul II din Actul de aderare.

18

STATE AID CONTROL IN ROMANIA (III)12


13

Prof.Ph.D. Reimer von BORRIES13


Abstract
The European Commission has constantly identified the State aid control as one problematic area, which could lead to
a delay in the closure of accession negotiations or even to the postponement of the date of accession. In the
Monitoring Report issued by the European Commission in May 2006, Romania's progresses in the field of state aid
were acknowledged and it was decided that the existing aid procedure become available for Romania.
In the evolution of State aid control in Romania three distinct periods can be identified. After the presentation, in the
previous issue of this magazine, of second period in the State aid control, the present article continues with describing
of the period 2005-2007.
Keywords: State aid, competition authority, Competition Council, State aid control.

V. The closure of the accession negotiations and the


Accession Treaty
1. On 8 December 2004, the technical negotiations on
Chapter 6 on competition and on the other two
chapters still open (justice and home affairs, and the
environment) were closed. This paved the way for the
closure of the accession negotiations with Romania on
14 December 2004. Following this important event, the
European Council considered, in the Conclusions of its
meeting on 16-17 December, 2004, that Romania
would be capable of assuming all the obligations of
membership at the envisaged time of its accession
(2007), provided that it continues its efforts to that end
and completes..all necessary reforms and
commitments....in particular regarding Competition
(besides Justice and Home Affairs and Environment).
At the closure of the accession negotiations, Romania
committed itself to the following:
to ensure effective control by the Competition

Council of any potential State aid, including in relation


to State aid foreseen by means of deferrals of payments
to the State budget or fiscal or social liabilities or
deferrals of liabilities related to energy supply;
to strengthen its State aid enforcement record

without delay and to ensure a satisfactory enforcement


record in the areas of both anti-trust and State aid
thereafter;
12

to continue devoting adequate financial means and

sufficient and adequately qualified human resources to


the Competition Council;
to submit to the Commission by mid-December 2004

a revised steel restructuring plan.in line with the


requirements set out in Protocol 2 on ESCS products to
the Europe Agreement...14
2. Since the Commission and several Member States
remained concerned about the effectiveness of State
aid control in Romania, it was decided to integrate these
commitments into the Accession Treaty, signed on 25
April 2005, and to make their fulfilment a condition for
avoiding the application of the so called super
safeguard clause provided in Article 39 para. 3 of the
Treaty. This clause allows for the postponement of the
date of accession, envisaged for January 2007, by one
year to January 2008. In the case of Romania, the super
safeguard clause could be activated if serious
shortcomings have been observed in the fulfilment by
Romania of the obligations under the Europe
Agreement or of one or more of the commitments and
requirements listed in Annex IX, point II. This point
contains exactly the above-mentioned four
commitments undertaken by Romania at the closure of
the accession negotiations. Activating the super
safeguard clause would, in Romania's case, procedurally
require a decision of the Council, acting by qualified

This article was published in the European State Aid Law Quarterly, no.3/2006 and the Competition Council received the authors'
approval for publishing this article.
13
Reimer von Borries, LL.M, was Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) at the Romanian Competition Council 2001-2002 and 2003-2005. He
is a retired Ministerial Counsellor of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Honorary Professor at the University of Osnabrck. Opinions in
this article are the author's personal views.
14
For the complete text of this commitment, see Annex IX point II to the Act of Accession.

19

Romniei necesit, din punct de vedere procedural, o


decizie a Consiliului [Uniunii Europene n.t.],
acionnd cu majoritate calificat, pe baza unei
recomandri a Comisiei, decizie care putea fi adoptat
n orice moment nainte de sfritul anului 200615.
3. Anexa V, seciunea 2, paragraful 1 din Actul de
aderare prevede o procedur a ajutorului existent
(denumit, de asemenea, mecanismul interimar) n
conformitate cu care urmtoarele scheme de ajutor i
ajutoare individuale aplicate ... nainte de data aderrii
i care sunt aplicabile i dup aceast dat vor fi
considerate la data aderrii drept ajutor existent n
sensul art. 88 (1) din Tratatul CE:
a) msurile puse n aplicare nainte de 10 decembrie
1994;
b) msurile cuprinse n lista ataat prezentei anexe;
c) msurile de ajutor care, nainte de data aderrii, au
fost evaluate de ctre autoritatea de monitorizare a
ajutoarelor de stat din noul stat membru i considerate
compatibile cu acquis-ul, i cu privire la care Comisia nu
a ridicat obieciuni pe baza dubiilor serioase cu privire la
compatibilitatea msurii cu piaa comun, n
confromitate cu procedura prevzut n paragraful 2.
n consecin, msurile de ajutor de stat care nu
ndeplinesc aceste condiii i care sunt aplicabile dup
data aderrii, vor fi considerate drept ajutor nou la
momentul aderrii16. Totui, cu privire la Romnia,
paragraful 5 din seciunea 2 a anexei 2 prevede faptul c
paragraful 1(c) se va aplica doar msurilor evaluate de
ctre Consiliul Concurenei dup ce Comisia, n baza
monitorizrii continue, va emite o decizie prin care
declar c Aplicarea regulilor de ajutor de stat n
Romnia n perioada de preaderare a atins un nivel
satisfctor. n acest scop, Romnia trebuie s
demonstreze exercitarea consecvent, de ctre
Consiliul Concurenei, a unui control deplin i
corespunztor al ajutoarelor de stat, n legtur cu toate
msurile de ajutor acordate n Romnia, inclusiv
adoptarea i implementarea, de ctre Consiliul
Concurenei, a unor decizii deplin i corect motivate,
coninnd o evaluare corect a naturii de ajutor de stat a

15

fiecrei msuri, precum i aplicarea corect a criteriilor


de compatibilitate.
Comisia poate, de aceea, s ridice obiecii, pe motive
serioase, cu privire la compatibilitatea cu piaa comun,
fa de orice msur de ajutor de stat acordat n
perioada de pre-aderare, ntre septembrie 2004 i data
fixat n decizia de mai sus a Comisiei prin care se
constat c aplicarea legislaiei a atins un nivel
satisfctor17.
4. O list de ajutoare n sensul paragrafului 2 din
seciunea 1(b) nu a fost ataat Tratatului, ns anexa VII,
paragraful 4 din Actul de aderare conine dou
aranjamente tranzitorii speciale privind msuri de ajutor
fiscal: prevederi speciale privind reducerea treptat a
ajutoarelor fiscale incompatibile acordate n baza legii
privind zonele libere (pn la 31 decembrie 2011),
pentru ntreprinderile care au avut contracte comerciale
semnate nainte de 1 iulie 2002, i n baza Ordonanei
de Urgen a Guvernului privind zonele defavorizate
(pn la 31 decembrie 2010), pentru ntreprinderile
crora le-a fost acordat un certificat permanent de
investitor nainte de data 1 iulie 200318.
VI. Perioada 2005 - 2007
1. Controlul ajutoarelor de stat se afl acum ntr-o nou
faz. Aceast faz a nceput n toamna anului 2005 cu
evaluarea n general pozitiv a rezultatelor Consiliului
Concurenei n activitatea de aplicare a legii, evaluare
fcut de Comisie n Raportul de monitorizare din 2005
(n ciuda existenei nc a unor deficiene). n cel mai
recent Raport de monitorizare, din 16 mai 2006,
Comisia a concluzionat c eforturile ntreprinse de
autoritile romne ncepnd cu toamna 2005 a artat
faptul c s-a mbuntit considerabil calitatea evalurii
i analizei msurilor de ajutor i c s-a atins un nivel
satisfctor n activitatea de aplicare a legislaiei din
domeniul ajutorului de stat.

A se vedea i Van de Casteele, Next EU enlargement: Romania and State aid control Competition Newsletter of the European
Commission nr.1/2005, pag.39. Super-clauza de salvgardare poate fi activat, de asemenea, n eventualitatea unor dificulti serioase n
domeniul Justiie i Afaceri Interne (art.39, alin.2 din Tratatul de aderare, cu referire la Anexa IX, pct.I din Actul de Aderare). Clauza de
salvgardare - piaa intern (art.37 din Tratatul de aderare), care este aplicabil n cazul nendeplinirii angajamentelor asumate n
contextul negocierilor de aderare, poate fi, de asemenea, activat de ctre Comisie dac Romnia nu acioneaz n confortmitate cu
angajamentele din domeniul ajutorului de stat, ns aceasta ar putea conduce doar la luarea de msuri adecvate i nu la amnarea
aderrii Romniei.
16
A se vedea i Schtterle, Enlargement: Pre-Accession State aid after Accession, EStAL /2003, pag. 29-38, i n: Heidenhain, Hdb. d.
Beihilfenrechts, 61, Rn. 46-48; Merola/Ballester, State Aids and Enlargement, Specificities of New Member States, n: Geradin (ed.),
Modernisation and Enlargement: Two major challenges for EC Competition Law, Antwerp/Oxford 2004, pag. 321 (341). Clauza a fost
creat pentru a determina n mod rapid Romnia s i respecte obligaiile n domeniul ajutorului de stat din moment ce incertitudinea
legislativ ar putea fi un aspect descurajant pentru investitori; a se vedea Van de Casteele , supra nota 4, pag.42.
17
A se vedea Van de Casteele, supra nota 47, pag.40; Oprescu, A Pre-Accession Perspective: Romania, n: New Developments in
European State Aid Law 2005. Proceedings of the 3rd Experts Forum, pag. 35. Pentru produse agricole, pescuit i transport se aplic
reguli speciale.
18
n sectorul siderurgic se aplic dispoziii speciale i detaliate; a se vedea Anexa VII la Actul de Aderare, seciunea 4.B.

20

majority on the basis of a Commission


recommendation, which could be taken at any time
before the end of 200619.

dated fixed in the above Commission decision finding


that the enforcement record has reached a satisfactory
level21.

3. Annex V section 2 paragraph 1 of the Accession Act


provides an existing aid procedure (also called
interim mechanism) according to which the
following aid schemes and individual aid put into effect
before the date of accession and still applicable after
that date shall be regarded upon accession as existing
aid in the meaning of Article 88(1) of the EC Treaty:
(a) aid measures put into effect before 10 December
1994;
(b) aid measures listed in the Appendix to this Annex;
(c) aid measures which, prior to the date of accession,
were assessed by the State aid monitoring authority of
the new Member State and found to be compatible with
the acquis, and to which the Commission did not raise
an objection on the grounds of serious doubts as to the
compatibility of the measure with the common market,
pursuant to the procedure set out in paragraph 2.

4. An existing aid list in the sense of paragraph 2 section


1(b) has not been attached to the Treaty, but Annex VII
paragraph 4 to the Act of Accession contains two
specific transitional arrangements regarding fiscal aid
measures: special provisions on the phasingout of
incompatible fiscal aid under the Law on free trade
areas (by 31 December 2011) for undertakings having
signed commercial contracts before 1 July 2002, and
under the Government Emergency Ordinance on
deprived areas (by 31 December 2010) for undertakings
having been given a permanent investor certificate
before 1 July 200322.

Consequently, aid measures which do not fulfil these


conditions and are applicable after accession will be
considered as new aid upon accession20. However, with
regard to Romania, paragraph 5 of section 2 of Annex 2
provides that paragraph 1(c) shall only apply to aid
measures assessed by the Romanian Competition
Council after a decision by the Commission, based on
continuous monitoring, stating that Romania's State aid
enforcement record in the period prior to accession has
reached a satisfactory level. For this purpose, Romania
must demonstrate the consistent application of full and
proper State aid control in relation to all aid measures
granted in Romania, including the adoption and
implementation of fully and correctly reasoned
decisions by the Competition Council, containing an
accurate assessment of the State aid nature of each
measure and a correct application of the compatibility
criteria.
The Commission may therefore object, on serious
grounds regarding compatibility with the common
market, to any aid measure granted in the preaccession period between September 2004 and the

19

VI. The period 2005-2007


1. State aid control in Romania is now in its third stage.
This stage started in autumn 2005 with the generally
positive evaluation of the enforcement record of the
Competition Council by the Commission in its
Monitoring Report 2005 (in spite of certain
shortcomings still existing). In its most recent Monitoring
Report of 16 May 2006, the Commission concludes that
the efforts undertaken by the Romanian authorities
since autumn 2005 show that the quality of the
Competition Council's assessment and analysis of aid
measures has noticeably improved and that a
satisfactory level of the State aid enforcement record has
now been attained.
(a) Consequently, the Commission has decided to start
applying the interim mechanism (paragraph 1(c) of
Annex V to the Act of Accession) as of May 2006. This
means that State aid measures authorised by the
Council after this date and applicable after accession to
which the Commission did not raise an objection.
will be regarded as existing aid. Under these
conditions, any retroactive scrutiny of such aid
measures or recovery orders by the Commission after
accession are excluded. Romania will therefore have to
continue to submit State aid draft decisions to the
Commission in order to be on the safe side.

See also van de Casteele, Next EU enlargement: Romania and State aid control, Competition Newsletter of the European Commission
No. 1/2005, page 39. The super safeguard clause could also be activated in the event of serious shortcomings in the area of Justice and
Home Affairs (Article 39 para. 2 of the Accession Treaty with reference to Annex IX, point I, to the Act of Accession). The internal market
safeguard clause (Article 37 of the Accession Treaty), which is applicable in the case of a failure to implement commitments undertaken
in the context of the accession negotiations, could also be activated by the Commission if Romania did not live up to its commitments in
the State aid area, but this would only lead to specific appropriate measures and not to the postponement of Romanias accession.
20
See also Schtterle, Enlargement: Pre-Accession State aid after Accession, EStAL /2003, pages 29-38, and in: Heidenhain, Hdb. d.
Beihilfenrechts, 61, Rn. 46-48; Merola/Ballester, State Aids and Enlargement, Specificities of New Member States, in: Geradin (ed.),
Modernisation and Enlargement: Two major challenges for EC Competition Law, Antwerp/Oxford 2004, page 321 (341). The clause is
designed to push Romania to quickly respect its obligations in the field of State aid control since legal uncertainty could be a
considerable disincentive for investors; see van de Casteele, supra note 4, page 42.
21
See van de Casteele, supra note 47, page 40; Oprescu, A Pre-Accession Perspective: Romania, in: New Developments in European
State Aid Law 2005. Proceedings of the 3rd Experts Forum, page 35. Special rules apply to agricultural products, fisheries and transport.
22
Special and detailed transition provisions apply to the steel sector; see Annex VII to the Act of Accession section 4.B.

21

a) n consecin, Comisia a decis declanarea


mecanismului interim (paragraful 1 (c) din Anexa V
din Actul de aderare) ncepnd cu luna mai 2006.
Aceasta nseamn c msurile de ajutor de stat
autorizate de ctre Consiliul dup aceast dat i
aplicabile dup data aderrii cu privire la care Comisia
nu a ridicat nici o obiecie ... vor fi considerate drept
ajutor existent. n aceste condiii, este exclus orice
evaluare retroactiv a acestor msuri de ajutor de stat
sau emiterea de ctre Comisie a unor ordine de
recuperare. De aceea, pentru a se situa n zona sigur,
Romnia va trebui s continue s transmit Comisiei
proiectele deciziilor de ajutor de stat.
Pe de alt parte, msurile de ajutor autorizate ntre 1
septembrie 2004 i 30 aprilie 2006 i aplicabile dup
aderare nu sunt cuprinse n mecanismul interimar i,
de aceea, nu sunt sigure: acestea ar putea (cel puin
teoretic) s fie puse n discuie de Comisie dup aderare
i s devin obiectul unui ordin de recuperare.
b) Aprecierea Comisiei, din raportul su din 16 mai
2006, c, n Romnia, controlul ajutoarelor de stat a
atins un nivel satisfctor i c nu mai reprezint o
zon care ridic ngrijorri serioase nseamn c nu
exist un pericol real de activare a super clauzei de
salvgardare. Doar n cazul unor evenimente noi i
extraordinare ar putea Comisia s i revizuiasc
evaluarea i s reconsidere aplicarea acestei clauze.
Faptul c Romnia a atins n prezent acest stadiu merit
un respect deosebit, avnd n vedere preistoria i
mediul procesul lent de transformare i condiiile
politice, economice i sociale extrem de dificile din
Romnia de dup 1990. Acest succes se datoreaz n
primul rnd eforturilor imense fcute de Consiliul
Concurenei n ultimii ani i a muncii susinute a
personalui, foarte dedicat al acestuia23, precum i
Comisiei Europene, ai crei experi au fost devotai
aderrii Romniei la Uniunea European, cu condiia
unei funcionri adecvate a controlului ajutoarelor de
stat.
2). Chiar dac situaia nu mai este grav, Romnia
trebuie n continuare s depeasc un numr de
deficiene cu privire la aplicarea regulilor de ajutor de
stat, n conformitate cu observaiile formulate de
Comisie n Raportul su de monitorizare din mai 200624.
n special, Raportul observ c notificarea ex-ante a
tuturor msurilor noi de ajutor n legtur cu cazurile de
restructurare, a amnrilor de pli sau a msurilor n
contextul privatizrii nu este realizat nc la
23

standardele cerute. Deoarece aceste msuri reprezint


o responsabilitate special a marilor furnizori de ajutor
de stat, cum sunt Ministerul Finanelor Publice i
autoritatea de privatizare AVAS, n raport, Comisia
ndeamn furnizorii de ajutor de stat s i
mbunteasc cooperarea cu Consiliul Concurenei i
s asigure exercitarea de ctre acesta a controlului strict,
ex ante, al msurilor de ajutor de stat. De aceea, Comisia
a concluzionat c: acum, sunt necesare eforturi sporite
i aciune prompt n acest domeniu pentru rezolvarea
deficienelor la timp, nainte de aderare.. ngrijorare
special genereaz proporia foarte mare a ajutorului
fiscal, vizibil n mod clar n actualizarea din primvara
anului 2006 a Tabloului ajutoarelor de stat (State aid
scoreboard). Romnia mai are mult de parcurs pn la
redirecionarea ajutoarelor ctre obiective orizontale.
Va trebui s fie dezvoltate de ctre Guvern scheme de
ajutor de stat cu perspectiv pe termen lung, n special
privind ajutorul regional pentru co-finanarea
proiectelor din fondurile structurale. Evaluarea
msurilor de ajutor de stat importante va trebui s fie
finalizat. n acest context, Comisia continu
monitorizarea pregtirilor pentru aderare pentru a se
asigura c ara i ndeplinete angajamentele i ia n
considerare comentariile formulate n Raport25.
3. n perioada rmas pn la aderare, Romnia va
trebui s ia msuri legislative i administrative care s
vizeze situaia dup data aderrii, cnd controlul
ajutorului de stat va fi preluat de ctre Comisia
European. n special, legiuitorul va trebui s decid ce
instituie va deveni responsabil cu notificrile ctre
Comisie dup data aderrii:

ar trebui ca, dup aderare, Consiliul Concurenei s


devin autoritatea naional de montorizare n
domeniul ajutorului de stat, avnd sarcina de a
superviza notificrile tuturor furnizorilor de ajutor de
stat din Romnia i acionnd ca un corespondent al
Comisiei n toate problemele privind ajutorul de stat?

ar trebui ca aceast sarcin s fie atribuit unui


minister (lsnd Consiliul Concurenei fr atribuii n
domeniul ajutorului de stat)?26
sau

ar trebui ca autoritile furnizoare de ajutor de stat s


i notifice proiectele direct la Comisie (n toate cazurile
prin Reprezentana Permanent a Romniei la Uniunea
European)?
Aceste ntrebri sunt n prezent n discuie n Romnia.
Se lucreaz la un proiect de lege. Comisia a recomandat

ntruct, n Romnia, controlul ajutoarelor de stat a existat doar n ultimii ase ani, ceea ce reprezint o perioad scurt dac avem n
vedere situaia iniial, mediul politic, economic i social dificil i volumul enorm de munc necesar.
24
Din cele 14 domenii care prezint ngrijorri serioase, menionate n Raportul de monitorizare din 2005, potrivit Raportului de
monitorizare din mai 2006, au mai rmas doar patru, care ar putea conduce la activarea super-clauzei de salvgardare dac Romnia nu
ia msurile necesare.
25
n iunie 2006, procesul de ratificare nu se ncheiase nc. Pn la acea dat, Tratatul de aderare fusese ratificat de 14 state membre.
26
Astfel, Consiliul s-ar ocupa doar de politica din domeniul concurenei, exact ca Oficiul Federal Antitrust din Germania. n Germania,
autoritatea de monitorizare este Minsterul Federal pentru Economie i Tehnologie.

22

On the other hand, aid measures authorised between 1


September 2004 and 30 April 2006 and applicable after
accession, are not covered by the interim mechanism
and are therefore not safe: They could (at least
theoretically) be queried by the Commission after
accession and become subject of a recovery order.
(b) The assessment by the Commission in its Report of
16 May 2006, that State aid control in Romania has by
now reached a satisfactory level and is no longer an
area of serious concern means that there is no real
danger of application of the super safeguard clause.
Only in the case of new and extraordinary events could
the Commission revise its assessment and reconsider the
application of this clause. The fact that Romania has
now reached this stage deserves great respect,
considering the prehistory and the environment
the slow transformation process and the extremely
difficult political, economic and social conditions in
Romania in the decade after 1990. This success is due in
the first instance to the enormous efforts made by the
Competition Council during recent years and in
particular to the hard work of its very dedicated staff27,
and also to the European Commission, whose experts
were strongly committed to Romania's EU accession on
the condition of a properly functioning State aid control.
2. Although by now the situation is no longer serious,
Romania must still overcome a number of shortcomings
with regard to the application of the State aid rules,
according to the observations of the Commission in its
May 2006 Monitoring Report28. The Report observes in
particular that ex-ante notifications of all new aid
measures in relation to restructuring cases, payment
deferrals or measures connected with privatisation are
not yet carried out up to the requisite standard. Since
they are a special responsibility of the large State aid
grantors like the Ministry of Public Finance and the
Privatisation Authority AVAS, the Commission urges in
its Report that the State aid grantors should improve
their cooperation with the Competition Council and
ensure strict ex ante control of State aid measures by the
Council. The Commission therefore concludes that
increased efforts and swift action are now needed in
this area in order to solve the shortcomings in time,
before accession. Of special concern is the still very
large share of fiscal aid, clearly visible from the spring
27

2006 Update of the State aid Scoreboard. In redirecting


aid towards horizontal purposes, Romania still has a
long way to go. State aid schemes with a long-term
perspective will have to be developed by the
Government, especially for regional aid for the cofinancing of structural fund projects. The assessment of
the major existing aid measures will have to be finalised.
Against this background, the Commission continues to
monitor Romania's preparations for accession in order
to ensure that the country meets its commitments and
takes into consideration the comments made in the
Report29.
3. During the remaining time until accession, Romania
will have to take legislative and administrative measures
to cover the situation after the date of accession when
State aid control in Romania is taken over by the
European Commission. In particular, the legislator will
have to decide which institution should become
responsible for notifications to the Commission after
accession:

Should the Competition Council become the national


monitoring authority in the State aid area, with the
task of supervising notifications of all State aid grantors in
Romania, and acting as the Romanian counterpart of
the Commission in all State aid matters?30
or

Should a Ministry be charged with this task (leaving the


Competition Council without attributions in the State
aid area)?
or

Should the State aid granting authorities notify their


projects directly to the Commission (as in all cases via
the Romanian Permanent EU Representation)?
These questions are currently being discussed in
Romania. A draft law is in preparation. The Commission
has recommended that the new Member States which
joined the EU in 2004 keep their coordinating
institutions in place in order to preserve the knowledge
and experience acquired in the previous years. Most of
them have done so. For example, Poland charged its
Competition Office to work as the bridge between the
national authorities and the Commission in the State aid
area, and also Hungary and Slovenia31. It remains to be
seen which way Romania will go. There are, of course,

Since State aid control has existed in Romania only for the past six years, which is a rather short time period considering the initial
situation, the difficult political, economic, and social environment and the enormous amount of work that had to be done.
28
From the 14 areas of serious concern mentioned in the 2005 Monitoring Report four remain, according to the May 2006 Monitoring
Report, which could still lead to the activation of the super safeguard clause if Romania does not take the necessary measures in time.
29
3 The ratification process was not yet completed in June 2006. Until this date, the Accession Treaty has been ratified by 14 Member
States.
30
The Council would thus deal with competition policy only, just like the German Bundeskartellamt. The monitoring institution in
Germany is the Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology.
31
See the Polish Law of 30 April 2004 on the procedural issues concerning public aid, Law Journal No. 183/2004, page 8690. A number
of other new Member States followed the recommendation by the Commission, for example Hungary and Slovenia. See Hargita/Remetei
Filep, State aid Control in Hungary, EStAL 2004, pages 585-590 and Jagodic-Lekocevic/Pelka/Vosu, Future Role of Former National
Monitoring Authorities and Existing Aid in Slovenia, Poland and Estonia, EStAL 2004, pages 375-384.

23

ca noile state membre care s-au alturat Uniunii


Europene n 2004 s i menin instituiile
coordonatoare pentru a valorifica cunotiinele i
experiena dobndite n anii anteriori. Multe dintre
acestea au procedat n acest fel. Spre exemplu, Polonia
a nsrcinat Oficiul Concurenei s lucreze ca o punte
ntre autoritile naionale i Comisie n domeniul
ajutorului de stat, ca i Ungaria i Slovenia32. Rmne de
vzut ce cale va alege Romnia. Exist, desigur,
argumente pentru toate cele trei soluii. Totui, avnd n
vedere c exist nc un volum mare de ajutoare de stat,
precum i mrimea rii, ar fi cu siguran avantajoas
pentru Romnia (ca i pentru Uniunea European)
varianta n care, Consiliul Concurenei, ca instituie
central i independent, s fie nsrcinat cu rolul de
coordonator naional de ajutor de stat33.
4. n perioada de pn la aderare, vor trebui realizate i
alte aranjamente. O revizuire complet a legii privind
ajutorul de stat va fi necesar (i este n curs). n special,
Romnia trebuie s se asigure c deciziile i ordinele de
recuperare ale Comisiei vor fi aplicate fr ntrzieri
nejustificate n conformitate cu prevederile
Regulamentului de procedur34. Regulamentele i
instruciunile Consiliul Concurenei prin care au fost
transpuse n legislaia naional criteriile substaniale de
evaluare a msurilor de ajutor de stat vor trebui abrogate
ncepnd cu data aderrii, din moment ce Romnia nu
va mai avea competena de a stabili regulile pentru
controlul ajuotarelor de stat, iar regulile comunitare,
procedurale i substaniale, vor deveni imediat
aplicabile35.
n sfrit, autoritile furnizoare de ajutor vor trebui s fie
pregtite pentru aplicarea regulamentelor de exceptare
pe categorii, iar aceasta presuspune expertiz special.
Astfel, situaia de dup aderare va aduce noi provocri
pentru ar, aa cum a demonstrat experiena altor noi
state membre36.
VII. Concluzii

Totui, dup 2001, procesul de transformare dintr-o


economie planificat centralizat ntr-o economie de
pia a primit impuls. n acest context, implementarea
regulilor de ajutor de stat a nceput treptat s
funcioneze. Dup anul 2004, dup modificarea
profund a structurii organizatorice a autoritilor de
concuren, Romnia a fcut pai rapizi spre
conformarea cu cerinele unui control al ajutor de stat
eficient. Cu asistena Comisiei (i cu sprijinul experilor
germani din echipa de twinning), Consiliul Concurenei
a mbuntit calitatea deciziilor i a lucrat susinut
pentru obinerea unor rezultate n aplicarea legii
comparabile cu standardele UE.
La ncheierea negocierilor de aderare n decembrie
2004, Comisia a recunoscut faptul c Romnia este o
economie de pia n sensul criteriilor de aderare de la
Copenhaga i care este capabil s fac fa presiunilor
de pe piaa intern a Uniunii Europene. n Raportul de
monitorizare din octombrie 2005, Comisia a prut
satisfcut de rezultatele Consiliului Concurenei n
activitatea de aplicare a legii, dar a recomandat cu trie
ca furnizorii de ajutor de stat s respecte obligaia
notificrii ex ante. n Comunicarea i n Raportul de
monitorizare din 16 mai 2006, chiar dac a cerut
continuarea progreselor n domeniul ajutorului de stat,
Comisia nu a mai menionat deficiene serioase cu
privire la acest aspect i, n schimb, a conferit Romniei
un certificat de calitate prin recunoaterea existenei
unor rezultate satisfctoare n activitatea de aplicare a
legii n sensul Tratatului de aderare. n aceste
circumstane, este aproape exclus ca domeniul
ajutorului de stat s reprezinte n continuare o cauz a
amnrii aderrii prevzute pentru 1 ianuarie 2007 prin
aplicarea super-clauzei de salvgardare (dac nu se
produce un eveniment extraordinar). Oricum, Romnia
trebuie s fac acum eforturi speciale pentru a-i pregti
cadrul legal i administrativ, precum i personalul
autoritilor furnizoare de ajutor de stat pentru situaia
de dup aderare, atunci cnd ajutorul de stat va intra n
competena Comisiei Europene.

Dezvoltarea controlului ajutorului de stat trebuie s fie


evaluat n contextul dezvoltrilor politice i economice
din Romnia de dup 1990. Romnia s-a lansat trziu n
procesul de reform economic37. Msuri-cheie n sfera
liberalizrii i privatizrii au nceput s fie luate de abia
n 1997. Obstacole politice, economice, legale i
administrative au mpiedicat o dezvoltare mai rapid.
32
A se vedea Polish Law of 30 April 2004 on the procedural issues concerning public aid, Law Journal No. 123/2004, pag. 8690. Unele
dintre noile state membre au urmat recomandarea Comisiei, spre exemplu, Ungaria i Slovenia. A se vedea Hargita/Remetei Filep, State
aid Control in Hungary, EStAL 2004, pag. 585-590 i Jagodic-Lekocevic/Pelka/Vosu, Future Role of Former National Monitoring
Authorities and Existing Aid in Slovenia, Poland and Estonia, EStAL 2004, pag. 375-384.
33
A se vedea Schtterle n: Heidenhain, Hdb. d. Beihilfenrechts, 61, Rn. 24 (cu referire la fostul comisar de concuren Monti). Aceasta
este important mai ales n perspective viitoarelor notificri electronice.
34
Art. 14 alin. (3) din Regulamentul Consiliului (CE) nr. 659/1999, OJ 1999 L 83/1.
35
Cu excepia celor cteva msuri tranzitorii pentru zonele defavorizate, zone libere i siderurgie (menionate mai sus).
36
Merola/Ballester, supra nota 5, pag. 347.
37
A se vedea rapoartele Comisiei ncepnd cu 1998 i Raportul de progrese al Comisiei din 2004.

24

arguments for all three solutions. However, considering


the still high amount of State aid and the size of the
country, it would certainly be advantageous for
Romania (as well as for the EU) that the Competition
Council as a centralised and independent institution be
charged with the role of national State aid
coordinator38.
4. In the time period until accession, other
arrangements will also have to be made. A
comprehensive revision of the Law on State aid will be
necessary (and is under way). In particular, Romania
must make sure that decisions and recovery orders of
the Commission will be enforced without undue delay
in accordance with the provisions of the Procedural
Regulation39. The regulations and guidelines of the
Competition Council transposing the substantive
criteria for assessing State aid measures into internal law
will have to be repealed with effect from the date of
accession, since Romania will then no longer be
competent for setting the rules for State aid control and
the EC procedural and substantive rules will
immediately become applicable40.
Finally, the aid granting authorities will have to be
prepared for the application of the EC block exemption
regulations, and this requires special expertise. Thus,
the situation after accession will bring new challenges
for the country, as the experience of other new Member
States has demonstrated41.
VII. Conclusions

gradually improved the quality of its decisions and


worked hard to achieve an enforcement record
comparable with EU standards.
In closing the accession negotiations in December
2004, the Commission acknowledged that Romania is
a market economy in the sense of the Copenhagen
accession criteria, and that it is able to cope with the
pressures from the EU internal market. In its 2005
Monitoring Report of October 2005, the Commission
seemed largely satisfied with the enforcement record of
the Competition Council but strongly recommended
that State aid grantors should respect the ex ante
notification obligation. In its Communication and
Monitoring Report of 16 May 2006, though calling for
further improvements in the area of State aid control,
the Commission no longer mentions serious
shortcomings in this regard but instead awards
Romania the seal of quality by acknowledging the
existence of a satisfactory enforcement level in the
sense of the Accession Treaty. Under these
circumstances, it is almost excluded that the area of
State aid control could still be a cause of postponement
of the envisaged accession date of 1 January 2007
through the application of the super-safeguard clause
(unless any extraordinary new event occurs). However,
Romania must now make special efforts to prepare its
legal and administrative framework and also the staff of
the State aid-granting authorities appropriately for the
situation after accession, when State aid control will
come under the competence of the European
Commission.

The development of State aid control needs to be


assessed against the background of political and
economic developments in Romania since 1990.
Romania was a late starter in the economic reform
process42. Key measures in the area of liberalisation and
privatisation were only coming onstream in 1997.
Political, economic, legal and administrative obstacles
prevented a more rapid development. However, since
2001 the process of transformation from centrally
planned to market economy gained momentum.
Against this background the enforcement of the State
aid rules in Romania gradually got going. Since 2004,
after the comprehensive reshaping of the organisational
structure of the competition authorities, Romania made
great and rapid strides in complying with the
requirements of efficient State aid control. With the
assistance of the Commission (and supported by
German Twinning experts), the Competition Council

38
See also Schtterle in: Heidenhain, Hdb. d. Beihilfenrechts, 61, Rn. 24 (with reference to former Competition Commissioner Monti).
This is especially important in the future perspective of electronic notifications.
39
Article 14 par. 3 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 659/1999, OJ 1999 L 83/1.
40
Except for the few (above-mentioned) transitional measures for deprived areas, free trade areas and steel.
41
Merola/Ballester, supra note 5, page 347.
42
See the Commission Reports since 1998 and the 2004 Progress Report of the Commission.

25

IMPORTANA ANALIZEI ECONOMICE TEMEINICE


PENTRU POLITICA N DOMENIUL CONCURENEI43
44

Deborah PLATT MAJORAS

D-na Deborah Platt Majoras, Preedintele Comisiei Federale pentru Comer din SUA a susinut pe data de 30 martie
2007, la sediul Academiei de Studii Economice din Bucureti, Facultatea de Relaii Internaionale, o conferin avnd
ca tem rolul analizei economice n domeniul concurenei.
Avnd n vedere importana acestei teme, considerm util prezentarea discursului d-nei. Majoras, ce reflect
experiena autoritilor americane n acest domeniu.
Consiliul Concurenei a obinut acordul doamnei Deborah Platt Majoras pentru publicarea acestui discurs.
I. Introducere
ntruct vorbesc la o instituie dedicat studiilor
economice nu este probabil necesar s v conving de
faptul c tiina economic ofer detalii importante
privind comportamentul uman, sau c instrumentele
sale analitice sunt potrivite pentru a evidenia costurile i
beneficiile alegerilor care ne sunt disponibile, sau c cei
care elaboreaz politicile publice ctig prin
ncorporarea unor analize economice temeinice n
procesul decizional. Fiecare dintre dumneavoastr ar
accepta, probabil, aceste afirmaii fr ezitare.
Este ns posibil s credei c valoarea analizei
economice nu este ntotdeauna larg acceptat de
public, n general, sau chiar de ctre persoane aflate n
poziii care implic o responsabilitate semnificativ. n
Statele Unite exist o binecunoscut poveste potrivit
creia Harry S Truman, cel de-al 33-lea preedinte, i-a
exprimat cu o ocazie dorina de a ntlni un economist
dintr-o bucat care, dup ce i-a exprimat opinia, s
nu adauge imediat dar, pe de alt parte.... n ciuda
reputaiei economitilor n ceea ce privete analizarea
tuturor aspectelor unei probleme, pot s v spun c
exist cel puin un domeniu al legislaiei americane care
nu numai c a fost foarte mult mbogit prin aportul
tiinei economice, dar continu s fie influenat de
aceasta. Este bineneles vorba despre legislaia n
domeniul concurenei.
Rolul central al analizei economice n aplicarea
legislaiei concurenei i n dezvoltarea politicii n
domeniul concurenei ajut n explicarea unui fapt

43
44

Traducerea n limba romn a fost realizat de Liviu Nazarie;


Preedinte, Comisia Federal pentru Comer, SUA.

26

despre Federal Trade Commission (FTC) care ar putea s


v surprind. n plus fa de sutele de avocai care fac
parte din echipa noastr, beneficiem de aportul celui
mai mare grup de microeconomiti de nivel doctoral din
Statele Unite, care numr mai mult de 70 de persoane.
Aproximativ 50 dintre aceti economiti lucreaz pe
probleme legate de concuren iar contribuiile lor sunt
eseniale pentru ndeplinirea misiunii de aplicare a
legislaiei n domeniul concurenei de ctre FTC. Un
grup similar de economiti exist i la Divizia Antitrust a
Departamentul de Justiie (DoJ), care mparte cu FTC
atribuiile de aplicare a legislaiei n domeniul
concurenei. Ca atare, att FTC, ct i DoJ au decis s
aloce o parte substanial a resurselor bugetare limitate
pentru meninerea unor echipe mari de profesioniti n
domeniul economiei.
Analiza economic joac un rol important n domeniul
concurenei att la nivelul general al politicilor, ct i la
nivelul mai ngust al practicii. La nivelul politicilor,
analiza economic a influenat viziunea asupra
impactului concurenial al diverselor tipuri de practici
att la nivelul instanelor americane, ct i la nivelul
ageniilor de concuren. La nivelul practicii, analiza
economic atent joac un rol important n investigarea
comportamentului firmelor i n evaluarea
concentrrilor economice. n aproape toate
investigaiile pe care le desfurm, echipa noastr de
profesioniti n economie realizeaz recomandri
detaliate pe care mi le furnizeaz mie i celorlali
comisari pentru a le utiliza n cadrul deliberrilor.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOUND ECONOMIC


ANALYSIS FOR COMPETITION POLICY
45
Deborah PLATT MAJORAS

Mrs. Deborah Platt Majoras, President of Federal Trade Commission, USA, held on 30 March 2007, at the Academy of
Economic Sciences, Faculty of International Relations from Bucharest, a conference about the role of economic
analysis in the field of competition.
Taking into account the importance of this theme, we consider useful to present Mrs. Majoras' consent, speech, which
reflects the experience of American authorities in this field.
Competition Council has obtained Mrs. Majoras' agreement to publish this speech.
I. Introduction
Speaking at this institution that is devoted to economic
studies, it is probably not necessary for me to convince
you that economics offers important insights into human
behavior, or that its analytic tools are well-designed to
reveal the costs and benefits of the choices that are
available to us, or that policy makers benefit by
incorporating sound economic analysis into their
decision making. Each of you would likely accept these
propositions with little hesitation.
You may, however, think that the value of economic
analysis is not always widely accepted by the public at
large, or even by people in positions of significant
responsibility. In the United States, there is a wellknown story that Harry S Truman, our thirty-third
president, once wished for a one-armed economist,
someone who would not be able to give his or her
opinion and then immediately turn around and say,
But on the other hand Yet despite economists'
reputation for seeing or at least considering every
side of an issue, I can report that there is at least one area
of American law that has not only absorbed many clear
lessons from economics, but also continues to be
influenced by new developments in this field. That area
of the law, of course, is competition law.
The central role of economics in competition law and
the development of competition policy help to explain a
fact about the Federal Trade Commission that might
surprise you. In addition to the hundreds of attorneys
on our staff, we benefit from one of the largest groups of

45

Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, USA.

27

Ph.D.- level micro economists in the United States,


c u r r e n t l y n u m b e r i n g m o r e t h a n s e v e n t y.
Approximately fifty of these economists work on
competition-related matters, and their contributions are
essential to the Commission's competition law
enforcement mission. The U.S. Department of Justice,
with which we share jurisdiction over the enforcement
of the competition laws, has a similar group of
economists on the staff of its Antitrust Division. Thus,
both the Commission and the Department of Justice
have chosen to allocate a substantial portion of their
scarce budgetary resources to maintaining large staffs of
professional economists.
Economic analysis plays an important role in
competition law at both the broad level of policy and at
the narrower level of practice. At the policy level,
economic analysis has influenced how both U.S. courts
and enforcement agencies view the competitive impact
of different kinds of conduct. At the practice level,
careful economic analysis plays an important role in our
investigation of firms' conduct and in our review of
proposed mergers. For virtually every investigation that
we undertake, our professional economics staff
produces detailed recommendations that they provide
to me and the other four Commissioners to use in our
deliberation. When we decide to challenge conduct in
court, economic analysis is typically central to the case
that we present.

Motivul pentru care analiza economic a ajuns s ocupe


un loc att de proeminent att n cadrul dezvoltrii
politicii n domeniul concurenei, ct i n aplicarea
practic, de zi cu zi, a legislaiei n domeniul
concurenei, respectiv faptul c recunoaterea i
aplicarea unor lecii din domeniul economiei a condus
la mbuntirea semnificativ att a deciziilor ageniilor
de concuren, ct i a celor luate de ctre instane. n
ultim instan, analiza economic de calitate este un
element esenial pentru dezvoltarea i implementarea
politicii n domeniul concurenei, care servete
interesele consumatorilor.
II. Politica
A dori s detaliez modul n care analiza economic a
influenat dezvoltarea politicii n domeniul concurenei
n Statele Unite. Aa cum unii dintre dumneavoastr
probabil tiu, prevederile din legislaia noastr n
materie de concuren sunt mai degrab generale.
Partea important din Legea Sherman, prima noastr
lege n domeniul concurenei adoptat n 1890, const
n dou paragrafe scurte care vizeaz nelegerile care
restricioneaz comerul, respectiv ncercrile de
monopolizare a comerului. Legea FTC, adoptat n
1914, prin care a fost creat aceast instituie, scoate n
afara legii metodele neloiale de manifestare a
concurenei sau care afecteaz comerul. Analizate
literal, aceste prevederi legale nu furnizeaz o foaie de
parcurs foarte clar pentru politicile n domeniu, aa
cum nu furnizeaz nici indicii practice, nici
judectorilor i nici ageniilor de concuren, cu privire
la tipurile de comportament care ar trebui mpiedicate.
Ce este, de fapt, o metod neloial de manifestare a
concurenei? Nu este suficient s rspunzi c vom tii
atunci cnd se va manifesta. Ce tipuri de restricionri
ale comerului ar trebui mpiedicate? n mod sigur nu
poate fi vorba de toate tipurile de restricionri, pentru
c orice acord ntre firme restricioneaz comerul ntr-o
anumit msur.
Din fericire, o jurispruden voluminoas a ajutat n
definirea granielor acestor prevederi legale. Prin
opiniile lor, judectorii au conferit sens prevederilor legii
concurenei, utiliznd inerent un vocabular de natur
economic, respectiv cuvinte ca monopol,
concuren sau pia. Analiza economic este
esenial pentru nelegerea sensului acestor concepte i
pentru aplicarea lor n cadrul activittii noastre
decizionale. Dat fiind natura obiectului de studiu, era
probabil inevitabil ca analiza economic s devin un
element central n dezvoltarea i aplicarea legii
concurenei.

Totui, pentru a realiza o politic coerent n domeniul


concurenei a fost esenial s se decid care este
obiectivul potrivit pentru o astfel de politic. Privind
napoi la cei peste o sut de ani de opinii juridice este
clar c nu a existat un consens imediat cu privire la
categoria ale crei interesele trebuie protejate prin
legislaia n domeniul concurenei. Acum mai bine de
treizeci de ani, la mai mult de optzeci de ani de la
adoptarea Legii Sherman, specialiti de prestigiu n
domeniul antitrust, cum ar fi Robert Bork i Richard
Posner, ambii foti judectori la Curi de Apel, au
promovat ideea conform creia promovarea bunstrii
consumatorilor este singurul scop corespunztor pentru
politica n domeniul concurenei. Aceti specialiti au
afirmat c judectorii ar trebui s se concentreze
exclusiv asupra scopului de promovare a bunstrii
consumatorilor atunci cnd interpreteaz legislaia n
domeniul concurenei. Judectorul Bork a scris, pe
marginea analizei economice: Cazul este copleitor
pentru acceptarea juridic a bunstrii consumatorilor
ca unic scop n interpretarea legislaiei antitrust
...Numai acest scop permite instanelor s se comporte
de o manier responsabil i s ating calitatea necesar
n aplicarea legii46. Chiar dac adevrul acestei afirmaii
nu a fost universal recunoscut n acel moment, protecia
bunstrii consumatorilor prin promovarea unei
concurene viguroase pe pia este recunoscut acum
ca fiind scopul general al politicii n domeniul
concurenei n Statele Unite, att de ctre instane, ct i
de ctre ageniile de concuren.
Odat cu impunerea bunstrii consumatorilor ca scop
al aplicrii legii concurenei, rolul important pe care l
joac de analiza economic n dezvoltarea i aplicarea
politicii n domeniul concurenei a devenit mai clar.
Sarcina noastr, atunci cnd examinm o anumit
practic sau atunci cnd analizm o concentrare
economic este aceea de a stabili n ce msur acestea
avantajeaz sau dezavantajeaz consumatorii. Dei nu
este ntotdeauna uor de aplicat n practic, aceast
sarcin este foarte clar din punct de vedere
conceptual. ntrebrile la care trebuie s rspundem
sunt clare. Practica n cauz conduce la preuri mai
ridicate sau mai mici? Are loc o cretere sau o scdere a
produciei pe pia? Are loc o mbuntire sau o
nrutire a calitii produselor? Care este efectul
asupra serviciilor? Au consumatorii mai multe sau mai
puine opiuni? Econometria ne furnizeaz un set de
instrumente analitice care se pot dovedi utile pentru a
rspunde acestor ntrebri, att din punct de vedere
teoretic, ct i empiric.

46
Bork, Robert (1978), The Antitrust Paradox, p. 89. De vzut i Posner, Richard (1976), Legislaia Antitrust : An Economic Perspective,
ch. 2;

28

There is a very simple reason that economic analysis has


come to occupy such a prominent place both in the
development of competition policy and in the practical,
day-to-day enforcement of competition law. Namely,
the quality of the decisions reached by both the
enforcement agencies and the courts has dramatically
improved as some of the lessons of economics have
been recognized and brought into the law. Ultimately,
sound economic analysis is an essential ingredient in the
development and implementation of competition
policy that serves the interests of consumers.

II. Policy
I would like to talk in some more detail about how
economic analysis has influenced the development of
competition policy in the United States. As some of you
may know, our competition laws are really quite
general. The main substance of the Sherman Act, which
was our first competition law passed in 1890, consists of
two short paragraphs that target, respectively,
agreements that restrain trade and attempts at the
monopolization of trade. The Federal Trade
Commission Act, which created the Federal Trade
Commission when it was passed in 1914, outlaws
unfair methods of competition in or affecting
commerce. Taken literally, these laws do not provide a
very clear roadmap for policy, nor do they provide much
practical guidance either to judges or to the
enforcement agencies about exactly what conduct
should be stopped. What, after all, is an unfair method
of competition? It is not enough simply to say that we
will know it when we see it. What restraints on trade
should be illegal? Surely it cannot be all of them,
because virtually any agreement between businesses
restrains trade in some way.
Fortunately, a voluminous case law has developed that
helps to define the boundaries of these statutes.
Through their opinions, judges have breathed meaning
into competition law, and they have used a vocabulary
that is inherently economic in nature: words such as
monopoly, competition, and market. Economic
analysis is essential for understanding the meaning of
these concepts and for applying them in our decisionmaking. Given its subject matter, it was probably
inevitable that economics would come to occupy a
central place in the development and application of
competition law.

47

Still, in order to make a coherent competition policy out


of these laws, it was essential to decide what the proper
objective is for the policy. Looking back over more than
a century of legal opinions, it is clear that there was no
unanimous and immediate consensus about whose
interests the competition laws should protect. Writing
more than thirty years ago and more than eighty years
after the Sherman Act became law prominent antitrust
scholars such as Robert Bork and Richard Posner, both of
whom have served as judges on our Courts of Appeals,
championed the idea that that the promotion of
consumer welfare is the only proper goal of competition
policy. These scholars argued that judges should focus
on this goal alone when interpreting these laws.
Drawing on economic analysis, Judge Bork wrote that
the case is overwhelming for judicial adherence to the
single goal of consumer welfare in the interpretation of
the antitrust lawsOnly that goal permits courts to
behave responsibly and to achieve the virtues
appropriate to law.47 While the truth of this statement
was not universally recognized at the time, the
protection of consumer welfare through the promotion
of vigorous market competition is now the generally
recognized goal of competition policy in the United
States, both by the courts and by the different
enforcement agencies.
With the promotion of consumer welfare as our goal,
the role that economic analysis plays in the
development and application of competition policy is
clear. Our task when we examine conduct or consider
whether to allow a merger is to determine whether the
conduct or merger helps or harms consumers. While not
always easy to perform in practice, this task is
conceptually very straightforward. The questions we
must answer are clear. Does the conduct lead to higher
or lower prices? Does output in the market increase or
fall? Is product quality better or worse? What is the
effect on service? Are more or fewer choices available
to consumers? Economics provides us with a set of
analytic tools that we can bring to bear to help us answer
these questions, both theoretically and empirically.
I do not mean to suggest that there is always universal
agreement in the United States about how to approach
every kind of conduct or every specific case. Judges,
lawyers, and economists sometimes disagree with each
other about what is the proper conclusion, despite a
common understanding that the goal of competition
policy is to promote consumer welfare, and despite a

Bork, Robert (1978), The Antitrust Paradox, p. 89. See also Posner, Richard (1976), Antitrust Law: An Economic Perspective, ch. 2.

29

Nu vreau s sugerez c exist un consens n Statele


Unite n legtur cu modul corect de abordare al
fiecrui tip de practic sau al fiecrui caz n parte.
Judectorii, avocaii i economitii nu sunt, uneori, de
acord unii cu alii asupra concluziei corecte, n ciuda
acceptrii de ctre toi a faptului c scopul aplicrii
politicii n domeniul concurenei este promovarea
bunstrii consumatorilor i a considerrii
instrumentelor economice ca fiind cele mai potrivite
pentru analiz. Persoane rezonabile pot ajunge la
concluzii diferite pornind de la aceleai fapte, iar
riscurile sau incertitudinile pe care le implic o anumit
decizie pot strni controverse, ca i modul de ponderare
a diverilor factori ce intervin. Totui, se poate spune,
cred, c diferenele de opinie care se nregistreaz astzi
ntre practicienii n domeniul concurenei au o
magnitudine mult mai redus dect n diferenele de
opinie dintre acetia i practicienii din trecut.
Privind n urm, este de necontestat faptul c abordarea
noastr a legii concurenei a evoluat semnificativ. Exist
o explicaie evident a schimbrilor pe care le-a suferit
politica n domeniul concurenei n cursul anilor,
respectiv faptul c tiina economic a evoluat, iar
instanele au luat n considerare aceste evoluii. Acum
patruzeci de ani, predomina opinia potrivit creia orice
cretere a gradului de concentrare ntr-o industrie
conduce la restrngerea concurenei i, n consecin, la
creterea preurilor. n aceeai perioad, probabil sub
influena aceleiai teorii economice, att curile, ct i
autoritile de concuren erau ostile concentrrilor
orizontale, respectiv concentrrilor n care sunt
implicai concureni direci, ntr-o msur care astzi
pare exagerat48. De exemplu, n 1966 Curtea Suprem
a Statelor Unite a interzis o fuziune ntre companiile
Von's Grocery i Shopping Bag Foods Stores, dou
lanuri de magazine alimentare din Los Angeles49. La
momentul fuziunii, cele dou companii erau pe poziia
a doua, respectiv a asea, n clasamentul lanurilor de
distribuie, iar compania rezultat n urma fuziunii ar fi
deinut o cot de pia de numai 7,5%50. Per total, cota
de pia deinut de primele trei firme ar fi crescut de la
19% nainte de fuziune la 23% dup fuziune, iar
guvernul a argumentat n pledoaria sa c aceast
cretere a gradului de concentrare ar conduce la
creterea preurilor51. Este aproape imposibil ca o
fuziune ce conduce la o cretere att de mic a gradului
de concentrare, ntr-o industrie relativ neconcentrat s
creeze temeri semnificative astzi, cel puin n absena
unor probe directe foarte convingtoare care s arate c
fuziunea ar produce o cretere a preurilor.

48

ntr-adevr, n anii '60 i '70, preocuprile referitoare la


potenialele efecte negative ale concentrrilor erau att
de mari nct FTC a demarat investigarea a diverse
industrii, inclusiv a industriei cerealelor pentru consum
i a industriei automobilelor, pentru a stabili dac ar fi
necesar demararea unor aciuni n instan pentru a
solicita reducerea gradului de concentrare n aceste
industrii. Este puin probabil ca o astfel de politic s
beneficieze de prea mult sprijin astzi, cnd nu mai este
att de rspndit convingerea c existena unui grad
ridicat de concentrare poate, prin ea nsi, s fie
considerat suficient pentru a demonstra lipsa
concurenei sau c un program de restructurare
industrial, impus de la nivel guvernamental, ar putea
conduce la obinerea unor rezultate mai bune pentru
consumatori dect cele generate de concurena pe
pia.
n mod similar, recunoatem acum c anumite practici,
considerate n trecut ca producnd efecte negative
pentru consumatori pot, n fapt, s fie avantajoase, cel
puin n anumite condiii. n aceast categorie sunt
incluse multe restricionri verticale. De exemplu,
productorii recurg n mod frecvent la acordarea unor
exclusiviti teritoriale pentru distribuitorii lor, ceea ce
nseamn c un anumit distribuitor este singurul
autorizat s vnd mrfurile productorului n cauz pe
o anumit suprafa geografic. n mod evident, acest
tip de restricie protejeaz distribuitorii de concurena
din partea altor distribuitori care, n alte condiii, ar
vinde acelai produs. n 1967, Curtea Suprem a
Statelor Unite a decis ntr-un caz n care era implicat
firma productoare de biciclete Schwinn c o asemenea
restricionare este ilegal per se, ceea ce nseamn c
probabilitatea ca o asemenea practic s fie
anticoncurenial este att de mare nct nu mai este
necesar probarea prejudicierii consumatorilor pentru a
demonstra nclcarea legislaiei n domeniul
concurenei52.
A fost aceast decizie a Curii rezonabil? Majoritatea
observatorilor ar spune astzi c analiza economic a
exclusivitilor teritoriale arat c o astfel de
condamnare sumar a acestei practici este nepotrivit
i c restricia ar fi mai corect judecat dac s-ar arta
mai nti c exist ntr-adevr o un efect negativ asupra
consumatorilor. Exist argumente economice clare n
favoarea unor posibile avantaje decurgnd din
exclusiviti teritoriale. Este probabil ca acest tip de
restricionare vertical s creeze stimulente pentru
distribuitorii individuali pentru promovarea i
dezvoltarea unei piee a produsului n cauz, inclusiv

A se vedea Kovacici, William i Carl Shapiro (2000), Antitrust Policy: A Century of Economic and Legal Thinking, Journal of Economic
Perspectives, 14: 43-60 pentru o discuie referitoare la relaia dintre teoriile juridice i economice din aceast perioad;
49
Statele Unite contra Von's Grocery Company (1966);
50
Viscusi, Kip, John Vernon i Joseph Harrington (1995), Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, p. 211;
51
Posner, Antitrust Law, p. 106;
52
Statele Unite contra Arnold Schwinn & Co. (1967).

30

common acceptance that economics provides the


relevant mode of analysis. Reasonable people can draw
different inferences from the same facts, and there may
be disagreement about the uncertainties and risks of a
particular decision, or how to appropriately weigh
competing factors. Yet I do think that it is safe to say that
the differences of opinion among competition law
practitioners today are at least an order of magnitude
smaller than are the differences between practitioners
of today and those of an earlier era.
Looking back, it is undeniable that our thinking about
competition policy has evolved substantially. There is
an obvious explanation for the changes in competition
policy that have occurred over the years. The state of
economic learning has advanced, and the courts have
paid attention to these developments. Forty years ago,
it was widely believed among economists that any
increase in industry concentration was likely to lead to a
reduction of competition and, hence, higher prices for
consumers. At the same time, and presumably
influenced by this economic thinking, both the courts
and competition enforcement agencies were hostile to
horizontal mergers, by which I mean mergers between
direct competitors, to a degree that seems remarkable
today53. For example, in 1966 the United States
Supreme Court struck down a merger between Von's
Grocery Company and Shopping Bag Food Stores,
which were two grocery store chains in Los Angeles54. At
the time of their merger in 1960, Von's and Shopping
Bag were, respectively, the third and sixth ranked
chains, and after the merger they became the second
largest chain, though the merged firm still had only a 7.5
percent share of sales in the market55. Overall, the share
of the market held by the top three competitors
increased from 19 percent before the merger to 23
percent after the merger, and the government argued in
its case that this increase in concentration would lead to
an increase in prices56. It is virtually impossible that a
merger leading to such a small increase in concentration
in a relatively unconcentrated industry would create
significant concern today, at least absent very persuasive
direct evidence that the merger was likely to cause an
increase in prices.
Indeed, during the 1960s and 1970s, concerns about
the potentially harmful effects of concentration were so
great that the FTC embarked on investigations of a
variety of industries, including ready-to-eat cereals and
automobiles, for the purpose of determining whether

the Commission should attempt to go to court to


deconcentrate those sectors of the economy. Such a
policy would be unlikely to have many advocates today,
when few believe that high concentration by itself is
sufficient to establish that there is a lack of competition,
or that a government-mandated industrial restructuring
program is likely to lead to better outcomes for
consumers than would result from market competition.
Similarly, we now recognize that certain kinds of
conduct that were once thought to be harmful to
consumers may instead be beneficial, at least in certain
circumstances. Many vertical restrictions fall into this
category. For example, manufacturers frequently assign
exclusive territories to their dealers, meaning that a
particular dealer has the sole right to sell the
manufacturer's product in a given geographic area.
Clearly, this type of restriction protects dealers from
competition from other dealers that would otherwise
carry the same product. In 1967, the United States
Supreme Court ruled in a case involving Schwinn, a
bicycle manufacturer, that such restrictions were per se
illegal, meaning that the Court had concluded that the
practice was so likely to be anti-competitive that it was
not necessary even to show that it actually harmed
consumers before finding that it violated the
competition laws57.
Was this a reasonable decision by the Court? Most
observers today would likely agree that the economic
analysis of exclusive territories suggests that summary
condemnation of this practice is inappropriate, and the
restraint is more properly judged under the rule of
reason, which requires a showing that the practice in
question actually harms consumers. There is a
straightforward economic argument for the potential
benefits of exclusive territories. This kind of vertical
restraint is likely to increase individual dealers'
incentives to promote and develop a market for the
good in question, including educating consumers and
providing services that consumers value. If territories
were not exclusive, each dealer would need to worry
about nearby competitors free-riding on these
investments. These free-riding dealers would be able to
charge a lower price than the full-service dealers, and
they would therefore likely attract a significant number
of consumers. Intuitively, consumers would have an
incentive to go to the full-service dealers to educate
themselves and then go to a discount dealer to purchase
the good. But then the full-service dealer would have
little incentive to invest in developing the market in the

53
See Kovacic, William and Carl Shapiro (2000), Antitrust Policy: A Century of Economic and Legal Thinking, Journal of Economic
Perspectives, 14: 43 60 for a discussion of the relationship between legal and economic thinking during this period.
54
United States v. Von's Grocery Company (1966).
55
Viscusi, Kip, John Vernon and Joseph Harrington (1995), Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, p. 211.
56
Posner, Antitrust Law, p. 106.
57
United States v. Arnold Schwinn & Co. (1967).

31

prin educarea consumatorilor i prin furnizarea de


servicii pe care consumatorii le apreciaz. n situaia n
care nu ar exista exclusivitile teritoriale, fiecare
distribuitor ar fi preocupat de fiecare concurent care
beneficiaz gratuit de aceste investiii. Acetia din urm
ar fi n msur s practice un pre mai sczut dect
distribuitorii care furnizeaz toat gama de servicii i ar
atrage, implicit, un numr mai mare de clieni. n mod
intuitiv, consumatorii ar fi tentai s beneficieze de
serviciile de educare furnizate de ctre distribuitorul
care furnizeaz servicii complete i s achiziioneze
produsul la pre redus de la unul dintre ceilali
distribuitori. Dar, n aceste condiii distribuitorul care
realizeaz furnizarea serviciilor complete nu ar mai fi
stimulat s investeasc, n primul rnd n dezvoltarea
pieei. ntruct din aceste investiii beneficiaz
consumatorii, acetia nu pot fi ignorai atunci cnd este
elaborat o politic n domeniul concurenei care
urmrete maximizarea beneficiilor pentru
consumatori. n cele din urm, nsi Curtea Suprem a
ajuns la aceast concluzie. n 1977, la numai zece ani de
la decizia n cazul Schwinn, Curtea i-a revizuit practica
ntr-un caz n care era implicat compania
productoare de televizoare Sylvania, care l-a
mpiedicat pe unul dintre distribuitorii si s vnd
produse Sylvania ntr-o locaie suplimentar, situat n
apropierea altui distribuito58. n decizia sa n cazul
Sylvania, Curtea a explicat argumentele economice de
baz referitoare la potenialele beneficii ale
exclusivitilor teritoriale n cei mai clari termeni, fiind
indubitabil faptul c a acordat acestor argumente o
importan deosebit.
n ciuda acestei evoluii ale politicii n domeniul
concurenei n sfera anumitor restricii verticale, exist
nc subiecte supuse dezbaterii. Unul dintre aceste
subiecte se refer la fixarea preurilor de distribuie, care
intervine atunci cnd un productor impune preurile
practicate de ctre distribuitorii si. De exemplu,
productorul poate cere ca preurile distribuitorilor s
nu coboare sub un nivel minim. ncepnd din 1911,
fixarea preurilor de distribuie a fost considerat per
se ilegal, n ciuda opiniei larg rspndite ntre
economiti i juriti potrivit creia o astfel de practic
poate avea o diversitate de efecte de stimulare a
concurenei. Argumentele economice sunt similare
celor aplicabile n cazul exclusivitilor teritoriale, muli
economiti considernd c este ilogic ca fixarea
preurilor de distribuie s fie considerat per se
ilegal, n timp ce exclusivitatea teritorial este analizat
de la caz la caz59. Argumentul n favoarea fixrii
preurilor de distribuie este acela c, prin reducerea
concurenei ntre distribuitorii unei anumite mrci,
aceast practic stimuleaz concurena inter-marc prin
stimularea distribuitorilor s promoveze mrcile
productorului pe care l reprezint. FTC i DoJ au
58

intervenit n faa Curii Supreme ntr-un caz, care este n


prezent n instant, de fixare a preului de distribuie. n
acest caz, Leegin, o companie productoare de geni de
dam i alte accesorii a impus o politic prin care vindea
produse numai acelor distribuitori care respectau preul
su recomandat. Atunci cnd unul dintre distribuitori a
oferit reduceri fa de preul recomandat, Leegin a
suspendat livrrile ctre acesta. n intervenie, FTC i
DoJ au solicitat Curii s i revizuiasc decizia, veche de
aproape 100 de ani, prin care fixarea preurilor de
distribuie este considerat per se ilegal..60
Argumentele noastre se bazeaz pe contribuiile unor
economiti care au demonstrat, att teoretic, ct i
empiric, c incriminarea per se a fixrii preului de
distribuie nu este o politic neleapt i, n cele din
urm, nu este benefic pentru consumatori.
Bineneles c este dificil s atribui o anume schimbare a
politicii n domeniul concurenei unui anumit argument
sau analiz economic. Totui, este evident c tiina
economic a avut o influen substanial asupra
dezvoltrii politicii n domeniul concurenei, n special
n ultimii ani. tiina economic este esenial pentru
legea concurenei i se poate previziona c aceast
situaie se va menine i n viitor.
III Practica
Intruct tiina economic a jucat un rol att de
important n dezvoltarea politicii n domeniul
concurenei, este normal ca analiza economic s fie,
de asemenea, foarte important n aplicarea efectiv a
legii concurenei. Aa cum am menionat mai devreme,
FTC are o echip mare de economiti de nivel doctoral
i acetia joac un rol foarte important n majoritatea
aspectelor muncii noastre. Atunci cnd realizm
investigaii, economitii lucreaz alturi de avocai
pentru identificarea i analizarea dovezilor relevante.
Economitii implicai ntr-o investigaie se concentreaz
ndeosebi asupra oricror analize empirice care sunt
necesare, avnd n vedere c acesta este domeniul n
care dein cel mai evident avantaj competitiv. n situaia
n care FTC decide s aduc un caz n faa instanei,
mrturia din partea unui expert n economie este, de
regul, un element important al cazului.
Un domeniu n caee influena economitilor n practica
n domeniul legii concurenei este n mod special vizibil
este reprezentat de procesul de analiz a concentrrilor.
Att la FTC, ct i la DoJ, acest proces este guvernat de
Liniile directoare n domeniul concentrrilor orizontale,
emise de ctre cele dou agenii n 1992 i modificate n
1997. Liniile directoare prevd cadrul analitic i
standardele utilizate de ctre cele dou agenii pentru
evaluarea msurii n care o anumit concentrare poate
avea efecte de restrngere a concurenei i de

Continental T.V. Inc i alii contra GTE Sylvania (1977);


A se vedea Viscusi i alii, p. 245;
60
FTC i DoJ, intervenie n cazul Leegin Creative Leather Products Inc contra PSKS INC (2007).
59

32

first place. Because consumers benefit from these


investments, they should not be ignored when setting a
competition policy that is designed to maximize
consumer welfare. Ultimately, the Supreme Court itself
came to the same conclusion. In 1977, just ten years
after its earlier decision in the Schwinn case, the Court
reversed itself in a case involving Sylvania, a television
manufacturer that had prevented one of its existing
dealers from selling Sylvania's products at an additional
location, near an existing Sylvania dealer61. In the
Sylvania opinion, the Court explained the basic
economic arguments for the potential benefits of
exclusive territories in the clearest possible terms,
leaving little doubt that it had given substantial weight to
these economic arguments.

who have shown both theoretically and empirically that


per se condemnation of resale price maintenance is an
unwise policy that ultimately is not in consumers' best
interests.
It is, of course, difficult to attribute any particular change
in competition policy to the influence of any particular
economic argument or analysis. Nevertheless, it is clear
that economic learning has had a substantial influence
on the development of competition policy, especially in
recent years. Economics truly is the thread that runs
throughout competition law, and it is safe to predict that
it will remain so in the future.

III. Practice
Despite this evolution in competition policy with
respect to some vertical restrictions, there remain active
areas of debate. One of these areas centers on resale
price maintenance, which occurs when a manufacturer
imposes some restriction on its dealers' pricing
decisions. For example, the manufacturer may require
that dealers' prices not fall below some minimum price.
Since 1911, resale price maintenance has been illegal
per se, despite widespread consensus that has
developed among many economists and lawyers that
this practice can have a variety of pro-competitive
effects that enhance consumer welfare. The economic
arguments are similar to those that apply to exclusive
territories, and many economists argue that it is logically
inconsistent for resale price maintenance to be per se
illegal, while exclusive territories are judged under the
rule of reason62. The argument in favor of resale price
maintenance is that, by reducing competition among
individual distributors of a particular brand, this practice
can stimulate competition among different brands by
giving retailers a greater incentive to promote the brands
of the manufacturers they carry. The Commission and
the Department of Justice recently filed an amicus
curiae, or friend of the court, brief in a resale price
maintenance case that is currently before the Supreme
Court. In this case, Leegin, a manufacturer of women's
handbags and other accessories, imposed a policy
under which it would sell its products only to those
retailers that followed its suggested retail prices. After
one of its retailers discounted Leegin's line of products in
violation of the pricing policy, Leegin suspended
shipments to that retailer. The retailer sued, leading to
the current case. In our brief, the Commission and the
Department of Justice urge the Court to overturn the
nearly 100-year old decision that makes resale price
maintenance per se illegal63. Our argument draws
heavily on the scholarship of a number of economists,

61

Because economics has played such a key role in the


development of competition policy, it is natural that
economic analysis is also central to the actual practice of
competition law. As I mentioned before, the
Commission has a large staff of Ph.D.-level economists,
and they play an important role in most aspects of our
work. When we investigate conduct, economists work
with the lawyers to identify and analyze relevant
evidence. The economists working on an investigation
focus especially on any empirical analyses that are
required, since that is their area of most obvious
comparative advantage. Should the Commission vote to
challenge conduct in court, economic testimony from
an expert economist would typically be an important
element in the case that we present.
One area where the influence of economics in the
practice of competition law is especially apparent is the
merger review process. At both the Commission and the
Department of Justice, this process is guided by the
current Horizontal Merger Guidelines, which the two
Agencies issued in 1992 and revised in 1997. The
Guidelines set forth the analytical framework and
standards that the Agencies use to assess whether a
proposed merger is likely to substantially lessen
competition and harm consumers. While there are a
variety of different elements to the analysis that the
Guidelines propose, ultimately they are all part of an
integrated assessment of how firms' incentives would
change should the proposed merger occur. Would the
merging firms find it profitable to attempt to increase
their prices? If they were to try to effect a price increase,
how would other firms in the industry or possibly firms
that were contemplating entering the industry
respond? Does the transaction potentially improve
economic efficiency by lowering the merging firms'

Continental T.V., Inc, et al., v. GTE Sylvania (1977).


See Viscusi, et al., p. 245.
63
Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, amicus curiae, Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, INC. (2007)
62

33

prejudiciere a consumatorilor. Liniile Directoare includ


o diversitate de elemente care trebuie luate n
considerare n analiz, ceea ce conduce, n cele din
urm, la o evaluare integrat a msurii n care
comportamentul firmelor s-ar schimba n cazul n care
concentrarea s-ar produce. Va fi profitabil pentru
firmele care se concentreaz s creasc preurile? n
cazul n care acestea vor ncerca s creasc preurile,
cum vor reaciona alte firme care acioneaz n aceeai
industrie? Conduce operaiunea de concentrare la
creterea eficienei prin reducerea costurilor firmelor
implicate? Vor beneficia consumatorii de eventuala
cretere a eficienei? n sfrit i cel mai important, vor fi
consumatorii prejudiciai de concentrare? O analiz
economic atent este esenial pentru a rspunde
acestor ntrebri i a trage o concluzie despre msura n
care concentrarea poate fi permis.
Dac analiza economic teoretic se poate dovedi de
folos n evaluarea efectelor probabile ale unei
concentrri, cu mult mai utile pot fi analizele empirice
de foarte bun calitate. Astfel de analize sunt din ce n ce
mai folosite din dou motive principale. n primul rnd,
firmele i terii colecteaz n prezent cu mult mai multe
date dect oricnd n trecut, ceea ce conduce la
creterea cantitii poteniale de informaie util. Atunci
cnd analizm, de exemplu, concentrrile ntre firme
productoare de bunuri de consum, de multe ori
obinem date de la supermagazine care ne permit s
analizm n detaliu comportamentul consumatorilor. n
al doilea rnd, economitii au dezvoltat instrumente
analitice din ce n ce mai multe i mai bune care ne
permit s evalum efectul concurenial ultim al unei
tranzacii. Dei efectuarea acestor analize nu este
ntotdeauna posibil, acest tip de dovad direct a
efectelor concureniale a fost de mare ajutor n mai
multe decizii din ultimii ani luate de FTC.
Un exemplu notabil al acestui tip de analize este cel
folosit n aciunea FTC mpotriva concentrrii dintre
firmele Staples i Office Depot, care ar fi condus la
unirea a dou dintre cele trei reele naionale de
supermagazine specializate pe distribuia produselor de
birotic. Aceste magazine de dimensiunea unor
depozite distribuie o diversitate de produse de birotic
pentru micile afaceri i gospodrii, inclusiv pixuri,
hrtie, agende, capse, aparate de fax, calculatoare,
mobilier de birou i aproape orice alt produs de birotic.
O problem central n acest caz a fost msura n care
concurena din partea altor hipermagazine, cum ar fi
Wal-Mart, ar putea mpiedica compania rezultat n
urma concentrrii s creasc preurile practicate. Prile
implicate au argumentat c, n urma concentrrii,
compania rezultat va realiza doar 5,5% din vnzrile
de produse de birotic n Statele Unite i, ca atare, nu ar
fi plauzibil s se considere c aceast concentrare ar

64

Commentary on the Horizontal Merger Guidelines (2006), p. 10.

34

avea un impact concurenial semnificativ. FTC, pe de


alt parte, a artat c aceste dou firme sunt concureni
foarte apropiai, exercitnd, una asupra celeilalte, o
presiune concurenial unic n ceea ce privete
preurile.
Este posibil ca, la o privire superficial, argumentul
prilor implicate i cota de pia de 5,5% s v
aminteasc de cazul supermagazinelor Von pe care l-am
manionat mai devreme. Odat ce le avei pe birou, n
faa dumneavoastr, un pix achiziionat la un magazin
de birotic este, n mod evident, un foarte bun
substituent al unui pix cumprat la un supermagazin, la o
farmacie sau la un hipermagazin. Dar aceast observaie
nu demonstreaz msura n care consumatorii vd
aceste produse ca substituibile nainte de a merge la
cumprturi. Aceasta este problema esenial. Dac
supermagazinul specializat pe produse de birotic crete
preul pixurilor pe care le vinde, va ncepe un numr
suficient de mare de consumatori s cumpere pixurile
din alt parte, fornd astfel supermagazinul n cauz s
reanalizeze creterile de pre?
Pentru a rspunde acestei ntrebri, economitii FTC au
analizat atent datele privind preurile pe care Staples i
Office Depot le-au furnizat n cursul investigaiei i al
litigiului n instan. Din aceast analiz a rezultat un
tipar evident. n zonele metropolitane n care Staples nu
avea nici un supermagazin concurent, preurile pe care
le practica erau semnificativ mai mari fa de zonele
metropolitane n care era concurat de Office Depot sau
de un alt supermagazin de birotic, cum ar fi OfficeMax.
Un tipar similar a rezultat i din analizarea datelor Office
Depot: preurile pe care le practica erau mai mici n
zonele n care operau Staples i OfficeMax i mai mari n
zonele unde acetia nu operau. Aceste tipare se
menineau indiferent de numrul magazinelor de
birotic de nivel inferior supermagazinelor existau n
zona metropolitan analizat, iar factori ca diferenele
de costuri ntre diversele zone nu puteau explica
tiparul64. Aceast analiz a artat c, n cazul
concentrrii celor dou companii, exista o probabilitate
mare ca preurile produselor de birotic s creasc n
zonele metropolitane n care Staples i Office Depot
erau concureni direci. ntruct FTC a ctigat cazul n
instan, nu s-a ajuns la aceast situaie.
Analiza empiric efectuat de FTC n cazul Staples
Office Depot este unul din cele mai cunoscute exemple
care arat importana rolulului jucat de acest tip de
analiz economic n evaluarea efectelor concureniale.
n ultimii ani, FTC a beneficiat de analize empirice n
investigaii realizate asupra concentrrilor economice
din industrii variate, de la ngheat la nchirieri video
sau de la spitale la produse bancare. n special atunci
cnd sunt susinute de probe documentare i mrturii

costs? Would consumers benefit from any increase in


efficiency? Finally, and most importantly, would
consumers overall be harmed by the proposed
transaction? A careful economic analysis is essential to
reliably answer these questions and arrive at a
conclusion about whether the merger should be
allowed to proceed.
While theoretical economic analysis can prove valuable
in an assessment of the likely competitive effects of a
merger, high quality empirical analysis can be especially
useful. Such analysis is becoming more common, for
two main reasons. First, firms and third parties now
collect far more data than ever before, potentially
increasing the useful information that is available to
analyze. When we analyze retail product mergers, for
example, we often obtain supermarket scanner data
that enable detailed analysis of consumer behavior.
Second, economists have developed more and better
analytic tools that can help to predict the ultimate
competitive effects of a transaction. While such analyses
are not always possible, this sort of direct evidence of
competitive effects has been quite useful in several
Commission cases in recent years.
A notable example of this sort of analysis arose in the
Commission's 1997 challenge of a proposed merger
between Staples and Office Depot, which would have
combined two of the three national retail chains of
office supply superstores. These warehouse-sized
stores sell a variety of products for small businesses and
home offices, including pens, paper, notebooks,
staplers, fax machines, computers, office furniture, and
virtually any other product that is needed in an office. A
central question in this case was the degree to which
competition from other retailers, such as small office
supply stores and hypermarkets such as Wal-Mart,
would prevent the merged company from increasing its
prices to consumers. The merging parties argued that
their combined company would sell only 5.5 percent of
office supplies in the United States, and it was therefore
implausible that a merger between them would have a
significant competitive effect.The Commission, on the
other hand, argued that these two firms were very close
competitors that exerted a unique competitive
constraint on each other's pricing.
It may appear that there is a superficial plausibility to the
argument that the merging parties made in this case, and
the 5.5 percent market share figure may remind you of
the facts in the Von's supermarket case that I described
earlier. Once you have them all in front of you on your
desk, a ballpoint pen purchased at an office supply
superstore is clearly a very good substitute for a ballpoint
pen purchased at a supermarket, a drugstore, or a

65

Commentary on the Horizontal Merger Guidelines (2006), p. 10.

35

hypermarket. But that observation does not establish


that consumers view pens from all of these different
retail outlets to be interchangeable before they go
shopping. That is the real issue. If office supply
superstores increased the prices of their pens, would
enough consumers begin to buy their pens elsewhere
that the office supply superstores would be forced to
rescind their price increases?
In order to answer this question, the Commission's
economists carefully analyzed pricing data that Staples
and Office Depot produced during the course of the
investigation and litigation. A clear pattern emerged
from this analysis. In metropolitan areas where Staples
faced no office superstore rival, it charged significantly
higher prices than in metropolitan areas where it faced
competition from Office Depot or the other office
supply superstore, OfficeMax. Office Depot data
showed a similar pattern: its prices were lowest where
Staples and OfficeMax also operated, and highest
where they did not. These patterns held regardless of
how many non-superstore sellers of office supplies there
were in the metropolitan area under review, and factors
such as differences in costs among the different
metropolitan areas could not explain the pattern65. This
analysis indicates that, should the proposed merger
have taken place, there was a significant likelihood that
prices of office supplies would have risen in
metropolitan areas where Staples and Office Depot
were direct competitors. Because the Commission
prevailed in court, that outcome did not occur.
The Commission's empirical analysis in the StaplesOffice Depot case is one of the best known examples of
the important role that this kind of economic evidence
can play in an assessment of competitive effects. Yet I
can assure you that it is far from an isolated example. In
recent years the Commission has had the benefit of
useful empirical analyses in investigations of mergers in
industries ranging from ice cream to video rentals, and
hospitals to baking mixes. Especially when combined
with consistent documentary evidence and testimony,
strong empirical evidence of competitive effects can be
quite compelling.

consistente, dovezi empirice puternice privind efectele


competitive pot fi foarte utile.
IV Rolul economitilor n cadrul misiunii noastre de
protecie a consumatorilor
Economitii joac un rol foarte important i n susinerea
misiunii de protecie a consumatorilor. n cadrul unui
proces similar celui din domeniul concurenei,
economitii Biroului Economitilor din cadrul Diviziei
de Protecie a Consumatorilor contribuie la dezvoltarea,
revizuirea i susinerea n instan a cazurilor de
protecie a consumatorilor, ca i la dezvoltarea
reglementrilor comerciale, a liniilor directoare
sectoriale i a iniiativelor de politici publice.
Economitii desfoar, de asemenea, studii, cercetri,
analize i proiecte speciale pentru examinarea
problemelor de protecie a consumatorilor. Aceste
activiti completeaz misiunea FTC din domeniul
antitrust, asigurnd consumatorilor posibilitatea de a
culege toate beneficiile concurenei.
Biroul Economitilor i pune n valoare expertiza n
analize economice i statistice utile pentru misiunea de
protecie a consumatorilor ntr-o diversitate de moduri,
incluznd:

analiza beneficiilor i costurilor poteniale ale


aciunilor, reglementrilor comerciale i politicilor
publice pe care FTC le implementeaz sau
intenioneaz s le implementeze;

evaluarea i msurarea existenei, dimensiunii i


sursei comportamentelor neloiale i neltoare;

evaluarea i msurarea prejudiciului cauzat


consumatorilor prin practici neloiale sau neltoare i a
ctigului necuvenit realizat de ctre cei rspunztori;

dezvoltarea de msuri de corecie menite a preveni


practicile neloiale sau neltoare fr a impune costuri
involuntare sau nenecesare asupra consumatorilor sau
industriei;

36

evaluarea capacitii celor responsabili de a plti

reparaii i penaliti civile;


dezvoltarea i analiza sondajelor efectuate printre

consumatori, care au rolul de a examina dimensiunea


practicilor neloiale sau neltoare sau a interpretrii
date de ctre consumatori unor reclame posibil
neltoare.
V Concluzie
Privind istoria politicii n domeniul concurenei din
Statele Unite, este evident c predecesorii notrii au
fcut multe greeli. Decizii care le preau perfect
justificate practicienilor la acel moment, par acum a fi
rezultatul unor interpretri eronate. Ar putea fi tentant
s ne uitm la aceste referine, s le comparm cu
deciziile noastre de astzi i s ne simim cumva
mulumii pentru faptul c suntem mai edificai. Totui,
cred c o asemenea mulumire de sine nu este rspunsul
corect. Parafrazndu-l pe Isaac Newton, putem spune
c, dac am vzut mai departe, a fost pentru c am stat
pe umerii giganilor politicii n domeniul concurenei.
Puin cte puin, o ntreag comunitate de economiti,
avocai i judectori a modelat politica noastr n
domeniul concurenei ntr-un sistem care este, n
general, consecvent teoriei economice de astzi.
Aceast politic este suficient de flexibil pentru a
rspunde schimbrii modului n care nelegem lumea
economic de care suntem nconjurai. O astfel de
flexibilitate este important, dat fiind c nu putem
afirma c am elaborat politica ideal n domeniul
concurenei sau c am descoperit cele mai bune
metode posibile de analiz economic pentru a ne ajuta
n munca noastr. ntruct cunoaterea continu s
avanseze, aceste inte sunt mobile. Dac nu vom putea
niciodat s le atingem cel mai nalt nivel posibil, putem
mcar spera s avansm n direcia corect.

IV. Economists' Role in Our Consumer Protection


Mission
Economists also play an important role in support of the
Commission's consumer protection mission. In a
process similar to the competition area, economists in
The Bureau of Economics' Division of Consumer
Protection contribute to the development, review, and
litigation of consumer protection cases, and the
development and review of trade regulation rules,
industry guidelines, and policy initiatives. Economists
also conduct research, studies, surveys, and special
projects that examine consumer protection issues.
These activities complement the Commission's antitrust
mission by ensuring that consumers reap the full
benefits of competition.
The Bureau of Economics applies its expertise in
economic and statistical analysis to the consumer
protection mission in a variety of ways, including:
Analysis of the potential benefits and costs of proposed
or existing Commission actions, trade regulation rules,
and policies.
Assessment and measurement of the presence, extent,

and source of unfair and deceptive practices.


Assessment and measurement of the amount of

consumer injury caused by the unfair or deceptive


practices, and the amount of ill-gotten gain received by
the respondents.
Development of remedies designed to prevent unfair

and deceptive practices without imposing unintended


or unnecessary costs on consumers or industry.
Assessment of the respondent's ability to pay redress

and civil penalties.


Development and analysis of consumer surveys and

copy tests that examine the extent of unfair and


deceptive practices or consumer interpretation of
possibly deceptive advertising claims.

37

V. Conclusion
Looking back over the history of competition policy in
the United States, it is clear that our predecessors made
many mistakes. Decisions that seemed perfectly
reasonable to practitioners at the time now appear to be
misguided. It may be tempting to look back at this
record, compare it to the decisions we make today, and
feel somewhat smug about our relative enlightenment.
Yet I would suggest that such smugness or selfsatisfaction is the wrong response. To paraphrase Isaac
Newton, if we have seen farther, it is by standing on the
shoulders of competition policy giants. Bit by bit, a
whole community of economists, lawyers, and judges
has fashioned our competition policy into a system that
is generally consistent with economic learning as it is
understood today. This policy is flexible enough that it
can respond to changes in the way we understand the
economic world around us.
Such flexibility is
important, because we make no claim that we have put
in place the ideal competition policy, or that we have
discovered the best possible methods of economic
analysis to assist us in our work. Because knowledge
continues to advance, these are moving targets. While
we may never ultimately reach them, we hope to
continue to move in the right direction.
There are many philosophies of antitrust enforcement
and also many standards of application. At the first ICN
conference in Naples in 2002, Giuseppe Tesauro, then
Chairman of the Italian Competition Authority,
discussing about then ongoing debate on the test to
apply in merger control, whether dominance or
substantial lessening of competition, said the Atlantic
Ocean is not a one way street. What he meant was that
also us, much less experienced agencies, the Sherman
Act is of 1890, the Italian law of 1990 and the EC merger
regulation of 1989, have something to say to the world
and a message to deliver.

EVOLUII RECENTE N APLICAREA REGULILOR


DE CONCUREN: O PERSPECTIV COMPARATIV
Alberto HEIMLER

66

Rezumat67
Politica de concuren este caracterizat mai mult de standarde dect de reguli, iar analiza economic reprezint un
instrument de interpretare a prvederilor legale. Europa a importat multe din Statele Unite: testul monopolist pentru
definirea pieei relevante, analiza concentrrilor, tratamentul restriciilor verticale, politica de clemen.
Europa i dezvolt propriile sale standarde cu privire la comportamentul unilateral, iar producerea efectelor nu este o
condiie necesar pentru constatarea unui abuz. n materia drepturilor de proprietate intelectual, standardul
produsului nou pare promitor, dar trebuie s fie dezvoltat n continuare .
Cooperarea dintre autoritile naionale de concuren i cu Comisia European este un instrument foarte important
la dispoziia noastr i cu privire la dezvoltrile din jurisdiciile naionale.
Cuvinte cheie: aplicarea regulilor de concuren, concurena de fond, comportament unilateral
Exist mai multe filosofii cu privire la aplicarea regulilor
de concuren i mai ales mai multe standarde de
aplicare. La prima conferin a ICN68 n Napoli, n 2002,
Giuseppe Tesauro, preedintele de atunci al autoritii
italiene de concuren, discutnd despre dezbaterea
nesfrit cu privire la testul ce trebuie aplicat pentru
controlul concentrrilor, dominana sau reducerea
susbstanial a concurenei, spunea Oceanul Atlantic
nu este o strad cu sens unic. Ceea ce dorea el s spun
era c i noi, autoritile cu mai puin experien (Actul
Sherman dateaz din 1890, legea italian din 1990, iar
Regulamentul de concentrri comunitar din 1989),
avem ceva de spus lumii i un mesaj de transmis.
Privind napoi, este mai mult vorba despre ceea ce
europenii au luat de la Statele Unite. Nu filozofia
original a concurenei, care i are originea n tradiia
german ordoliberal care, nc din 1920 fcea
distincie ntre mpiedicarea concurenei, cum ar fi
preurile de ruinare, discount-urile de fidelitate i
boicotul (ce trebuie interzise) pe de o parte, i
concurena prin performan, care includea toate
comportamentele care fac produsele unei firme mai
atractive pentru consumatori (care trebuia favorizat),
pe de alt parte.

Tradiia ordoliberal era bazat n mare parte pe form.


ntr-adevr, pentru muli ani, aplicarea regulilor de
concuren n Comunitatea European a nsemnat
aplicarea art.81 alin. (3) n cazul acordurilor notificate i
regulamentele de exceptare pe categorii. Introducerea,
n anul 1989, a regulamentului privind concentrrile
economice i accentul pus de acesta pe analiza au
nceput s reorienteze Comisia de la form ctre efecte.
Comunicarea cu privire la piaa relevant a fost emis n
1997, iar noua exceptare pe categorii pentru restriciile
verticale n 1999. Acestea au fost primele documente
oficiale n care a fost articulat noua abordare a
Comisiei. Astzi, analiza economic are un rol din ce n
ce mai mare n interpretarea regulilor substaniale de
concuren.
Aceasta nu este o revoluie. Aa cum reamintete
Valentine Korah, nc din 1966, n hotrrea pronunat
n cazul Technique Minire v Maschinenbau Ulm GmbH,
Curtea European de Justiie (CEJ) a declarat n mod clar
faptul c concurena n cauz trebuie neleleas n
contextul actual n care ar fi aprut n absena acordului
n disput. Ipoteza contrar a fost absena acordului,
nu un alt acord, mai puin restrictiv. ntregul curs al
aplicrii regulilor de concuren n Europa ar fi fost

66
Director n cadrul Autoritii Italiene de Concuren i preedinte al Grupului de Lucru 2 Concuren i reglementaredin cadrul
OCDE;
67
Traducerea n limba romn a fost realizat de Georgeta Gavriloiu;
68
ICN International Competition Network Reeaua Internaional de Concuren.

38

RECENT EVOLUTIONS IN ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT:


A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
69

Alberto HEIMLER69

Abstract
Antitrust is characterized more by standards than by rules and the economic analysis represents the interpreting tool of the
legal provisions. Europe imported much from the US: the hypothetical monopolist test for the definition of the relevant
market, merger analysis, the treatment of vertical restraints, leniency.
Europe is developing its own standard on unilateral conduct and realized effect is not a necessary condition for an abuse.
On intellectual property rights the new product standard seems to be promising but needs to be developed further.
Cooperation among national competition authorities and with the European Commission is a very important tool at our
disposal also with respect to developments in national jurisdictions.
Keywords: antitrust enforcement, competition on the merits, unilateral conduct

Looking back there is much that we Europeans took


from the US. Not the original philosophy of antitrust that
originate from the ordoliberal German tradition which
already in the 1920's had distinguished impediment
competition (to be prohibited), such as predatory
pricing , loyalty rebates and boycotts, from
performance competition which included all conduct
that made a firms product more attractive to consumers
(to be favored).
The ordoliberal tradition was mostly based on form.
Indeed for many years antitrust enforcement in the EC
meant applying article 81, paragraph 3, on notified
agreements and on developing form based block
exemption regulations. The introduction of the merger
regulation in 1989 and the emphasis on economic
analysis that it brought with it started to move away the
Commission from form to effects. The communication
on the relevant market was issued in 1997; the new
block exemption on vertical restraints in 1999. These
were the first official documents were the new
Commission approach was articulated. Economic
analysis is now having an increasing role in interpreting
the substantive antitrust provisions.

1966 in its judgment on La Technique Minire v


Maschinenbau Ulm GmbH the ECJ clearly stated that
the competition in question must be understood
within the actual context in which it would occur in the
absence of the agreement in dispute. The
counterfactual was the absence of the agreement, not a
different less restrictive agreement. The whole course of
antitrust enforcement in Europe would have been
differently if that approach would have been followed.
On the contrary three weeks later in Etablissements
Consten SA and Grundig Verkaufs GmbH v EEC
Commission the ECJ completely ignored that statement.
Only recently with the new technology transfer
regulation and with the guidelines associated with it the
counterfactual is again what would have occurred
without the agreement. With respect to article 81, the
major advance was Regulation n. 1/2003 and the
elimination of the notification system. Article 81,
paragraph 3, has now direct effect. Positive decisions are
no longer possible and what matters is the substance of
the restriction (even though the burden proof on Article
81, paragraph 3, is on who alleges its legality). After 40
years substance is what matters in European antitrust
enforcement.

This is not a revolution. As V Korah recalls, already in

Referring to the well known distinction between rules

69

Director, Italian Competition Authority and Chairman Working Party 2 on Competition and Regulation, OECD.

39

diferit dac aceast abordare ar fi fost urmat.


Dimpotriv, trei sptmni mai trziu, n Consten SA
and Grundig Verkaufs GmbH v EEC Commission, CEJ a
ignorat complet aceast declaraie. Abia recent, odat
cu noul regulament privind transferul de tehnologie i
cu liniile directoare aferente acestuia, ipoteza contrar
este din nou ce ar fi aprut n absena acordului. n
privin art. 81, marele progres a fost reprezentat de
Regulamentul 1/2003 i de eliminarea sistemului de
notificare. Art. 81, alin. (3) are acum efect direct.
Deciziile pozitive nu mai sunt posibile, ceea ce
conteaz fiind substana restriciei (chiar dac sarcina
probei cu privire la art.81 alin. (3) incumb celui care
invoc legalitatea). Dup 40 de ani, substana este ceea
ce conteaz n aplicarea regulilor de concuren
europene.
Referitor la bine cunoscuta distincie dintre reguli i
standarde, concurena este un domeniu n care legea
stabilete anumite standarde i nu reguli. Dispoziiile n
materie de concuren sunt mai degrab de genul nu
trebuie s conduci periculos dect nu trebuie s
depeti 50 km/h, avnd ca instrument de interpretare
analiza economic. Analiza economic ne ofer
lentilele prin care vedem ce nseamn de fapt a
conduce periculos. Analiza economic este, de
asemenea, instrumentul care ne permite s excludem
anumite comportamente (cartelurile) care nu sunt
niciodat benefice i care trebuie interzise ntotdeauna.
ntr-un anumit sens, standardul devine o regul n cazul
cartelurilor, dar rmne o regul neobligatorie pentru c
n lege nu scrie c acestea ar trebui s fie interzise per se.
Influena Statelor Unite a fost foarte important cu
privire la acest aspect. Definiia pieei relevante,
tratamentul nelegerilor verticale, felul n care sunt
analizate concentrrile economice au o origine
american clar. Convergena obinut este, n mod
clar, condus de Statele Unite, cel puin pn acum.
Cred c dezbaterea actual cu privire la
comportamentul unilateral este condus de Europa i,
n acest domeniu, Europa a devenit destul de influent
n privina practicilor de implementare din ntreaga
lume.
Aplicarea regulilor de concuren este att o
reglementare a eecului pieei, ct i o declaraie
politic. Care este eecul de pia pe care ncearc s l
corecteze politica de concuren? Mi se pare c aici
exist marea diferen. Iniial, scopul politicii de
concuren era acela de a menine o pia competitiv,
n varianta optim o pia unde att furnizorii ct i
consumatorii sunt att de mici nct nu pot influena, n
mod individual, condiiile de echilibru al pieei
(concurena perfect din cri). Potrivit acestei abordri,
un eec de pia este foarte ntnit i poate aprea

40

oricnd dac o pia este diferit structural de de una


competitiv. Potrivit acestei abordri foarte largi,
politica de concuren ar trebui s intervin destul de
mult pentru a promova apariia i meninerea
concurenei. Problema acestei abordri este c
instrumentele legale sunt mai puin intruzive dect ar
sugera teoria afectrii.
Controlul concentrrilor este singurul instrument pe
care autoritile antitrust l au la dispoziie pentru a
defini structura pieei. i, ntradevr, n anii `50,
autoritile din Statele Unite, sigura jurisdicie la acea
vreme care realiza un control al concentrrilor, aveau s
blocheze fuziuni doar de dragul de a menine o
pluralitate de concureni. Concurena a fost urmrit ca
scop n sine i democraia economic (care a nsemnat
protejarea IMM-urilor) a fost elul politic de atins. Spre
exemplu, fuziunea din 1955, Brow Shoe Kinney, ntre
cel de al patrulea mare productor de pantofi din Statele
Unite i un detailist naional (cu o cot de pia destul de
limitat) a fost blocat (folosindu-se testul SLC) pentru
a-i proteja pe concurenii mici i pentru a menine o
structur de pia optim. Interveniile cu privire la
abuzul de poziie dominant pot, de asemenea, s
realizeze obiective structurale. Ct despre prevederile
privind abuzul de poziie dominant, acestea nu pot fi
aplicate pe pieele de tip oligopol. Acestea afecteaz
doar comportamentele unilaterale ale companiilor
dominante i, n Europa, pn recent (pn la intrarea n
vigoare a Regulamentului nr.1/2003) nu puteau
conduce la msuri structurale.
Dac democraia economic nseamn urmrirea
obinerii concurenei perfecte, controlul concentrrilor
este un instrument destul de ineficient pentru c acesta
controleaz doar creterea extern. Prevederile privind
abuzul de poziie dominant sunt limitate la companiile
dominante i sunt menite s afecteze comportamentul
firmelor dominante i nu structura pieei n mod direct.
Prevederile mpotriva acordurilor restrictive au fost
aplicate mai ales printr-o abordare bazat pe form i nu
au afectat structura pieei. Setul de reguli antitrust a fost,
de aceea, deconectat de la obiectivul democraiei
economice, definit n termeni de pluralism al
concurenilor (protejarea IMM-ului i protejarea
concurenilor).
coala de la Chicago critic aplicarea regulilor de
concuren n conformitate cu setul antitrust. Problema
pe care a soluionat-o critica colii de la Chicago a fost
clarificarea faptului c, prin aplicarea regulilor,
autoritile de concuren nu pot/nu ar trebui s
urmreasc instituirea unei piae concureniale
perfecte, nici n mod direct, nici indirect. Autoritile de
concuren nu ar putea institui concurena perfect n
mod direct pentru c le lipsesc instrumentele necesare,

and standards, antitrust is a field where the law sets the


standards not the rules. Antitrust provisions are like you
should not drive dangerously provisions, rather you
should not exceed 50 km an hour, with economic
analysis as the interpreting tool. Economic analysis gives
us the glasses to see when it that we actually drive
dangerously is. Economic analysis is also the tool that
allows us to exclude that certain behavior (cartels) are
never beneficial and should always be prohibited. In
some sense the standard becomes a rule for cartels, but
it remains a soft rule because it is not written in the law
that cartels should be prohibited by object.
The US influence was very important in this respect. The
definition of the relevant market, the treatment of
vertical restraints, the way to analyze mergers have a
clear US origin. The achieved convergence is clearly US
driven at least up until now. I believe that the current
debate on unilateral conduct is Europe driven and on
this Europe has become quite influential on
enforcement practices worldwide.
Antitrust enforcement is both a regulation for a market
failure and a political statement. What is the market
failure that antitrust is trying to correct? It seems to me
that here is where the big differences still exist.
Originally the aim of antitrust was to maintain a
competitive market, at the optimum a market where
both suppliers and customers were so small that they
could not individually influence equilibrium market
conditions (textbook type perfect competition). Under
this approach a market failure is very common and it can
occur all the time a market is structurally different from a
competitive one. Under this very wide approach
antitrust should intervene quite extensively to promote
the emergence and the maintenance of competitive
markets. The problem with this approach is that the legal
instruments are much less intrusive than the theory of
harm would suggest.
Merger control is the only tool antitrust authorities have
at their disposal for directly defining the market
structure. And indeed back in the 1950's, the US
authorities, the only jurisdiction at the time with merger
control, would block mergers just for the sake of
maintaining a plurality of competitors. Competition was
pursued on its own merit and economic democracy
(which meant protecting SME's) was the political goal to
be achieved. For example, the 1955 Brown ShoeKinney merger between the fourth biggest US shoe
manufacturer and a nation wide retailer (with quite
limited market share) was blocked (by the way using the
SLC standard) in order to protect small competitors and

41

maintain a perceived optimal market structure.


Interventions on abuse of dominance can also, at least in
principle, achieve structural objectives. As for abuse of
dominance provisions, they cannot be applied in
oligopoly type markets. They affect only unilateral
conduct by dominant companies and in Europe until
very recently (until the entry into force of Regulation
no.1/2003) could not lead to structural measures.
If economic democracy means aiming to achieve
perfect competition, merger control is quite an
ineffective tool because it controls only external growth.
Abuse of dominance provisions are limited to dominant
companies and are meant to affect dominant firms
conduct, not the market structure directly. Provisions
against restrictive agreements were mostly applied
under a form based approach and would not affect the
market structure. The antitrust toolkit was therefore
disconnected with the economic democracy
objective, defined in terms of pluralism of competitors
(protecting SME'S or protecting competitors).
The Chicago critique brought antitrust enforcement in
line with the antitrust toolkit. The problem that the
Chicago critique solved was making clear that through
enforcement antitrust authorities could/should establish
a perfect competitive market outcome neither directly
nor indirectly. They could not establish it directly
because they lacked the necessary tools, since only
external growth was subject to control and only abusive
type behavior and restrictive agreements were
prohibited. Endogenous growth could not be limited by
antitrust enforcement which meant that in most
situations the market outcome was not subject to
antitrust control. They could not establish a perfectly
competitive market outcome indirectly because of the
criticism of the SCM paradigm. There are instances, for
example in avionics, where competition among two big
companies leads to much better results for consumers
than competition among a much higher number of
smaller firms. Separation between market structure and
market outcome is one of the major results of the
Chicago critique.
Does this mean that antitrust enforcement is mainly case
by case and that antitrust enforcement does not
represent an ex-ante guide to firm behavior? Does it also
imply that economic democracy is no longer an
objective of antitrust enforcement? The answer to both
of these questions is no. First of all the public has to know
how legal provisions will be applied, in order for them to
exercise any deterrence at all. If these legal provisions

din moment ce subiectul controlului este doar creterea


extern i doar comportamentele de tip abuziv i
acordurile restrictive sunt interzise. Creterea endogen
nu ar putea fi limitat prin aplicarea regulilor de
concuren, ceea ce ar nsemna c n majoritatea
situaiilor rezultatul pieei nu a fcut obiectul controlului
antitrust. Autoritile de concuren nu ar putea stabili
n mod indirect o pia concurenial perfect din cauza
criticismului fa de paradigma SCM. Exist situaii, spre
exemplu, n avionic, n care concurena dintre dou
companii conduce la rezultate mult mai bune pentru
consumatori dect concurena dintre un numr mai
mare de firme mai mici. Unul dintre rezultatele majore
ale criticii formulate de coala de la Chicago este
delimitarea dintre structura pieei i rezultatul pieei.
nseamn aceasta c aplicarea regulilor de concuren
se face mai ales de la caz la caz i c aceast aplicare nu
reprezint o orientare ex ante a comportamentului
companiilor? Implic aceasta, de asemenea, faptul c
democraia economic nu mai este un obiectiv al
aplicrii regulilor de concuren? Rspunsul la ambele
ntrebri este nu. nainte de toate, pentru ca prevederile
legale s aib un efect descurajator, publicul trebuie s
tie cum vor fi aplicate aceste prevederi Dac aceste
prevederi legale reprezint standarde i nu reguli,
efectul descurajator poate fi asigurat doar prin
cazuistic, linii directoare si comunicri, n special n
controlul concentrrilor, dar i cu privire la restriciile
verticale, la transferul de tehnologii, acordurile C&D
etc.). Analiza economic, cu insistena acesteia asupra
eficienei, a oferit lentilele pentru interpretarea
prevederilor de concuren.

articolului 82, o astfel de responsabilitate special


nseamn c o firm dominant nu ar trebui s adopte
strategii care ar exclude concurenii la fel de eficieni i,
de asemenea, ar vtma consumatorii. ntr-adevr,
potrivit documentului de discuii, identificarea unui
asemenea abuz ar trebui s fie n mare parte bazat pe
efectele poteniale de excludere ale practicii, mai mult
dect pe efectele reale.
Prin aceasta, Comisia transmite un mesaj pentru Statele
Unite unde, n schimb, accentul este pus mai ales pe
efectele produse. n Statele Unite, n absena efectelor
vizibile i tangibile, instanele tind s concluzioneze c
nu exist nclcare a legii. Punctul meu de vedere (i al
Comisiei) este acela c existena unor diminuri ale
concurenei, dac au fost legate direct de un abuz prin
preuri, ar trebui s fie suficient (n msura n care
concurenii nu sunt mai puin eficieni dect firma
dominant). A cere o excludere efectiv, precum
jurisprudena din Statele Unite, poate fi o sarcin
adiional nejustificat. Bineneles, dovezile contrarii,
cum ar fi creterea profitabil a cotei de pia a
concurenilor, ca n Michelin II sau n Virgin, ar ngreuna
considerabil sarcina probei.

Eficiena este foarte adesea interpretat drept un


obiectiv brutal al politicii economice. Muli dintre criticii
acesteia sugereaz faptul c, urmrind eficiena, politica
de concuren a uitat de solidaritate. Eu nu sunt de
acord. Eficiena nu este probabil cel mai potrivit termen.
Concurena de fond ar fi mai potrivit. Aceasta implic
faptul c aplicarea regulilor de concuren garanteaz
faptul c cel mai bun ctig. O asemenea aplicare a
regulilor de concuren reprezint, n acelai timp, un
standard moral. Spiritul olimpic este cel evocat de
concurena de fond. Nu ctigi Olimpiada prin
solidaritate. Exist multe alte instrumente pentru a se
obine solidaritate (n special politici fiscale).

Din nefericire, Curtea European de Justiie (CEJ) nu a


adoptat nc n totalitate acest punct de vedere. n
recenta hotrre n cazul Virgin/British Airways (BA), CEJ
a confirmat decizia Comisiei potrivit creia ntreruperea
politicii BA a fost abuziv chiar dac Comsia nu a
dovedit faptul c discount-urile oferite de BA ar fi
determinat un concurent la fel de eficient s practice
preuri sub costuri. Exist totui un anumit progres n
jurispruden, n special faptul c argumentele din cazul
Virgin/BA sunt mult mai puin legate de form dect n
cazul Michelin II. Cu toate acestea, nu ne aflm pe
deplin ntr-o lume bazat pe efect. ntr-adevr, n cazul
Virgin/BA, Comisia a artat c discount-urile oferite de
British Airways ar fi putut fi oferite de ctre un concurent
nou intrat pe pia cu o reducere a preurilor de doar
30%. Comisia nu areuit s demonstreze c o astfel de
reducere ar determina un concurent la fel de eficient s
practice preuri sub costuri i, mai important, c
concurena din industria aerian ar determina ageniile
de voiaj s transfere ctre consumatori aceste discounturi i nici efectele acestor discount-uri asupra juctorilor
existeni (care avea deja o cot de pia).

Problema este ce nelegem de fapt prin concurena de


fond. Comitetul de Concuren al OCDE a organizat, n
anul 2005, o mas rotund pentru discutarea
concurenei de fond. Cu toate c unele agenii
pstreaz n continuare o abordare formalist, multe
altele s-au orientat ctre o abordare bazat pe efecte.
ntr-adevr doar lund n calcul efectul unei anumite
practici, responsabilitatea special a firmelor dominante
poate avea sens. n special, aa cum sugereaz Comisia
European n Documentul de discuii privind aplicarea

Cu toate acestea i mai ngrijortor este, n opinia mea,


faptul c CEJ a susinut pe deplin concluziile Comisiei n
sensul c discount-urile erau abuzive i pentru faptul c
erau discriminatorii. ntruct ageniile de voiaj cu
aceeai cifr de afaceri primeau discount-uri diferite,
Comisia a concluzionat (iar CEJ a fost de acord) c aceste
discount-uri au fost discriminatorii i, de aceea, abuzive.
Analiza Comisiei nu a fost convingtoare. Piaa pe care
concureaz ageniile de voiaj nu poate fi mprit dup
mrimea ageniilor de voiaj i discount-urile BA, dei

42

are standards, as opposed to rules, deterrence can be


guaranteed only by case law, guidelines,
communications. And indeed in the last decade, when
the Chicago critique was overcoming the now obsolete
SCM paradigm, antitrust agencies have issued quite a
number of guidelines and communications, especially
on merger control, but also on vertical restraints, on
technological transfers, on R&D agreements etc.
Economic analysis, and its insistence on efficiency, has
provided the glasses through which to interpret antitrust
enforcement provisions.
Efficiency is very often interpreted as a brutal objective
of economic policy. Many of its critics suggest that by
pursuing efficiency antitrust has forgotten solidarity. I
disagree. Efficiency is probably not the best term to use.
Competition on the merits is better. It implies that
antitrust enforcement makes sure that the best wins. As
such antitrust represents a moral standard as well. It is
the Olympic spirit that competition on the merits
evokes. You do not win the Olympics with solidarity.
There are many other instruments to achieve solidarity
(fiscal policy in particular).
The problem is what we actually mean by competition
on the merits. The OECD Competition Committee held
a roundtable discussion on competition on the merits in
2005. Although some agencies continue to maintain a
form based approach, many others are moving towards
an effect based one. Indeed only by considering the
effect of a given practice the special responsibility of
dominant companies can have a meaning. In particular
such a special responsibility, as the Commission suggests
in the discussion paper on the application of article 82,
means that a dominant company should not adopt
strategies that would exclude equally efficient
competitors and also harm consumers. Indeed,
according to the discussion paper, the identification of
an abuse should be mostly based on the potential
exclusionary effects of the practice, more than on its
actual effects.
In this the EC has a message for the US where, on the
contrary, the emphasis is mainly on realized effects. In
the US in the absence of visible and tangible effects, the
Courts tend to conclude that there is no violation. My
point is that the existence of sustained losses by equally
efficient competitors, if directly linked to a pricing abuse
of the dominant firm, should be sufficient. Requiring
actual exclusions, as in the US case law, may be an
unjustified additional burden. Of course, the contrary
evidence, that is the profitable increase of competitors
share, like in Michelin II or in Virgin, should significantly
increase the burden of proof.
Unfortunately the European Court of Justice has not yet
fully adopted this view. In the recent judgment on the

43

Virgin/British Airways (BA) case the ECJ has confirmed


the Commission decision that the discounting policy of
BA was abusive event though the Commission had not
proved that BA discounts would lead an equally efficient
competitor to price below costs. There is some progress
in the case law and, in particular the arguments in the
Virgin/BA case are much less based on form than in
Michelin II. However we are not fully in an effect based
world. Indeed in the Virgin/BA case the Commission
had shown that BA discounts could be matched by a
new entrant competitor only with a 30% reduction of
prices. The Commission failed to show that such a
reduction would lead an equally efficient competitor to
price below costs and, more importantly, that
competition in the airline industry would lead travel
agents to pass on to consumers these discounts, or the
effects of these discounts on existing players (like Virgin
that already had a market share).
More importantly however, and in my view more
worrisome, is the fact that the ECJ fully endorsed the
finding of the Commission that these rebates where
abusive also because they were discriminatory. Since
travel agencies with the same turnover would receive
different margins, the Commission concluded (and the
ECJ upheld) that these discounts were discriminatory
and therefore abusive. The Commission analysis was
not convincing. The market where travel agents
compete cannot be disaggregated in terms of size of the
travel agencies and BA discounts while discriminatory
by turnover may allow smaller ones to better compete
with higher turnover agencies. A full market analysis
would be necessary to prove the abuse, while the
standard the Commission has used in Virgin/BA to prove
discrimination is only based on form. An effect based
approach should be used for both exclusionary and
exploitative abuses.

Besides loyalty discounts, where the United States and


Europe appear to differ the most is in their treatment of
refusal to deal by intellectual property owners (i.e.
refusal to license). In the US, established case law
indicates that there is very strong or possibly absolute
prerogative of patent holders to refuse to license their
technology. In contrast, the European Court of Justice in
the Magill case has defined criteria for requiring access
to IP and has recently confirmed them in the IMS Health
case. These criteria stipulate that, in order for a refusal to
license to be treated as an abuse, the following
requirements must be met, at least for copyright
protected IP: (i) there must be no actual or potential
substitute for the IP-protected product in the relevant
market; (ii) there can be no business justification for the
exclusion; and, perhaps most importantly, (iii) a new
product must be denied to consumers because of the
refusal. The Court's third requirement is the only one

discriminatorii prin raportare la cifra de afaceri, pot


permite ageniilor cu cifr de afaceri mai mic s
concureze cu cele cu cifr de afaceri mai mare. O
analiz deplin a pieei ar fi necesar pentru a dovedi
abuzul, n timp ce standardul pe care l-a folosit Comisia
n cazul Virgin/BA pentru a proba discriminarea este
doar unul bazat pe form. O abordare bazat pe efect ar
trebui s fie folosit att pentru abuzurile de excludere,
ct i pentru cele de exploatare.
Pe lng discount-urile de loialitate, tratamentul
refuzului de a livra n cazul deintorilor de proprietate
intelectual (spre ex. refuzul de a livra) reprezint alt
subiect asupra cruia Statele Unite i Europa par s aib
vederi difere. n Statele Unite, jurisprudena indic
faptul c o prerogativ foarte puternic, posibil
absolut, a deintorilor de brevete de a refuza s-i
licenieze tehnologia. n contrast, n cazul Magill, CEJ a
definit criteriile pentru a cere accesul la drepturile de
proprietate, criterii pe care le-a confirmat n cazul IMS
Health. Aceste criterii stipuleaz c, pentru ca refuzul de
a liceniere s fie tratat drept abuz, trebuie ndeplinite
urmtoarele cerine, cel puin pentru drepturile de
proprietate intelectual protejate de dreptul de autor: (i)
trebuie ca, pe piaa relevant, s nu existe un substitut
actual sau potenial pentru produsul protejat de dreptul
de autor; (ii) trebuie s nu existe nici o justificare de
afaceri pentru refuz; i, cel mai important, (iii) din cauza
refuzului, consumatorilor s nu le fie permis accesul la
un nou produs. Cea de a treia cerin a Curii este una
specific proprietii intelectuale. ntra-devr,
deschiderea posibilitii pentru licenierea obligatorie,
n scopul dezvoltrii de noi produse, pare un avans
promitor, presupunnd bineneles c ceea ce se
dezvolt este ceva nou. Jurisprudena dezvoltat pn
n prezent n Europa nu identific criteriile pentru
definirea a ce nseamn nou, putndu-se argumenta
c deintorii de drepturi de proprietate intelectual,
inclusiv cei poteniali, sunt lsai ntr-o stare de
incertitudine cu privire la ntinderea prerogativelor
exclusive pe care le dobndesc atunci cnd li se acord
un brevet.
n aceast privin, cazul Microsoft nu se situeaz pe
deplin pe linia jurisprudenei existente. Cazul a fost
generat de refuzul Microsoft de a furniza concurenilor
si informaii referitoare la codul-surs al sistemului su
de operare, care, aa cum s-a pretins, erau necesare
pentru dezvoltarea programelor software concurente.
Chiar dac informaiile relevante puteau s fi fost
protejatate de dreptul de autor, Comisia a considerat c
aceste informaii erau eseniale pentru a permite
dezvoltarea aplicaiilor concurente n aa fel ncz
acestea s ruleze sub Windows n mod corespunztor.
n cazul Microsoft, felul n care Comisia a tratat cele
dou cerine pe care Curtea le-a dezvoltat n cazul IMS

44

a fost correct. Comisia a descoperit, pe baza faptelor, c


pe piaa relevant nu exista niciun subtitut pentru
produsele protejate prin drepturi de proprietate
intelectual i c nu a fost demonstrat existena
niciunei justificri de afaceri pentru refuz. n ceea ce
privete cea de a treia cerin (consumatorilor nu le este
permis accesul la un nou produs), aceasta nu pare s fi
fost luat n considerare, n mod explicit, n decizia
Comisiei. Poate, aceasta semnaleaz faptul c aceast
cerin poate fi ndeplinit prin mpiedicarea accesului
la un produs potenial, n contrast cu un produs nou
actual.
Hotrrea Tribunalului de Prim Instan n cazul
Microsoft este ateptat nainte de aceast var.
Valabilitatea acestei abordri a Comisiei, aa cum este
discutat n documentul referitor la art.82, va avea
nevoie de confirmarea judectorilor.
Dup hotrrea CEJ din cazul Virgin/BA i dup ce
hotrrea Tribunalului de Prim Instan n cazul
Microsoft va fi fcut public, viitorul documentului de
discuie referitor la art.82 va deveni mai clar. Va fi
Comisia capabil s se ndeprteze de la jurisprudena
deja stabilit a instanelor europene i s pstreze, n
interpretarea art.82, o abordare bazat pe eficien?
Desigur, Comisia este liber s-i anune obiectivele de
politic i felul n care intenioneaz s interpreteze
legea. Totui, hotrrile
instanelor referitoare la
interpretarea prevederilor art.82 nu vor fi rsturnate de
nicio intervenie de politic a Comisiei. Pot trece nc 10
ani pn vor fi soluionate i apelate noi cazuri. ntre
timp, nimic nu poate mpiedica judectorii naionali s
urmeze hotrrile instanelor comunitare. Autoritile
naionale de concuren i judectorii care se pronun
asupra apelorilor formulate mpotriva cazurilor
soluionate de acestea se vor afla n aceeai situaie.
Sarcina Comisiei Europene de convinge factorii de
decizie (autoritile naionale i judectorii naionali) cu
privire la validitatea noii abordri pe care o propune va
fi acum i mai dificil.
Desigur, Comisia poate oferi lumii un model de
implementare. mprirea responsabilitii ntre
Comisie i Statele Membre este unic i la fel sunt
aranjamentele instituionale care permit obinerea de
rezultate convergente (comitete consultative,
Regulamentul nr.1/2003, Reeaua European a
Concurenei i, de asemenea, puterile de promovare a
regulilor n legtur cu instanele naionale). n acest
domeniu, ne situm mult n faa oricui din lume.
Utilizarea de ctre Comisie i de ctre autoritatea
naional a acestor instrumente va conduce, n mod
sigur, ctre o mai mare convergen. De asemenea,
aceast convergen se bazeaz i pe adeziunea
voluntar la interpretri comune.

specific to intellectual property. Indeed opening up the


possibility of compulsory licensing for developing new
products seems a promising way forward, of course on
the assumption that a precise definition of what is new is
developed. The case law developed so far in Europe
does not identify the criteria for defining what is actually
new, arguably leaving intellectual property owners,
including prospective ones, in a state of uncertainty as to
the extent of exclusionary power they are entitled to
when granted a patent.
The Microsoft case in this respect is not fully in line with
existing case law. The case originated from the refusal by
Microsoft to provide competitors with information
relating to its operating system source code which, it was
alleged, was necessary for the development of
competing software products. Although the relevant
information may have been protected by copyright, the
Commission considered this information essential for
allowing the development of competing applications so
that they could run smoothly on Windows. In the
Microsoft case, the Commission's treatment of the first
two requirements that the Court had developed in IMS
was straightforward: it found, on the facts, that there was
no substitute for the IP protected product in the relevant
market and that no satisfactory business justification for
the exclusion had been shown. As to the third
requirement (that a new product must be denied to
consumer), this does not appear to have been
considered explicitly in the Commission's decision.
Perhaps, this signals that this requirement can be met on
the basis of a denial of a potential as opposed to an
actual new product.
The judgment by the Court of First Instance on the
Microsoft case is expected before the summer. The
validity of this new Commission approach as discussed
in the paper on article 82 will need confirmation by the
judges.
After the Virgin/BA ECJ judgment and after the Court of
First Instance judgment on Microsoft will be made
public the future of the discussion paper on abuse will
become clearer. Will the Commission be able to depart
from well established case law by the European Courts
and maintain an effect based approach in the
interpretation of article 82? Certainly the Commission is
free to announce its policy objectives and how it intends
to interpret the law. However, the judgments by the
Courts on the interpretation of article 82 provisions will
not be overruled by any policy intervention by the
Commission. Until new cases will be decided and
appealed other 10 years may go by. In the meantime
nothing could prevent national judges from following
the judgments of the European Courts. National
competition authorities and the judges that hear their
cases on appeal will be in the same situation. The

45

burden on the European Commission to convince


decision makers (national authorities and national
judges) on the validity of the new approach it proposes
will be now heavier.
Europe of course has a model of enforcement to share
with the world. The division of responsibility between
the Commission and Member States is unique and so
are the institutional settings that allow convergent
outcomes (the advisory committees, Regulation no.
1/2003, the European Competition Network and also
the advocacy powers with respect to national courts). In
this we are far ahead of everybody else in the world. The
use by the Commission and by national authorities of all
these tools will certainly lead to greater convergence. Of
course, soft convergence is based on voluntary
adherence to common interpretations.

RAPORTUL AJUTOARELOR DE STAT


ACORDATE N ROMNIA N PERIOADA 2003-2005:
2003-2005:
EVOLUII I CONCLUZII
70

70
Daniel DIACONESCU
71
Constana DUMITRESCU
72
Anca CRISTEA

Rezumat
Consiliul Concurenei ntocmete Raportul anual privind ajutoarele de stat acordate n Romnia, care se
nainteaz Guvernului Romniei n vederea aprobrii, urmnd a fi publicat n Monitorul Oficial i transmis Comisiei
Europene.
Raportul privind ajutoarele de stat acordate n Romnia n perioada 2003-2005 prezint o situaie a nivelului,
structurii i tendinelor nregistrate n acordarea ajutoarelor de stat n ara noastr n perioada 20032005, fiind al
aptelea raport elaborat de Romnia de la intrarea n vigoare a Legii nr. 143/1999 privind ajutorul de stat.
Raportul reprezint un instrument statistic, destinat asigurrii transparenei n materia ajutorului de stat, i a fost
ntocmit pe baza datelor i informaiilor transmise de ctre toi furnizorii de ajutor de stat autoriti publice centrale
i locale precum i organisme care administreaz surse ale statului sau ale colectivitilor locale.
Informaiile transmise cuprind o perioad de 3 ani, respectiv anul de raportare 2005 i 2 ani anteriori 2003 i 2004
n vederea actualizrii datelor anterioare.
Ajutorul de Stat Naional exprimat n preuri curente prezint o tendin general de scdere, de la 3,5 mld.
RON n 2003 (1 mld. Euro) la 2,1 mld. RON n 2005 (0,6 mld. Euro), cu o cretere n 2004, cnd Ajutorul de Stat
Naional a atins nivelul de 6 miliarde RON.
Analiza evoluiei ajutoarelor de stat acordate n Romnia n perioada 2003-2005 s-a realizat att din punct de
vedere al obiectivelor care s-au avut n vedere la acordarea acestora, ct i din punct de vedere al instrumentelor
utilizate pentru acordarea lor.
n funcie de obiective, Ajutorul de Stat Naional (mai puin agricultura, pescuitul i transporturile) acordat n anul
2005 a fost repartizat n proporie de 69,95% pentru obiective orizontale (cercetare-dezvoltare, protecia mediului,
ntreprinderi mici i mijlocii, salvare restructurare, combaterea omajului, alte obiective), 26,73% pentru obiective
sectoriale (oel, construcii navale, autovehicule, fire i fibre sintetice, industria crbunelui, turism, servicii financiare,
media i cultur) i 3,32% pentru obiective regionale. n funcie de instrumentele financiare utilizate, Ajutorului de
Stat Naional a constat din 69,20% Cheltuieli bugetare, categorie n care intr subveniile, alocaiile, primele,
dobnzile subvenionate, alte sume nerambursabile, precum i participarea cu capital a statului i conversia datoriilor
i 30,80% Renunri la venituri, categorie n care intr scutirile i reducerile la plata obligaiilor fiscale, scutirile i
reducerile la plata majorrilor de ntrziere, garaniile de stat;
Conform Raportului Scoreboard ntocmit de Comisia European pentru anul 2005, ajutoarele de stat (excluznd
agricultura, pescuitul i transporturile) acordate n cele 25 de State Membre au sczut la 45,1 mld. Euro, fa de anul
2004 (46 mld. Euro), ajungnd la o pondere medie de 0,42% din PIB n 2005, n comparaie cu 0,43% n 2004.
n perioada de pre-aderare 2003 2005, Romnia a nregistrat o pondere medie a ajutorului de stat n PIB de 1,69%,
comparabil cu nivelul nregistrat n situaia similar de Polonia (1,29%) i mai mic dect ponderea medie anual din
Cehia (2,80%). La nivelul anului 2003 ponderea ajutorului de stat acordat n Romnia era de 1,75% din PIB, iar n
2005 a fost de 0,74% din PIB.
Cuvinte cheie: raport, ajutor de stat naional, obiectiv ajutor de stat, cheltuieli bugetare, renunri la venituri.
70

Director, Direcia Raportare, Monitorizare i Controlul Ajutoarelor de Stat.


Inspector de concuren, Direcia Raportare, Monitorizare i Controlul Ajutoarelor de Stat.
72
Inspector de concuren, Direcia Raportare, Monitorizare i Controlul Ajutoarelor de Stat.
71

46

REPPORT OF STATE AID


2003-2005:
GRANTED IN ROMANIA IN THE PERIOD 2003-2005:
EVOLUTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
73

Daniel DIACONESCU73
74
Constana
Constana DUMITRESCU
Anca CRISTEA75
Abstract76
The Competition Council elaborates the Annual report on the State aid granted in Romania, submits it to the
Romanian Government to be approved and then the Report is published in the Official Gazette of Romania and
submitted to the European Commission.
The report on the State aid granted in Romania in 2003-2005 describes the level, the structure and the trends of the
State aid granted in our country over the above mentioned period, being the seventh report elaborated by Romania
from the moment the Law no. 143/1999 on State aid entered into force.
The Report is a statistic instrument, aimed to ensuring transparency in the State aid field, and it was compiled on the
basis of the data and information submitted by all the State aid grantors central and local public authorities as well
as by the bodies that administrate state and local colectivities' sources.
The information submitted comprises a three year period and two previous years 2003 and 2004 in order to
update the previous data.
The National State aid in current prices has a general decreasing trend, from RON 3.5 billion in 2003 (EUR 1
billion) to RON 2.1 billion in 2005 (EUR 0.6 billion), with an increasing in 2004, when the State aid reached the
amount of RON 6 billion.
The Report presents an assessment of State aid evolution of the State aid granted in Romania in 2003-2005 both
by objectives and financial instruments.
The National State aid (except for agriculture, fisheries and transport) by objectives was allocated in 2005 as follows:
69.95% for horizontal objectives (R&D, environment protection, small and medium sized enterprises, rescue and
restructuring, employment, other objectives), 26.73% for sectoral objectives (steel, shipbuilding, auto vehicles,
synthetic fibres, coal industry, tourism, financial services, media and culture) and 3.32% for regional objective.
The National State aid (except for agriculture, fisheries and transport) by financial instruments was allocated in 2005 as
follows: 69.20% Budgetary expenditure (subsidies, allowances, bonuses, subsidized interests, other non
reimbursable amounts, state equity participation, debts conversion) and 30.80% Revenues' renouncement (fiscal
debts and delay penalties exemptions and reduction, state guarantees).
According to the Scoreboard report issued by the European Commission for 2005, the State aid (except for
agriculture, fisheries and transport) granted by the 25 Member states decreased to EUR 45.1 billion, comparing to
2004 (EUR 46 billion), reaching an average weight of 0.42 % GDP (0.43 % GDP in 2004).
In the pre-accession period (2003 2005), Romania had an average State aid weight in GDP of 1.69 %, comparable to
the level registered by Poland in a similar situation (1.29 %) and less than that of Czech (2.80 %). In 2003 the weight of
State aid granted in Romania was 1.75 % GDP and in 2005 was 0.74 % GDP.
Keywords: report, national State aid, State aid objective, budgetary expenditure, revenues renouncement
73

Head of Directorate of Reporting, Monitoring and Control of State Aid;


Competition inspector, Directorate of Reporting, Monitoring and Control of State Aid;
75
Competition inspector, Directorate of Reporting, Monitoring and Control of State Aid;
76
Translated into English by Anca Cristea.
74

47

1. Conform prevederilor art. 31 i 32 din Legea


nr.143/1999 privind ajutorul de stat, republicat (n
vigoare pn 31 decembrie 2006), ncepnd cu anul
2004, Consiliului Concurenei i revine sarcina
ntocmirii i actualizrii anuale a inventarului
ajutoarelor de stat, care cuprinde toate schemele de
ajutor de stat i ajutoarele de stat individuale existente.
Pe baza inventarului, Consiliul Concurenei
ntocmete un Raport anual privind ajutoarele de stat
acordate n Romnia, naintat Guvernului Romniei n
vederea aprobrii, urmnd a fi publicat n Monitorul
Oficial i transmis Comisiei Europene.
Raportul privind ajutoarele de stat acordate n Romnia
n perioada 2003-2005 prezint o situaie a nivelului,
structurii i tendinelor nregistrate n acordarea
ajutoarelor de stat n ara noastr n perioada
20032005, fiind al aptelea raport elaborat de
Romnia de la intrarea n vigoare a Legii nr. 143/1999
privind ajutorul de stat.
2. Metodologia de ntocmire a raportului este
prevzut n Regulamentul privind procedurile de
raportare i monitorizare, emis de Consiliul
Concurenei.
Astfel, Raportul reprezint un instrument statistic,
destinat asigurrii transparenei n materia ajutorului de
stat, i a fost ntocmit pe baza datelor i informaiilor
transmise de ctre toi furnizorii de ajutor de stat
autoriti publice centrale i locale precum i
organisme care administreaz surse ale statului sau ale
colectivitilor locale.
Informaiile transmise cuprind o perioad de 3 ani,
respectiv anul de raportare 2005 i 2 ani anteriori
2003 i 2004 n vederea actualizrii datelor
anterioare.
Raportul cuprinde informaii despre ajutoarele de stat
acordate n perioada 2003 2005, grupate pe
urmtoarele capitole:

ajutorul de stat naional,

ajutorul de stat acordat industriei prelucrtoare,

ajutorul de stat acordat industriei extractive,

ajutorul de stat acordat ntreprinderilor ce presteaz


servicii de interes economic general,

ajutorul de stat acordat pentru fora de munc,

ajutorul de stat acordat pentru servicii financiare,


turism, media i cultur,

ajutoarele de stat de natur fiscal,

ajutoarele de stat acordate n sectorul transporturi,

ajutorul de stat acordat agriculturii i pescuitului,

48

ajutoarele de stat cu caracter social;

recuperarea ajutoarelor de stat ilegale;

stadiul implementrii Planului de aciune n

domeniul ajutorului de stat.


Elementul de noutate din documentul elaborat n cursul
anului 2006 vizeaz recuperarea ajutoarelor de stat
ilegale.
Totodat, Raportul este conceput pe structura
Scoreboard-ului ajutoarelor de stat, elaborat de Comisia
European, prin care aceasta evalueaz evoluia
ajutoarelor de stat acordate de Statele Membre ale
Uniunii Europene, asigurndu-se astfel
comparabilitatea cu acestea.
Pentru analiza volumului ajutoarelor de stat acordate n
Romnia, s-au folosit indicatorii macroeconomici
transmii de Institutul Naional de Statistic (PIB,
deflatorul PIB, valoarea adugat brut la nivel naional
i pe sectoare economice, numrul salariailor pe
sectoare de activitate, cursul mediu anual de schimb).
3. Ajutorul de Stat Naional exprimat n preuri
curente prezint o tendin general de scdere, de la
3,5 mld. RON n 2003 (1 mld. Euro) la 2,1 mld. RON
n 2005 (0,6 mld. Euro), cu o cretere n 2004, cnd
Ajutorul de Stat Naional a atins nivelul de 6 miliarde
RON.
Nivelul mai ridicat din anul 2004 s-a datorat
intensificrii procesului de restructurare i
privatizare a companiilor cu capital majoritar de stat
din acea perioad. n anul 2004, ajutoarele de stat
pentru agenii economici care i desfoar activitatea
n cadrul industriei prelucrtoare au fost acordate n
principal pentru restructurare, avnd ca baz legal
Legea nr. 137/2002 privind unele msuri pentru
accelerarea privatizrii i O.U.G. nr. 40/2002 pentru
recuperarea arieratelor bugetare, schem de ajutor de
stat la care s-a renunat n anul 2005.
Acest fapt se datoreaz nivelului ridicat al ajutoarelor de
stat de natura scutirilor i reducerilor la plata obligaiilor
fiscale ale agenilor economici fa de stat, respectiv de
natura scutirilor i reducerilor la plata majorrilor de
ntrziere (ajutoare fiscale), acordate n procesul de
privatizare i de restructurare.
Creterea din 2004 a fost influenat, de asemenea, de
nivelul ridicat al ajutoarelor de stat acordate n sectorul
siderurgic. Trebuie amintit faptul c n urma
angajamentelor asumate de ctre Romnia prin Tratatul
de aderare la Uniunea European, 2004 a fost ultimul
an n care s-au mai putut acorda ajutoare de stat n acest

1. According to the provisions of articles 31 and 32 of


the Law no. 143/1999 on state aid, republished (in force
until December, 31st, 2006), the Competition Council
has the task to elaborate and update the state aid
inventory, which comprises all the existing state aid
schemes and individual aids.

State aid having a social character;

Recovery of unlawful state aid;

Implementation stage of State aid action plan.

The news element of the document compiled in 2006


refers to the recovery of the unlawful state aid.

Based on this inventory, the Competition Council


elaborates an Annual report on the state aid granted
in Romania, submits it to the Romanian Government to
be approved and then the Report is published in the
Official Gazette of Romania and submitted to the
European Commission.

The Report is conceived on the State aid Scoreboard


structure, drawn up by the European Commission,
which is a document that assesses the evolution of the
state aid granted by the Member states of the European
Union, thus ensuring comparability with the latter.

The report on the state aid granted in Romania in 20032005 describes the level, the structure and the trends of
the state aid granted in our country over the above
mentioned period, being the seventh report elaborated
by Romania from the moment the Law no. 143/1999 on
state aid entered into force.

In order to assess the volume of the state aid granted in


Romania, the Competition Council used the
macroeconomic indexes submitted by the National
Institute of Statistics (GDP, GDP deflation, gross added
value at national level and on economic sectors,
number of employees on activity sectors, average
annual exchange rate).

2. The methodology for drawing up this report is laid


down in the Regulation on state aid reporting and
monitoring procedures, issued by the Competition
Council.
The Report is a statistic instrument, aimed to ensuring
transparency in the state aid field, and it was compiled
on the basis of the data and information submitted by all
the state aid grantors central and local public
authorities as well as by the bodies that administrate
state and local collectivities' sources.
The information submitted comprises a three year
period and two previous years 2003 and 2004 in
order to update the previous data.

The Report comprises information on the state aid


granted over the period 2003-2005, grouped on the
following chapters:

National state aid,

State aid granted to manufacturing industry,

State aid granted to extractive industry,

State aid granted to undertakings operating services


of general economic interests,

State aid granted for employment,

State aid granted to financial services, tourism,


media and culture,

Fiscal aid,

State aid granted to the transport sector,

State aid granted to agriculture and fishery,

49

3. The National state aid in current prices has a


general decreasing trend, from RON 3.5 billion in
2003 (EUR 1 billion) to RON 2.1 billion in 2005 (EUR
0.6 billion), with an increasing in 2004, when the state
aid reached the amount of RON 6 billion.
The higher level of 2004 is the consequence of the
intensification of the restructuring and the
privatization process of the companies owned mainly
by the State. In 2004 the state aid for the companies
operating within the manufacturing industry was
granted for restructuring, according to the Law no.
137/2002 on some measures for privatization
acceleration and GEO no. 40/2002 on budgetary
arrears recovery. The state aid scheme ended in 2005.
This fact is due to a high level of state aid in form of
exemptions and reductions of the fiscal debts to the
state, respectively in form of exemptions and reductions
of the delay penalties (fiscal aids), granted over the
privatization and restructuring process.
The increment in 2004 was also due to the high level of
state aid granted to the steel sector. Following the
commitments assumed by Romania through the
Accession Treaty, 2004 was the last year when state aid
to steel sector could have been granted. Beginning with
the 1st of January 2005, no state aid to steel sector was
granted.

sector. ncepnd cu 1 ianuarie 2005, n sectorul


siderurgic nu s-a mai acordat nici un fel de ajutor de stat.
Ca pondere n Produsul Intern Brut, Ajutorul de Stat
Naional a avut, de asemenea, o tendin de scdere,
de la 1,75% n 2003 la doar 0,74% n anul 2005, cu
aceeai cretere n 2004, cnd Ajutorul de Stat Naional
a nregistrat 2,59% din Produsul Intern Brut.
Scderea substanial din 2005 s-a datorat depirii
perioadei intense a procesului de restucturare i
privatizare a companiilor cu capital de stat din anul
2004 i ncheierii perioadei de valabilitate pentru actele
normative care au instituit schemele de ajutor de stat i
ajutoarele individuale necompatibile cu acquis-ul
comunitar.
4. Raportul cuprinde analiza evoluiei ajutoarelor de
stat acordate n Romnia n perioada 2003-2005, att
din punct de vedere al obiectivelor care s-au avut n
vedere la acordarea acestora, ct i din punct de vedere
al instrumentelor utilizate pentru acordarea lor.
A. n funcie de obiective, Ajutorul de Stat Naional (mai
puin agricultura, pescuitul i transporturile) acordat n
anul 2005 se repartizeaz dupa cum urmeaz:

69,95% pentru obiective orizontale (cercetaredezvoltare, protecia mediului, ntreprinderi mici i


mijlocii, salvare restructurare, combaterea omajului,
alte obiective) din care preponderente sunt ajutoarele
acordate ntreprinderilor crora le-a fost ncredinat
prestarea serviciilor de interes economic general
furnizori de utiliti apa, canal, electricitate, agent
termic etc. (33,61%77);

26,73% pentru obiective sectoriale (oel, construcii


navale, autovehicule, fire i fibre sintetice, industria
crbunelui, turism, servicii financiare, media i cultur),
din care ponderea cea mai mare o deine industria
extractiv a crbunelui (22,13%*);

3,32% pentru obiective regionale, din care ponderea


cea mai mare o au ajutoarele acordate zonelor
defavorizate (2,87%*).
n ceea ce privete repartiia ajutorului de stat pe
obiective, Romnia se aliniaz tendinei generalizate
la nivelul Uniunii Europene de orientare a ajutorului
de stat ctre obiective orizontale i reducerea
ajutorului de stat acordat sectoarelor sensibile ale
economiei, aa cum se arat n ultimul Raport
Scoreboard elaborat de Comisia European i dat
publicitii n data de 11 decembrie 2006. Scoreboardul subliniaz reacia pozitiv a Statelor Membre la
77

Pondere n Ajutorul de Stat Naional.

50

obiectivul Consiliului Uniunii Europene ajutoare de


stat mai bine orientate, artnd c mai mult de
jumtate dintre acestea i-au redirecionat peste 90%
din ajutorul de stat ctre obiective orizontale de interes
comun, mai puin distorsionante i mult mai benefice
pentru economie n ansamblu.
B. n ceea ce privete repartiia Ajutorului de Stat
Naional pe instrumente financiare utilizate, ponderea
acestora este urmtoarea:

69,20% Cheltuieli bugetare, categorie n care intr


subveniile, alocaiile, primele, dobnzile
subvenionate, alte sume nerambursabile, precum i
participarea cu capital a statului i conversia datoriilor.

30,80% Renunri la venituri, categorie n care


intr scutirile i reducerile la plata obligaiilor fiscale,
scutirile i reducerile la plata majorrilor de ntrziere,
garaniile de stat;
Comparativ cu nivelul ridicat din anul 2004 (81,31%*) i
din anii anteriori al renunrilor din partea statului la
veniturile cuvenite, n anul 2005 observm pentru
prima dat c ajutoarele de stat de natura
cheltuielilor bugetare depesc ajutoarele de stat de
natura renunrilor la venituri, urmnd tendina
general la nivelul Uniunii Europene de eliminare a
ajutorului de stat sub forma facilitilor fiscale i
nlocuirea acestuia cu modaliti de acordare mai
eficiente i mai transparente, n principal cu subvenii.
n cadrul cheltuielilor bugetare, ponderea cea mai
nsemnat (65,42%*) o reprezint subveniile,
alocaiile, primele i finanrile nerambursabile,
acordate n principal agenilor economici crora le-a
fost ncredinat prestarea unor servicii publice de
interes economic general i agenilor economici care i
desfaoar activitatea n sectorul minier. De asemenea,
n cadrul cheltuielilor bugetare sunt cuprinse i
ajutoarele de stat de natura participrilor cu capital ale
statului sau conversiei datoriilor n aciuni, care au avut,
n anul 2005, o pondere de 3,78% n total Ajutor de Stat
Naional.
n cadrul ajutorului de stat de natura renunrilor la
venituri, n anul 2005 scutirile i reducerile la plata
obligaiilor fiscale au cea mai ridicat pondere
(20,41%*). Ponderea ridicat se datoreaz n special
facilitilor acordate n sectorul minier i ajutoarelor
acordate pentru restructurarea unor ageni economici
n baza O.U.G. nr. 26/2004 privind unele msuri pentru
finalizarea privatizrii societilor comerciale aflate n
portofoliul Autoritii pentru Privatizare i Administrarea
Participaiilor Statului i consolidarea unor privatizri.

As weight in GDP, the National state aid decreased


from 1.75% in 2003 to only 0.74% in 2005, with the
same increasing in 2004, when the National state aid
reached 2.59% GDP.
The substantial decreasing from 2005 was a result of
going beyond the period of intense restructuring and
privatization of the state owned companies and ending
the validity of the normative acts providing for state aid
schemes and individual aids incompatible with the
acquis communautaire.
4. The Report presents an assessment of state aid
evolution of the state aid granted in Romania in 20032005 both by objectives and financial instruments.
A. The National state aid (except for agriculture,
fisheries and transport) by objectives was allocated in
2005 as follows:

69.95% for horizontal objectives (R&D, environment


protection, small and medium sized enterprises, rescue
and restructuring, employment, other objectives). The
main weight was for the companies entrusted with the
operation of services of general economic interest
utilities suppliers of water, waste water, electricity,
thermic energy (33.61%78);

26.73% for sectoral objectives (steel, shipbuilding,


auto vehicles, synthetic fibres, coal industry, tourism,
financial services, media and culture). The main weight
was for the coal extractive industry (22.13 %*);

3.32% for regional objectives, mainly for the


deprived areas (2.87 %*).
As regards the allocation of state aid by objectives,
Romania is aligning to the general trend at the
European Union level to target the state aid towards
horizontal objectives and to reduce the state aid
granted to sensitive sectors of economy, as shown in the
last Scoreboard issued by the European Commission
and made public on December, 11, 2006. The
Scoreboard underlines the positive reaction of the
Member states to the objective of the European Union
Council better targeted state aid, showing that more
than half of the Member states redirected over 90% of
their state aid towards horizontal objectives of common
interest, less distortive and much better for the overall
economy.
B. The National state aid (except for agriculture, fisheries
and transport) by financial instruments was allocated in
2005 as follows:

78

Weight in National state aid

51

69.20% Budgetary expenditure: subsidies,

allowances, bonuses, subsidized interests, other non


reimbursable amounts, state equity participation, debts
conversion.
30.80% Revenues' renouncement: fiscal debts and

delay penalties exemptions and reduction, state


guarantees.
Comparing to the high level of state renouncement in
2004 (81.31%*) and the previous years, 2005 is the
first year where the state aid of budgetary
expenditure nature exceeds the state aid of state
renouncement nature, following the general trend at
the European Union level to eliminate fiscal state aid
and to replace it by more efficient and transparent aid,
especially subsidies.
Within budgetary expenditure, the main weight
(65.42%*) is detained by subsidies, allowances, bonuses
and non reimbursable amounts, granted mainly to the
companies operating a service of general economic
interest and the companies operating in the mining
sector. The state aid in form of state equity participation
weighted for 3.78% of National state aid in 2005.
Within the state revenues renouncement, the fiscal
exemptions and reductions had the bigger weight
(20.41 %*). This high weight is mainly due to the
facilities granted to the mining sector and the state aid
granted for the restructuring of some companies in
accordance with the GEO no. 26/2004 on some
measures to finish the privatization of the companies
under the Authority for Privatization and Administration
of State Participations and to consolidate the
privatization.
The low level of fiscal aid granted in 2005 highlights the
correct implementation of the acquis communautaire in
the state aid field, after the supporting measures
provided for in the Romanian legislation have been
made compatible.
5. According to the Scoreboard report issued by the
European Commission for 2005, the state aid (except
for agriculture, fisheries and transport) granted by the 25
Member states decreased to EUR 45.1 billion,
comparing to 2004 (EUR 46 billion), reaching an
average weight of 0.42 % GDP (0.43 % GDP in 2004).
The state aid weight in GDP calculated for EU-15 was
relatively constant over the same period (0.41 %).

Nivelul sczut al ajutoarelor de natur fiscal acordate n


anul 2005 reflect aplicarea corect a acquis-ului
comunitar n domeniul ajutorului de stat, ca urmare a
compatibilizrii msurilor de sprijin prevzute n
legislaia romneasc.
5. Conform Raportului Scoreboard ntocmit de
Comisia European pentru anul 2005, ajutoarele de stat
(excluznd agricultura, pescuitul i transporturile)
acordate n cele 25 de State Membre au sczut la 45,1
mld. Euro, fa de anul 2004 (46 mld. Euro), ajungnd la
o pondere medie de 0,42% din PIB n 2005, n
comparaie cu 0,43% n 2004.
Trebuie menionat faptul c ponderea ajutorului de stat
n PIB calculat pentru UE-15 a fost, n aceeai
perioad, relativ constant (0,41%).
n perioada de pre-aderare (2000 2003) Cehia a
nregistrat o pondere medie n PIB a ajutoarelor de stat
de 2,80%, Polonia 1,29%, Ungaria 1,04%. Dup
aderare, ponderea ajutorului de stat n PIB n cazul
noilor State Membre a nregistrat reduceri semnificative,
iar n anul 2005 tendina de scdere s-a meninut la
majoritatea acestora (Cehia 0,39%, Polonia 0,37%), cu
excepia Ungariei, care a meninut nivelul (1,08%).
n perioada de pre-aderare 2003 2005, Romnia a
nregistrat o pondere medie a ajutorului de stat n PIB de
1,69%, comparabil cu nivelul nregistrat n situaia
similar de Polonia (1,29%) i mai mic dect ponderea
medie anual din Cehia (2,80%). La nivelul anului 2003
ponderea ajutorului de stat acordat n Romnia era de
1,75% din PIB, iar n 2005 a fost de 0,74% din PIB.
*
Anul 2005 marcheaz alinierea Romniei la politicile i
practicile comunitare n domeniul ajutorului de stat.
Este nceputul unei perioade n care eforturile susinute
ale Romniei pentru respectarea regulilor n materia
ajutorului de stat au condus la situarea rii noastre la
acelai nivel cu majoritatea noilor State Membre ale
Uniunii Europene i chiar la un nivel mai ridicat fa de
unele state devenite membre n cadrul ultimului val de
aderare din 2004.
Atingerea acestui obiectiv a fost posibil prin elaborarea
unor politici ndreptate spre acordarea de ajutoare mai
puin distorsionante i mai bine orientate, prin controlul
efectiv i eficient al ajutoarelor de stat i prin
implementarea legislaiei comunitare n materia
ajutorului de stat nc din perioada de pre-aderare.
Aplicarea acquis-ului comunitar n domeniile
concurenei i ajutorului de stat anterior aderrii a fost

52

necesar pentru adaptarea companiilor romneti la


noile reguli de joc i pregtirea acestora pentru a face
fa forelor concureniale de pe Piaa Unic European.
Pregtirea Romniei pentru aderare s-a intensificat o
dat cu finalizarea proceselor de restructurare i
privatizare a marilor companii cu capital de stat i
ncetarea acordrii de ajutoare de stat n sectorul
siderurgic ncepand cu 1 ianuarie 2005.
Rezultatele acestui proces intens de pregtire pentru
integrarea n Piaa Unic nu au ntrziat s apar. n
acest sens, anul 2005 se remarc din dou perspective:
diminuarea Ajutorului de Stat Naional, att n valoare
absolut, ct i ca pondere n PIB i direcionarea
ajutorului de stat ctre obiective orizontale mai puin
susceptibile de a distorsiona concurena i de a afecta
comerul dintre Romnia i Statele Membre,
perspective care s-au avut n vedere i la nivelul anului
2006.
Progresele Romniei n acest domeniu se datorez, pe
de o parte, faptului c a contientizat importana
respectrii regulilor de joc la nivel european i, pe de
alt parte, alinierii la obiectivele Strategiei Lisabona a
Comisiei Europene i rspunsului pozitiv la apelurile
succesive ale Consiliului Uniunii Europene pentru
ajutoare de stat mai puine i mai bine orientate.

In the pre-accession period (2000-2003) Czech had an


average state aid weight in GDP of 2.80 %, Poland 1.29
%, Hungary 1.04 %. After accession, the state aid weight
in GDP of the new Member states significantly
decreased, most of them maintaining the descending
trend in 2005 (Czech 0.39 %, Poland 0.37 %), except for
Hungary, which kept the level (1.08 %).
In the pre-accession period (2003 2005), Romania
had an average state aid weight in GDP of 1.69 %,
comparable to the level registered by Poland in a same
situation (1.29 %) and less than that of Czech (2.80 %).
In 2003 the weight of state aid granted in Romania was
1.75 % GDP and in 2005 was 0.74 % GDP.
*
The year 2005 marks Romania's alignment to the
Community state aid policies and practices. Is the
beginning of a period over which Romania sustainable
efforts to observe the state aid rules set our country on
the same position with the majority of the new Member
states of the European Union and even on a better one
comparing to some of the states that became members
within the last accession wave in 2004.
Reaching this goal was made possible by elaborating
some policies aimed to less distortive and better
targeted state aid, by an efficient and actual state aid
control and by implementing the Community state aid
legislation even before accession.
The implementation of the competition and state aid
acquis communautaire before accession was necessary
to adapt the Romanian companies to the new game
rules and to prepare hem to face the competitive forces
on the European Single Market.
Romania's preparation for accession intensified with the
finish of the restructuring and privatization process of
the big state owned companies and the cease of granting
state aid to the steel sector beginning with the 1st of
January 2005.
The results of this intense preparation for integration in
the Single Market did not delay to appear. Thus, the year
2005 is remarkable from two perspectives: National
state aid diminution, both as absolute value and weight
in GDP, and state aid targeted towards horizontal
objectives less susceptible to distort competition ant to
affect the trade between Romania and the Member
state, perspectives that have been also kept in 2006.
Romania's progress in this field is due, on the one hand,

53

to being conscience of the importance of observing the


European game rules and, on the other hand, to aligning
to the Lisbon strategy objectives and to the positive
answer to the continuous calls of the European union
Council to less and better targeted state aid.

ABUZUL DE POZIIE DOMINANT


- reglementare i jurispruden european 79

Anca ATOMI79
Rezumat
Agenii economici aflai n poziie dominant au o responsabilitate special de a nu adopta comportamente care s
distorsioneze concurena pe pia. Obiectivul acestui articol este acela de a indica o serie de factori relevani pentru a
determina dac un anumit comportament al agenilor economici poate fi considerat ca abuziv i sancionat ca atare.
Cuvinte cheie: poziie dominant, putere de pia, concuren, abuz.

INTRODUCERE

condiionarea ncheierii unor contracte de


acceptarea, de ctre parteneri, a unor clauze stipulnd
prestaii suplimentare care, prin natura lor sau conform
uzanelor comerciale, nu au legtur cu obiectul acestor
contracte.

Reglementrile din domeniul proteciei concurenei


incrimineaz, n anumite circumstane,
comportamentul agenilor economici care exploateaz
n mod abuziv poziia dominant pe care o dein pe
pia. Interdicia este prevzut expres att n art. 82 din
Tratatul de instituire a Comunitii Europene (n
continuare Tratat)80 ct i n art. 6 din Legea concurenei
nr.21/1996, republicat. Practic, art.6 din Legea
concurenei transpune, la nivel naional, interdicia
prevazut n art.82 din Tratat. n acelasi timp, ncepnd
cu data de 1 ianuarie 2007 Consiliul Concurenei a
dobndit competena de a aplica direct regulile
comunitare n materie de concuren.

Simpla deinere a unei poziii dominante nu este


considerat o fapt anticoncurenial i deci nu este
interzis. Pentru a putea vorbi de un abuz de poziie
dominant, trebuie ntrunite, cumulativ, urmtoarele
elemente:
1) agentul economic deine o poziie dominant pe
pia i
2) agentul economic abuzeaz de poziia sa dominant.

1. Ce este abuzul de poziie dominant?

2. Deinerea unei poziii dominante pe pia

Avnd n vedere diversitatea formelor pe care le poate


mbrca aceast practic anticoncurenial, legislaia
din domeniul concurenei furnizeaz doar o list
exemplificativ de comportamente prin care se poate
materializa abuzul de poziie dominant:

Conceptul de poziie dominant a fost definit de Curtea


European de Justiie n cazul United Brands v.
Commission ca o poziie de putere economic de care
se bucur un agent economic i care i permite s
afecteze concurena de pe o pia relevant prin
capacitatea pe care o are de a se comporta independent
de concurenii i cumprtorii sai i, n cele din urm,
fa de consumatorii finali ai produsului respectiv.81

impunerea, n mod direct sau indirect, a unor preuri

inechitabile de vnzare sau cumprare ori a altor


condiii comerciale inechitabile;
limitarea produciei, distribuiei sau a dezvoltrii

tehnologice n detrimentul consumatorilor;


aplicarea unor condiii inegale la tranzacii

echivalente n relaiile cu partenerii comerciali,


provocnd n acest fel un dezavantaj n poziia
concurenial a unora dintre acetia;
79

Pentru a vorbi de dominan, trebuie ca agentul


economic n cauz s dein o putere de pia
substanial. Puterea de pia se reflect in posibilitatea
de a stabili sau influena preurile, producia, inovaia,
diversitatea, calitatea bunurilor/serviciilor sau ali
parametri ai concurenei pe pia pentru o perioad de
timp semnificativ. Puterea de pia apare atunci cnd o
companie nu se confrunt cu suficient presiune
concurenial.

Inspector de concuren, Direcia Servicii.


Tratatul de la Roma, instituind Comunitatea European, astfel cum a fost consolidat prin Tratatul de la Amsterdam.
81
Cazul 27/76 United Brands Co and United Brands Continental v. Commission.
80

54

ABUSE OF A DOMINANT POSITION


- European regulation and case law Anca ATOMI82
Abstract83
Although having a dominant position is not illegal as such, an undertaking occupying such a position has a special
responsibility for his behavior, which should not worsen competitive conditions in the market. The objective of this
article is to indicate some of the factors which the competition authorities consider that are relevant in determining
whether a certain conduct of the undertakings may be regarded and sanctioned as abusive.
Keywords: dominant position, market power, competition, abuse
INTRODUCTION
The EC Treaty84 and the Competition Law no.21/1996,
republished, both prohibit, in certain circumstances,
conduct by one or more undertakings which amounts to
an abuse of a dominant position. The prohibitions are
set out in Article 82 of the EC Treaty and Article 6 of the
Romanian Competition Law Act. At the same time,
since 1st of January 2007, the Competition Council can
apply directly the european competition rules.

obligations which, by their nature or according to


commercial usage, have no connection with the subject
of such contracts.
The fact that an undertaking has a dominant position
does not in itself constitute an infringement of the
European competition rules. There are two tests
common to assessing whether the prohibition applies:
1) whether an undertaking is dominant and
2) if it is whether it is abusing that dominant position.
2.1. Holding a dominant position

1.What is an abuse of the dominant position?


The European competition provisions provide only an
example list of behaviour that can constitute an abuse of
the dominant position:
directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or

selling prices or unfair trading conditions;


limiting production, markets or technical

development to the prejudice of consumers;


applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent

transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing


them at a competitive disadvantage;
making the conclusion of contracts subject to

acceptance by the other parties of supplementary

82

In the case of United Brands v. Commission, the


European Court of Justice (ECJ) has defined a dominant
market position as:
...a position of economic strength enjoyed by an
undertaking which enables it to prevent effective
competition being maintained on the relevant market
by affording it the power to behave to an appreciable
extent independently of its competitors, customers and
ultimately of its consumers. 85
An undertaking will not be dominant unless it has
substantial market power. Market power is the power to
influence market prices, output, innovation, variety or
quality of goods/ services or other parameters of
competition during an important period of time. Market
power arises where an undertaking does not face
sufficiently strong competitive pressure.

Competition Inspector, Services Directorate;


Translated into English by Anca Atomi;
84
The Treaty establishing the European Community.
85
Case 27/76 United Brands Co and United Brands Continental v. Commission
83

55

Un agent economic care poate s creasc preurile


deasupra nivelului competitiv, pentru o perioad
semnificativ de timp, s reduc productia sau calitatea
produselor sub nivelurile competitive, deine o putere
de pia substanial i are capacitatea de a aciona, ntro msur considerabil, n mod independent fa de
concurenii si, clieni i consumatori finali.
Pentru a analiza dac un agent economic deine o
poziie dominant pe pia, se are n vedere dac acesta
se confrunt cu constrngeri n raport cu posibilitatea de
a se comporta independent pe pia. Cele mai
importante constrngeri sunt determinate de
concurena actual i de cea potenial. In evaluarea
poziiei dominante pe o anumit pia, pot avea
relevan i ali factori precum existenta unor
cumprtori puternici sau a unor reglementri.
Concurena existent pe pia vizeaz presiunile
concureniale exercitate de ctre agenii economici
care se afl deja pe piaa relevant i ctre care s-ar
putea ndrepta consumatorii dac agentul economic
aflat in poziie dominant aplic preuri peste nivelul
competitiv. Cotele deinute pe piaa relevant de ctre
competitori pot oferi indicii privind presiunea
concurenial creia trebuie s-i fac fa un agent
economic.
Cota de pia a unui agent economic este un factor
important n evaluarea dominanei, dar nu este
suficient, prin ea nsi, pentru a determina daca
respectivul agent economic se afl n poziie dominant
pe pia. Este necesar s se in seama i de poziia
deinut de concureni, precum i de modul cum au
evoluat de-a lungul timpului cotele de pia ale
acestora. Atunci cnd un agent economic are o cot de
pia ridicat pe o perioad ndelungata de timp, iar
concurenii au o poziie slab pe pia, este foarte
posibil ca respectivul agent economic s se afle n
poziie dominant.
In cazul United Brands v. Commission, Curtea
European de Justiie a considerat c o cot de pia de
40- 45% este suficient pentru a stabili poziia
dominant a companiei pe piaa bananelor. Totodata,
se consider c este puin probabil ca un agent
economic cu o cot de pia mai mic de 40% s dein
o poziie dominant, cu excepia cazurilor cnd se
identific alte elemente relevante care furnizeaza
agrumente solide in sensul existentei unei pozitii
dominante (de ex. pozitia slab pe pia a concurenilor,
bariere ridicate la intrarea pe acea pia).
n cazul Akzo Chemie BV v. Commission, Curtea
European a precizat c dominana se poate prezuma,
n absena unor alte elemente care s probeze
contrariul, dac agentul economic deine o perioad
ndelungat o cot de pia mai mare de 50%.

56

Deinerea unei cote mari de pia pe o perioad


ndelungat de timp, n afara unor situatii cu totul
excepionale, indic existena unei poziii dominante.
Aceast situaie ofer agentului economic respectiv
libertatea de a aciona fr a ine seama de concureni,
iar aceasta este o caracteristic a poziiei dominante.
n acelai timp, n cazul Hoffmann - La Roche Curtea nu
a reinut existena unei poziii dominante pe piaa
vitaminei B3- unde La Roche deinea o cot de pia de
aproximativ 43%. Curtea a considerat c, pentru
aceast pia, Comisia European nu a demonstrat
existena i a altor elemente care s susin concluzia c
agentul economic n cauz se afla n poziie dominant.
Aadar, importana cotei de pia, ca element folosit
pentru a proba existena unei poziii dominante, variaz
n funcie de structura pieei (n special n raport cu
producia, cu cererea i oferta de pe pia).
Concurena potenial se refer la posibilitatea ca
agenii economici s intre pe piaa relevant i s obin
cote de pia n dauna agentului economic care se
presupune c se afl n poziie dominant. Puterea
concurenei poteniale este determinat de barierele la
intrarea pe piaa respectiv.
Astfel, chiar dac un agent economic detine o cot
important de pia, poziia sa pe pia poate fi fragil,
datorit posibilitii altor ageni economici de a intra
relativ usor pe piaa n cauz.
Abordarea Curtii Europene de Justiie n acest sens este
ilustrat i n cazul Hoffmann - La Roche. Fragmentul
pezentat n cele ce urmeaz indic elementele pe care
Curtea le-a avut n vedere pentru stabilirea poziiei
dominante: pe de alt parte, relaia dintre cotele de
pia ale agentului economic n cauz i ale
concurenilor si, n special acelea ale celor mai
importani concureni, avantajul tehnologic de care
beneficiaz un agent economic fa de concurenii si,
existena unei reele foarte dezvoltate de vnzri i
absena concurenei poteniale sunt factori relevani;
primul deoarece permite evaluarea puterii
concureniale a agentului economic n discuie, al
doilea i al treilea deoarece reprezint avantaje
comerciale, iar cel de-al patrulea deoarece el este
consecina existenei unor obstacole care limiteaz
accesul pe pia pentru noi concureni.
3. Conceptul de abuz
Curtea European de Justiie a definit termenul de
abuz ca fiind: un concept obiectiv referitor la
comportamentul unui agent economic aflat ntr-o
poziie dominant ce i permite s influeneze structura
pieei pe care gradul de concuren este redus ca urmare
a prezenei agentului economic n cauz i care,
recurgnd la alte metode dect cele care condiioneaz

In assessing whether an undertaking is dominant, we


have to consider existing competition and potential
competition. Other factors, such as the countervailing
influence of powerful buyers or regulation are
sometimes relevant as well.

A substantial market share as evidence of the existence


of a dominant position is not a constant factor and its
importance varies from market to market according to
the structure of the market (especially as far as
production, supply and demand are concerned).

Existing competition on the market refers to


competition from undertakings already in the relevant
market, to whom consumers might switch if the alleged
dominant undertaking sustained prices above
competitive levels. The market shares of competitors in
the relevant market are one measure of the competitive
constraint from existing competitors.

Potential competition refers to the possibility that


undertakings would enter the relevant market and gain
market share at the expense of an alleged dominant
undertaking that sustained prices above competitive
levels. The strength of potential competition is affected
by barriers to entry.

An undertaking's market share is an important factor in


assessing dominance but does not, on its own,
determine whether an undertaking is dominant. It is also
necessary to consider the position of other undertakings
operating in the same market and how market shares
have changed over time. An undertaking is more likely
to be dominant if its competitors enjoy relatively weak
positions or if it has enjoyed a high and stable market
share.
In the case of United Brands v. Commission the ECJ
considered United Brands' 40-45% of the market as
sufficient to establish dominance in the banana market
although features of that very market also support that
dominance. It is unlikely that an undertaking will be
individually dominant if its share of the relevant market
is below 40 per cent, although dominance could be
established below that figure if other relevant factors
(such as the weak position of competitors in that market
and high entry barriers) provided strong evidence of
dominance.
In the case of Akzo Chemie BV v. Commission the ECJ has
stated that dominance can be presumed in the absence
of evidence to the contrary if an undertaking has a
market share persistently above 50 per cent. Save in
exceptional circumstances, very large shares in the
market maintained over a prolonged period of time
indicate the existence of the dominant position. They
create a freedom of action for the entrepreneurs they
are related to regardless of their competitors, which is
one of the basic features of the dominant position.
In another case, Hoffman - La Roche, the ECJ annulled
the decision of the Commission which stated the
existence of the dominant position in the market of B3
vitamins while the entrepreneur who was reprimanded
had a market share amounting to ca. 43%. This was
because the Commission did not prove that there were
other factors sustaining the conclusion that the
entrepreneur had dominance.
86

Case 85/76 Hoffmann-La Roche.

57

Thus, even if an undertaking has a high market share, his


position can be very fragile because of the possibilities of
new entrants on to the market.
The ECJ approach considering factors other than the
value of the market share is well illustrated in the case of
Hoffmann - La Roche. The fragment of the sentence
cited below shows those circumstances that the ECJ
considered material when ascertaining the potential
dominance:
on the other hand the relationship between the market
shares of the undertaking concerned and of its
competitors, especially those of the next largest, the
technological lead of an undertaking over its
competitors, the existence of a highly developed sales
network and the absence of potential competition are
relevant factors, the first because it enables the
competitive strength of the undertaking in question to
be assessed, the second and the third because they
present in themselves technical and commercial
advantages and the fourth because it is the consequence
of the existence of obstacles preventing new
competitors from having access to the market.
3. The concept of abuse
The European Court of Justice defined the abuse as an
objective concept relating to the behaviour of an
undertaking in a dominant position which is such as to
influence the structure of a market where, as a result of
the very presence of the undertaking in question, the
degree of competition is weakened and which, through
recourse to methods different from those which
condition normal competition in products or services on
the basis of the transactions of commercial operators,
has the effect of hindering the maintenance of the degree
of competition still existing in the market or the growth of
that competition.86
Abusive conduct generally falls into one or both of the
following categories:

concurena normal, are ca efect mpiedicarea


meninerii gradului de concuren existent pe pia sau
mpiedicarea creterii concurenei87.
Comportamentele abuzive pot fi grupate, n linii mari, n
urmtoarele categorii:

abuz de exploatare (de ex.: discriminare prin pre,


pre excesiv);

abuz de excludere prin care se nltur ori se


diminueaz presiunile concureniale exercitate de
competitori sau prin care se stabilesc ori se consolideaz
barierele la intrarea pe pia (descurajnd concurena
potenial).
Dup cum am artat mai sus, simplul fapt c un agent
economic are poziie dominant pe pia nu este
interzis. Prin urmare, este esenial s se stabileasc ce
anume se nelege prin abuz. n analiza unui
comportament potenial abuziv trebuie s avem n
vedere mai multe aspecte.
n primul rnd trebuie s se stabileasc ce anume se
urmrete prin incriminarea comportamentului abuziv
protejarea consumatorilor, a concurenilor sau a
ambelor categorii. Trebuie precizat c interesele celor

87

Cazul 85/76 Hoffmann-La Roche.

58

dou grupuri nu coincid ntotdeauna. Mai mult,


comportamentul unui agent economic aflat n poziie
dominant, dei duntor pentru concureni poate fi
avantajos pentru consumatori.
n al doilea rnd, dei poziia dominant nu este ilegal
per se, agentul economic care deine aceast poziie are
o responsabilitate special de a nu adopta
comportamente care s inrautaeasc condiiile
concureniale de pe pia. Se pune astfel problema
legitimitii comportamentului agentului dominant pe
pia (identificarea msurilor justificate obiectiv, pe un
interes comercial legitim se realizeaz n funcie de
circumstanele specifice fiecrui caz n parte).
n al treilea rnd, abuzul vizeaz un anumit
comportament de pe pia. Astfel, trebuie s se acorde
atenie n a distinge aciunile ilegale de cele de aplicare a
unei strategii normale, legitime de marketing. De
asemenea, trebuie s lum n considerare faptul c
abuzul de poziie dominant pe o anumit pia poate fi
sancionat datorit efectelor pe care le are respectivul
comportament abuziv pe alte piee, n special atunci
cnd ntreprinderea aflat n poziie dominant pe o
anumit pia controleaz accesul la o alt pia.

conduct which exploits customers or suppliers (for

example, excessively high prices), or


conduct which is exclusionary behaviour, because it

removes or weakens competition from existing


competitors, establishes or strengthens entry barriers
(removing or weakening potential competition)
As mentioned above, the mere fact that someone has
the dominant position is not prohibited. Because of this,
it is vital to define precisely what should be understood
as 'abuse'. When checking whether some behavior
constitutes 'abuse' we have to take into account several
issues.
Although having a dominant position is not illegal as
such, an undertaking occupying such a position has a
special responsibility for his behavior, which should not
worsen competitive conditions in the market. It requires
a determination of what conduct can legitimately be
carried out by a dominant undertaking (the practical
application of such a differentiation is difficult and
should always depend on the detailed analysis of the
circumstances of a specific case).

59

The problem of 'abuse' always refers to specific market


behavior. One should be able to distinguish illegal
actions from normal market strategy. We also have to
take into account that an abuse of a dominant position
in one market can be sanctioned due to the effects of
that abuse in other markets, in particular, when the
undertaking occupying the dominant position in a
particular market controls access to another market.
In conclusion, having a dominant position is not
anticompetitive in itself. That could be the result of an
efficient economic activity. An undertaking having a
dominant position may be tempted to use it in order to
increase its incomes and to consolidate its market
position, using practices different from those normally
adopted in the course of competition in the market,
with the effect of restricting the degree of competition
which it faces, or of exploiting its market position
unjustifiably. Conduct which amounts to the abuse of a
dominant position is prohibited and the undertaking or
undertakings involved may be subject to a financial
penalty of up to 10 per cent of the worldwide turnover.

DISCOUNTURILE DE FIDELITATE
I ABUZUL DE POZIIE DOMINANT
- un studiu de caz Carmen BUCUR88
Rezumat
O problem deosebit, vizavi de legislaia din domeniul concurenei, n cazul unei ntreprinderi care deine poziie
dominant pe pia n furnizarea/prestarea unui bun/serviciu, o constituie evaluarea acordrii de discounturi de
fidelitate clienilor. n acest sens, prezentul material se dorete o sintez a unui caz mult discutat la nivelul Comisiei
Europene, respectiv procedura declanat n baza art. 82 din Tratatul CE n cazul Deutsche Post AG.
Cuvinte cheie: discounturi de fidelitate, subvenii ncruciate, pia geografic, abuz de poziie dominant, amenzi.
Unit Parcel Services (denumit n continuare UPS) este
o companie privat american cu sediul n Atlanta,
Georgia. Aceast companie este unul din principalii
concureni ai Deutsche Post AG, n ceea ce privete
prestarea de servicii de coletrie potal ntre diferite
firme. De asemenea, UPS asigur i servicii de
comandare prin pot a coletelor potale, servicii
derulate fie numai ntre diferii parteneri de afaceri, dar
i ntre firme i beneficiarii serviciilor acestora.
Deutsche Post AG este o companie public, succesoare
din 1995 a societii Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst,
care, din punct de vedere legal, a reprezentat o
component a Fondului Federal.
n aplicarea articolului 3 al Regulamentului nr.17, n
iulie 1994, UPS a naintat o plngere mpotriva DPAG,
acuznd-o c utilizeaz veniturile din activitatea de
monopol a trimiterilor de scrisori potale, pentru a
finana o strategie de prestare sub costuri a serviciilor de
coletrie, care sunt, de altfel, deschise liberei
concurene. Fr subveniile ncruciate din aria
rezervat, DPAG nu ar fi putut finana prestarea
serviciilor de coletrie sub costuri pe orice perioad de
timp. De aceea, UPS a solicitat interzicerea prestrii
acestor servicii sub costuri i o separare structural a a
ariei rezervate i a serviciilor de coletrie, deschise
concurenei.
n analiza cazului, Comisia European a reinut
urmtoarele aspecte:
Serviciile de coletrie nu fac subiectul unor drepturi
exclusive n Germania. ncepnd cu anul 1976, exist

88

Inspector de concuren, Direcia Cercetare-Sinteze.

60

concureni care asigur astfel de servicii, n special n


relaia dintre firme.
a) produse relevante i piaa geografic
Din motive de caracteristici, costuri, utilizri, serviciile
de coletrie comandate prin pot formeaz o singur
pia relevant a produsului. Serviciile de coletrie
comandate prin pot nu sunt procesate printr-un
sistem de distribuie, dar sunt colectate de DPAG direct
de la clieni. Mai mult dect att, DPAG ofer preuri
speciale clienilor care folosesc acest serviciu, care nu
utilizeaz un sistem potal centralizat pentru propriile
colete i trimiteri potale.
De asemenea, trebuie fcut o distincie ntre serviciile
de coletrie comandate prin pot pentru transmiterile
interne i serviciile similare pentru strintate. Astfel,
serviciile interne sunt asigurate n ntregime de DPAG
prin propria infrastructur. Nu exist o cooperare ntre
diferiii furnizori ai unor astfel de servicii ai altor state
membre i de aceea nu exist nici o interaciune.
Piaa relevant geografic n domeniul serviciilor de
coletrie comandate prin pot o reprezint piaa
Germaniei. Toate serviciile furnizate de ctre DPAG pe
piaa relevant a produsului sunt asigurate n Germania,
utiliznd reeaua naional de distribuie a coletelor
potale. Curtea de Justiie a reinut n mod constant c
teritoriul unui stat membru reprezint o parte
substanial a pieei comune n sensul art.82 din Tratatul
CE.

FIDELITY REBATES AND ABUSE


OF DOMINANT POSITION
-a case study Carmen BUCUR89
Abstract90
In case of an undertaking holding a dominant position on the market of delivering a certain good or service it is, in the
context of competition law, the assessment of the fidelity discounts offered to clients. To this end, this article is a
syntheses of a case very debated at the level of the European Commission, that is the procedure for the infringement of
Article 82 of the EC Treaty by Deutsche Post AG.
Keywords: fidelity discounts, cross-subsidies, geographic market, abuse of dominant position, fines.
United Parcel Services (hereinafter referred to as UPS) is
a private American company having its headquarters in
Atlanta, Georgia. This companyy is one of the main
competitors of Deutsche Post AG in respect of
business-to-business" or "B-to-B" parcel services. UPS
also provides some mail-order parcel services, the
"business-to-consumer" or "B-to-C" parcel services.
Deutsche Post AG (DPAG) is a public limited company
that succeeded in 1995 to Deutsche Bundespost
Postdienst, which legally was a section of a special
Federal fund.
According to Article 3 of Regulation No 17, in July
1994, UPS lodged a complaint against DPAG accusing
this of using revenue from its profitable letter-post
monopoly to finance a strategy of below-cost selling in
parcel services, which are open to competition. Without
the cross-subsidies from the reserved area, DPAG would
not have been able to finance below-cost selling there
for any length of time. Consequently, UPS requested a
prohibition of sales below cost and the structural
separation of the reserved area and the parcel services
open to competition.
After analysing the case, the European Commission
maintained the following:
Parcel services are not the subject of exclusive rights in
Germany. Since 1976 there have been many

89
90

competitors who have been supplying parcel services,


mainly B-to-B services.
a) relevant product and geographic market
By reason of their characteristics, costs and uses, mailorder parcel services form one relevant product
market. Mail-order parcels are not processed through
the postal counter system but are collected by DPAG
directly at the customers' premises. Furthermore,
DPAG offers special prices to mail-order customers,
who do not use the postal counter system for their
parcel and catalogue deliveries.
A distinction has to be drawn between mail-order
parcels for domestic delivery and similar parcels for
delivery abroad. Thus, domestic parcels are carried
entirely by DPAG's own infrastructure. There is no
cooperation with providers of the same service from
other Member States, so there are no interfaces.
The relevant geographic market in mail-order parcel
services is Germany. All the services provided by DPAG
on the relevant product market are provided in
Germany, using the nation-wide parcel infrastructure.
The Court of Justice has consistently held that the
territory of a Member State may constitute a "substantial
part" of the common market within the meaning of
Article 82 of the EC Treaty.

Competition inspector within the Research and Syntheses Directorate, Competition Council;
Translated into English by Georgeta Gavriloiu.

61

b) poziia dominant
DPAG este singurul furnizor semnificativ din Germania
de servicii naionale de coletrie i servicii de transmiteri
potale care ndeplinete cerinele specifice ale
comerului privind comenzile prin pot. Poziia
dominant a DPAG rezult din urmtoarele:
ponderea volumului serviciilor DPAG n totalul pieei

germane a serviciilor de coletrie comandate prin pot


a fost stabilit pe baza informaiilor deinute pentru
perioada 1990-1999 i s-a cifrat la 85%. Diferena de 15
procente a fost acoperit de diferii operatori regionali;
crearea unei infrastructuri alternative care s asigure

derularea comerului cu asfel de servicii necesit


crearea unui sistem interconectat ntre i n afara
centrelor de plecare i punctele beneficiare asociate.
Aceasta implic, n opinia experilor DPAG, costuri
cosiderabile. Realizarea de investiii n crearea unei
infrastructuri naionale care s permit trimiteri potale
zilnice poate fi profitabil numai cnd masa critic a 100
mil. colete potale pe an este depit;
DPAG are posibilitatea subvenionrii ncruciate a

activitilor deschise concurenei, ceea ce nu este


posibil pentru ceilali competitori. Tocmai de aceea, aria
rezervat este considerat o surs de subvenionare
ncruciat. Cel puin pn la finele anului 2002,
monopolul legal a condus la excluderea concurenilor
din cele mai multe trimiteri potale de scrisori de pn la
200 g.
c) abuzul de poziie dominant
Dup cum s-a reinut n cazul Hoffman La Roche, o
ntreprindere care se afl n poziie dominant pe pia,
nu poate ncheia o nelegere cu un client, chiar dac
acesta promite s obin toate sau cele mai importante
produse exclusiv de la societatea dominant pe pia. n
acest caz, Curtea de Justiie a fcut distincie ntre
discounturile de fidelitate i discounturile de cantitate:
discountul de cantitate este legat exclusiv de volumul

de mrfuri cumprate de la productorul implicat.


Acesta este calculat pe baza cantitilor stabilite obiectiv
i aplicabile tuturor posibililor cumprtori;
discountul de fidelitate este legat nu de o cantitate

specificat, ci de cerinele consumatorilor sau de


proporia acestora. Reducerea este acordat n
schimbul exclusivitii n satisfacerea cererii;
chiar i cnd discountul de fidelitate este legat de o

cantitate specific, acesta este acordat pe o anumit


baz i nu pe cantitate, dar evaluarea cantitii
reprezint o estimare a capacitii de absorbie
prezumate pentru fiecare consumator, discountul
rmnnd legat nu de cea mai mare cantitate posibil a
fi achiziionat ci de cel mai mare procent posibil de
solicitri.

62

Acordurile ncheiate de DPAG ncepnd din 1974 n


domeniul serviciilor de transmitere a coletelor i
coninute de contractele standard reprezint
discounturi de fidelitate n sensul hotrrii din cazul
Hofmann-La Roche, cum ar fi de exemplu:

contractele de cooperare din 19 decembrie 1974, 3


august 1984, 13 februarie 1987 i 16 aprilie 1987 conin
prevederi conform crora o firm este obligat s
ncredineze toate coletele nevoluminoase cu greuti
de pn la 10 kg sau 20 kg societii DPAG. Contractele
cuprind o clauz care oblig cumprtorii s procure
toate serviciile de coletrie de pn la 10kg sau 20kg
exclusiv de la DPAG;

contractul de cooperare din 25 iunie 2005 cuprinde


o clauz conform creia este stipulat acordarea unui
pre special cu condiia ca respectivul client s-i
transfere ctre DPAG pentru anul urmtor, n afara
trimiterilor prin aceast societate, i pe cele pe care le-a
utilizat printr-o firm concurent a DPAG;

alte noi patru contracte de cooperare ncheiate n


noiembrie 1997 conin o prevedere legat nu de o
anumit cantitate ci exclusiv de cerinele clienilor
implicai i care permite acordarea de discounturi
pentru utilizarea serviciilor exclusiv de la DPAG;

contractul din 28 septembrie 1998 prevedea un pre


redus/item dependent de transferul ntregului volum de
colete de mari dimensiuni.
d) preuri de ruinare
Preurile de ruinare apar cnd o firm dominant
vinde/presteaz un serviciu sub costuri cu scopul de
eliminare a concurenei sau mpiedicrii intrrii pe
pia, ceea ce conduce la creterea puterii pe pia a
acesteia. Asemenea preuri nejustificabil de mici ncalc
art.82 al Tratatului EC. Conform jurisprudenei Curii
Europene de Justiie, vnzarea sub costurile medii
variabile trebuie s fie considerat abuziv. Acest
principiu a fost stabilit n cazul AKZO, unde Curtea a
definit costurile medii variabile ca fiind costurile care
variaz n funcie de cantitatea produs. n stabilirea
costurilor care depind de cantitatea produs, distincia
ntre costurile fixe comune i costurile atribuibile unui
serviciu specific stabilite a fost reinut n favoarea
DPAG. Fiind nsrcinat cu prestarea unui serviciu
universal, numai costurile suplimentare de asigurare a
unui serviciu variaz odat cu cantitatea produs.
Pe baza relaiei ntre costurile de meninere a capacitii
i costurile n cretere de asigurare a unui anumit
serviciu, pot fi fcute urmtoarele afirmaii despre
activitile DPAG: n perioada 1990-1995, veniturile
DPAG din serviciile de coletrie comandate prin pot sau situat sub costurile n cretere ale furnizrii acestor
servicii. Aceasta nseamn c fiecare vnzare a DPAG n

b) dominant position
DPAG is the only significant provider in Germany of
nation-wide parcel and catalogue delivery services
which meet the specific requirements of the mail-order
trade. DPAG's dominant position results from:
DPAG's volume share of the German mail-order

parcel services market was stable throughout the period


for which figures are available (1990 to 1999), at over 85
%. The remaining 10 to 15 % of the volume was
accounted for by regional operators;
the creation of an alternative infrastructure for the

mail-order trade would require the setting-up of a


system of interconnected inward and outward freight
centres and associated delivery points. This represents,
including in the opinion of the DPAG expert,
considerable costs. Investment in setting up a
countrywide infrastructure allowing daily deliveries
becomes profitable only when the "critical mass" of
some 100 million parcels a year is exceeded;
DPAG has the possibility of cross-subsidising activities

subject to competition which are not available to


competitors. The reserved area is therefore a likely
source of cross-subsidisation. At least until the end of
2002, the legal monopoly will result in competitors
being excluded from most of the conveyance of letters
up to 200 g.

The arrangements agreed by DPAG since 1974 in the


parcel delivery field and contained in the standard-form
contracts described above are fidelity rebates within the
meaning of the judgment in Hoffmann-La Roche:

the cooperation contracts of 19 December 1974, 3


August 1984, 13 February 1987 and 16 April 1987
contained provisions whereby a firm is obliged to
entrust all non-bulky parcels weighing up to 10 or 20 kg
to DPAG. The contracts thus contained a clause which
obliges the customer to purchase all parcel services up
to 10 or 20 kg exclusively from DPAG.

the cooperation contract of 25 June 1995 contained a


provision whereby the special price stipulated therein is
dependent on the customer transferring the following
year to DPAG the quantity it dispatched the previous
year via a competitor in addition to the quantity already
dispatched via DPAG.

the four new cooperation contracts concluded since


November 1997 contain a provision which is linked, not
to a specific quantity, but exclusively to the
requirements of the customer concerned, and which
grants the discount "in return" for the exclusive purchase
of services from DPAG.

the contract of 28 September 1998 made the reduced


price per item dependent on the transfer of the entire
volume of heavy Infopost parcels.
d) predatory pricing

c) abuse of dominant position


As was held in Hoffmann-La Roche, an undertaking
which is in a dominant position on a market may not
conclude an agreement with a customer whereby that
customer promises to obtain all or most of its
requirements of a product exclusively from the
dominant undertaking(56). In Hoffmann-La Roche, the
Court of Justice drew the following distinction between
"fidelity rebates" and "quantity rebates":
- the quantity rebate is linked exclusively to the volume
of purchases from the producer concerned. It is
calculated on the basis of quantities fixed objectively
and applicable to all possible purchasers,
- the fidelity rebate is linked, not to a specific quantity,
but to the customer's requirements or a large proportion
thereof. The reduction is granted "in return" for the
exclusivity in satisfying the demand,
- even where the fidelity rebate is linked to a specific
quantity, it is given on the basis, not of that quantity, but
of the assumption that the quantity represents an
estimate of each customer's presumed capacity of
absorption, the rebate being linked, not to the largest
possible quantity, but to the largest possible percentage
of the requirements.

63

Predatory pricing occurs where a dominant firm sells a


service below cost with the intention of eliminating
competitors or deterring entry, enabling it to further
increase its market power. Such unjustifiably low prices
infringe Article 82 of the EC Treaty According to the
case-law of the European Court of Justice, pricing below
average variable costs must be regarded as abusive. This
principle was established in AKZO, where the Court
defined average variable costs as "costs which vary
depending on the quantities produced". In determining
which costs vary depending on the quantities produced,
the division between common fixed costs and costs
attributable to a specific service set forth earlier must be
borne in mind in DPAG' s favour. Given the public
universal service obligation, only the additional costs of
providing a particular service vary with volume
produced.
On the basis of relationship between the costs of
maintaining capacity and the incremental costs of
providing a particular service, the following may be said
about DPAG's activities: in the period 1990 to 1995
DPAG's revenue from mail-order parcels was below the
incremental costs of providing this specific service. This
means that in the above mentioned period every sale by

perioada mai sus menionat a reprezentat o pierdere


care cuprinde toate costurile de meninere a capacitii
i cel puin o parte din costurile suplimentare ale
asigurrii serviciului. n asemenea circumstane, fiecare
vnzare suplimentar nu numai c contribuie la
pierderea a cel puin o parte din costurile suplimentare,
dar nu are nici o contribuie n vederea asigurrii
costurilor de meninere a capacitii. Pe termen mediu,
o astfel de politic de preuri nu este n interesul
economic al transportatorilor. Aa c, DPAG nu a avut
nici un interes economic n oferirea unor astfel de
servicii pe termen mediu. DPAG putea crete rezultatul
su global fie prin creterea preurilor pentru a acoperi
costurile suplimentare de asigurare a serviciului sau
cnd nu este cerere pentru acest serviciu la un pre
ridicat s ntrerup asigurarea serviciului, pentru c
veniturile obinute din reglementrile proprii sunt sub
costurile suplimentare induse de furnizarea serviciului.
Cu toate acestea, DPAG, prin meninerea pe aceast
pia, fr nici mbuntire previzibil a veniturilor, a
restricionat activitatea concurenilor, care se aflau n
situaia de a furniza serviciile la preuri care se acopere
costurile.
e) efecte asupra concurenei
Contrar celor susinute de DPAG, toate discounturile de
fidelitate au efect asupra oportunitilor pe care ali
furnizori de servicii de coletrie comandate prin pot
le-ar avea i ar putea concura n asigurarea acestora. O
intrare de succes pe piaa coletelor potale comandate
prin pot necesit existena unei mase critice de
activitate (cca.100 mil. colete sau trimiteri) i deci un
volum mare de colete, ca rezultat al cooperrii dintre cel
puin doi parteneri din domeniu. Prin acordarea de
discounturi de fidelitate celor mai mari parteneri, DPAG
n mod deliberat a mpiedicat concurenii s ating
masa critic a cca. 100 mil. n cifra de afaceri anual.
Aceast politic de acordare a discounturilor a constituit
un factor decisiv n asigurarea faptului c discounturile
de fidelitate menin o structur a ofertei ineficient
ntruct:

resursele economice au fost risipite de o asemenea


manier nct furnizorul dominant nu a acoperit
costurile n cretere de furnizare a serviciului i de aceea
a creat o nevoie permanent de subvenii ncruciate
din aria rezervat;

alternativele economice eficiente care ar fi putut


acoperi costurile fr a apela la subvenii au fost
eliminate;

ca rezultate, resursele limitate au rmas n continuare


s fie strict utilizate pentru a fi furnizate serviciile de
coletrie;

din punct de vedere al consumatorilor, n aria


rezervat, s-a forat finanarea de pierderi a unor resurse
limitate.

64

nelegerile sistematice ncheiate de DPAG cu partenerii


si i acordarea de discounturi de fidelitate a condus, n
opinia jurisprudenei Curii Europene de Justiie, la
concluzia c DPAG a urmrit meninerea clienilor si i
eliminarea concurenilor de pe pia. Clienii care au
acceptat o astfel de nelegere sunt n general nclinai s
i distribuie coletelor potale exclusiv prin compania
care le-a acordat discountul. nelegerile de acordare de
discounturi au fost legate de procentul solicitrilor
fiecrui client, mai mult dect att, avnd un efect de
obstrucionare care nu este legat absolut de loc de
atingerea unei performane. Acest fapt este ilustrat de
situaia n care concurenii sunt constrni s ofere i ei
discounturi pentru a compensa pierderea pe care o
suport clienii dac acetia dein doar un mic procent
din coletele distribuite de DPAG i astfel cad n capcana
unor discounturi mici.
Conform jurisprudenei Curii Europene de Justiie,
conceptul de abuz este unul obiectiv i, pe cale de
consecin, comportamentul unei ntreprinderi aflat n
poziie dominant poate fi considerat abuziv n sensul
art.82 al Tratatului EC, chiar i n absena vreunei greeli
din partea firmei. Dup cum este menionat n cazul
Hofmann-La Roche, o ntreprindere care are o poziie
dominant pe pia nu trebuie s-i pstreze clienii cu
condiia promisiunii de ndeplinire n totalitate sau n
mare parte a cerinelor acestora, chiar dac
ntreprinderea face acest lucru n practic.
f) efectul asupra comerului ntre statele membre
Politica de acordare de discounturi de fidelitate,
practicat de DPAG n perioada 1990-1995, afecteaz
comerul ntre statele membre, ntruct prin legarea
clienilor de acordare discounturilor se mpiedic
posibilitatea ca companiile germane s caute ali
furnizori n celelalte state membre. Este adevrat c
exist o imposibilitate pentru furnizorii de servicii de
coletrie comandate prin pot din alte state membre s
obin un ctig semnificativ din prestarea acestor
servicii pe piaa Germaniei. Astfel, piaa german a
acestor servicii s-a nchis pentru concurenii din alte
state membre. Tocmai de aceea, politica de discounturi
practicat de DPAG are un impact negativ asupra
comerului ntre statele membre, de o manier contrar
interesului comun n funcionarea pieei unice.
g) Articolul 86(2) al Tratatului EC
DPAG nu s-a bazat pe restriciile art.86(2) pentru a
justifica politica de discount n domeniul serviciilor de
coletrie comandate prin pot i nici nu a putut explica
finalizarea discounturilor de fidelitate stabilite n urma
nelegerilor cu partenerii comerciali, precum i
creterea preurilor pentru a acoperi cel puin costurile
n cretere ale asigurrii acestor servicii.

DPAG in the mail-order parcel services business


represented a loss which comprises all the capacitymaintenance costs and at least part of the additional
costs of providing the service. In such circumstances,
every additional sale not only entailed the loss of at least
part of these additional costs, but made no contribution
towards covering the carrier's capacity-maintenance
costs. In the medium term, such a pricing policy is not in
the carrier's own economic interest. This being so,
DPAG had no economic interest in offering such a
service in the medium term. DPAG could increase its
overall result by either raising prices to cover the
additional costs of providing the service or - where there
is no demand for this service at a higher price - to
discontinue providing the service, because revenue
gained from its provision is below the additional costs
incurred in providing it. However, DPAG, by remaining
in this market without any foreseeable improvement in
revenue restricted the activities of competitors which
are in a position to offer this service at a price that covers
their costs.
e) Effects on competition
Contrary to what DPAG maintains, all of the disputed
fidelity rebates are likely to have an effect on the
opportunities that other suppliers of mail-order parcel
services have to compete. Successful entry into the mailorder parcel services market requires a certain critical
mass of activity (some 100 million parcels or catalogues)
and hence the parcel volumes of at least two
cooperation partners in this field. By granting fidelity
rebates to its biggest partners, DPAG has deliberately
prevented competitors from reaching the "critical mass"
of some 100 million in annual turnover. This fidelity
rebating policy was a decisive factor in ensuring that the
fidelity rebates maintained an inefficient supply
structure because:
- the economic resources were wasted in such a way
that the dominant supplier does not cover the
incremental costs of providing a specific service and thus
created a permanent need for "cross-subsidisation" from
the reserved area,
- the economically efficient alternatives that would
cover costs without such: "subsidisation" were hindered,
- as results, scarce resources beyond what is strictly
necessary were uses to provide mail-order parcel
services and
- the customers in the reserved area were forced to
finance unnecessary wastage of scarce resources.
The systematic agreeing of fidelity rebates with
cooperation partners and the granting of fidelity lead, in
the opinion of European Court of Justice, to the
conclusion that DPAG was seeking to tie customers to it
and hence is preventing or eliminating competition.

65

Customers who have entered into such a rebate


agreement will generally be inclined to have their
parcels distributed exclusively by the company giving
that rebate. Rebate arrangements linked to a percentage
of customer requirements, moreover, owing to the
method by which they are calculated, have an
obstructive effect that is not linked to anything actually
performed. This can be seen by the fact that competitors
are compelled to offer discounts to offset the loss which
customers suffer if they have a smaller percentage of
their parcels distributed by DPAG and hence fall into a
lower rebate bracket.
According to the case-law of the European courts, the
concept of abuse is "an objective one" and, accordingly,
the conduct of an undertaking in a dominant position
may be regarded as abusive within the meaning of
Article 82 of the EC Treaty even in the absence of any
fault. DPAG cannot therefore argue that during its
conversion from a State-run administrative body to a
private enterprise, its officials misjudged in excusable
ignorance the particular responsibility of a dominant
firm.
f) effect on trade between member states
DPAG's policy of giving fidelity rebates affects trade
between Member States because the tying effect of
fidelity rebates prevented the German mail order
companies from seeking suppliers in other Member
States. It is true that it has proved impossible for parcel
service providers from other Member States to gain a
significant foothold on the mail-order parcel services
market in Germany. The German market for such parcel
services was thereby sealed off from competitors from
the other Member States. DPAG's rebating and pricing
policies have thus had a negative impact on trade
between Member States to an extent which is both
considerable and contrary to the common interest in a
functioning single market.
g) Article 86(2) of the EC Treaty
DPAG does not rely on the restriction in Article 86(2) in
order to justify its rebate policy in the area of mail-order
parcel services at agreed special rates. Nor has it been
able to explain how terminating the fidelity rebates
agreed with its cooperation partners and increasing its
price to at least cover the incremental cost of providing
mail-order parcel services would prevent it from
complying with its duty to perform these services. At all
events the Commission finds that fidelity rebates,
sometimes combined with below service-specific-cost
prices, affect the development of trade to an extent
contrary to the interests of the Community.

n toate cazurile, Comisia a constatat c discounturile de


fidelitate, uneori combinate cu vnzarea sub costuri a
anumitor servicii, afecteaz dezvoltarea comerului de o
manier contrar interesului comunitar.
h) articolul 15 al Regulamentului 17
Chiar dac nu mai exist nici o baz pentru a crede c
DPAG nc mai aplic discounturi de fidelitate, Comisia
trebuie s se asigure cu certitudine c societatea a
ncetat aplicarea acestei politici i nu va mai folosi astfel
de discounturi pe viitor.
Conform art.15 al Regulamentului 17, n vigoare la acea
dat, nclcrile art.82 din Tratatul CE puteau fi
sacnionate cu amend de pn la 1 mil.euro sau pn
la 10% din cifra de afaceri a anului anterior. n stabilirea
amenzii, Comisia trebuie s ia n considerare gravitatea
i durata nclcrii.
Aplicarea unei politici de discounturi de ctre o
ntreprindere aflat n poziie dominant pe pia
constituie o serioas nclcare a prevederilor. Avnd n
vedere circumstanele, valoarea amenzii aplicat
pentru gravitatea nclcrii a fost stabilit la 12 mil.euro,
reflectnd natura serioas, nivelul i impactul nclcrii.
nclcrile reglementrilor din domeniul concurenei sau repetat sistematic. n concordan cu instruciunile
referitoare la modalitile de stabilire a amenzii
aplicabile conform art.15(2) al Regulamentului 17 i al

66

art.65(5) al Tratatului, suma fixat pentru gravitatea


nclcrii poate fi majorat pn la 10% pentru fiecare
an n care s-a nclcat legea. Pentru perioada cuprins
ntre noiembrie 1997 i octombrie 2000, Comisia a
considerat c o cretere cu 30% ar fi mult mai potrivit.
De asemenea, pentru perioada 1974 1997, Comisia a
considerat ca fiind adecvat majorarea amenzii cu un
procent de 70%, astfel nct cuantumul de baz al
amenzii a fost de 24 mil.euro.
n evaluarea cazului s-a constatat c nu exist
circumstane atenuante sau agravante. Ca regul
general, Comisia poate considera faptul c o
ntreprindere, dup primirea declaraiei de obieciuni,
informeaz Comisia c nu contest substanial faptele
pe care se bazeaz afirmaia acesteia privind
circumstanele atenuante. Aceasta, ntruct n cazul de
fa, contractele relevante care conin nelegeri privind
practicarea de discounturi de fidelitate, reprezint baza
de fapt prin care Comisia a concluzionat c DPAG a
acordat astfel de discounturi. Sub aceste circumstane,
faptul c DPAG nu a modificat probele acestor contracte
n audierea din noiembrie 2000, nu a fost considerat a
reprezenta o circumstan atenuant.
*
Cazul de fa reprezint un exemplu relevant privind
modul de evaluare de ctre Comisia European a
comportamentului unei societi aflat n poziie
dominant pe pia, din perspectiva regulilor
concureniale.

h) Article 15 of Regulation no 17
Even though there was no reason to believe that DPAG
continues to apply fidelity discounts, the Commission
has to make sure that the undertaking in question has
ceased to apply such a policy and that it will not use such
rebates in the future.
According to Article 15 of Regulation No 17, in force at
that time, the infringements of Article 82 of the EC Treaty
could be sanctioned by a fine of up to EUR 1 million or
up to 10 % of turnover in the preceding business year. In
fixing the amount of the fine, the Commission must have
regard to the gravity and duration of the infringement.
A fidelity rebate policy pursued by a dominant
undertaking in the market in which it is dominant
constitutes a serious infringement. Given these
circumstances, the amount for the gravity of the
infringement is set at EUR 12 million, reflecting the
serious nature, the scale and the impact of the
infringement.
The infringements of competition law were repeated.
In accordance with the guidelines on the methods of
setting fines imposed pursuant to Article 15(2) of
Regulation No 17 and of Article 65(5) of the ECSC
Treaty, the amount fixed for the gravity of an
infringement can be increased by a percentage of up to
10 % per year of the infringement. For the period

67

between November 1997 and October 2000, the


Commission considers that an increase of 30 % is
appropriate. For the period from 1974 through 1997 the
Commission considers than an increase of the amount
arrived at for gravity by 70 % is appropriate, so that the
basic fine of EUR 24 million.
The Commission retained no aggravating or attenuating
circumstances. As a general rule the Commission can
consider the fact that an undertaking, after having
received a statement of objections, informs the
Commission that it does not substantially contest the
facts on which the Commission bases its allegations as a
mitigating circumstance. However, it does not appear
appropriate to apply this rule in the present case. This is
because in the present case the relevant contracts,
which contain the agreement or fidelity rebates, are the
factual basis upon which the Commission concludes
that DPAG granted such rebates. Under these
circumstances, the fact that DPAG did not challenge the
very existence of these contracts in the hearing from
November 2000 cannot be considered as a mitigating
circumstance.
*
This case represents a relevant example for the way how
the European Commission evaluates the behaviour of
an undertaking holding a dominant position, from the
competition law perspective.

COMBATEREA CONCURENEI NELOIALE:


O TEM MEREU ACTUAL
Petru CEPOI91
Rezumat
Problematica n domeniul concurenei neloiale a dobndit, n ultima perioad, o importan deosebit, cadrul nr.
legal fiind modificat i completat cu noi reglementri. n acest sens, prezentul articol, ncearc s surprind cteva
aspecte din reglementrile legale n vigoare referitoare la practicile de concuren neloial, cu referire i la cazuistica
ntlnit pn n prezent.
Cuvinte cheie: concuren neloial, clauz de non-concuren, contravenii, infraciuni comerciale.
n lucrarea de fa ne propunem s facem o analiz n
parte a actelor sau faptelor de concuren neloial, n
msura n care acestea sunt reglementate ca fiind
contravenii, conform art. 4 lit. a-h din Legea nr.
298/2001 pentru modificarea i completarea Legii nr.
11/1991 privind concurena neloial. Vom ncerca o
prezentare a fiecrei din aceste fapte plecnd de la litera
a la litera h ale art 4 din Legea nr. 298/2001.
Precizm c actele i faptele de concuren neloial nu
sunt limitativ artate ntr-un anume text de lege, Legea
nr. 298/2001(legea special n materia concurenei
neloiale) definete la art 2 concurena neloial ca "orice
act sau fapt contrar uzanelor cinstite n activitatea
industrial i de comercializare a produselor, de
execuie a lucrrilor, precum i de efectuare a prestrilor
de servicii".
Revenind asupra contraveniilor prevzute de Legea nr.
298/2001, ne vom folosi de clasificarea acestor
contravenii n urmtoarele patru grupe (clasificarea
este reflectat n cartea prof. univ. dr. Ioan Turcu, Teoria
i practica dreptului comercial romn vol II):
1. aciuni de subminare a organizrii interne a
concurentului - art 4 lit. a, b, h;
2. aciuni de subminare a activitii comerciale a
concurentului - art 4 lit. e, g;
3. activiti comerciale contrar uzanelor cinstite metoda bulgrelui de zpad - art 4 lit. c;
4. falsa publicitate - art 4 lit. d.
Pentru ca o fapt concret s atrag rspunderea
contravenional ea trebuie s fie ncadrat n tiparul
stabilit de norma juridic. Elementele constitutive ale
unei contravenii, la fel ca i n cazul unei infraciuni

sunt: subiectul, obiectul, latura obiectiv i latura


subiectiv. ntre contravenie i infraciune criteriul de
delimitare este "unul cantitativ, respectiv gravitatea
atingerii aduse valorii ocrotite"92.
ntr-o prim etap vom analiza contravenia prevzut
de art 4 lit. a din Legea nr. 298/2001 "oferirea serviciilor
de ctre salariatul exclusiv al unui comerciant unui
concurent ori acceptarea unei asemenea oferte".
Potrivit unor autori93, art 4 lit. a) se refer la o adevrat
interdicie legal de concuren dintre angajator i
angajat. n opinia unor ali autori94 faptele "incriminate
de prevederile art. 4 lit. a), se constituie n fapte de
concuren neloial, respectiv n atitudini de infidelitate
ale salariailor"95.
Aceast contravenie are un subiect activ special,
respectiv salariatul exclusiv care este infidel fa de
angajatorul su. n legtur cu caracterul exclusiv sunt
numeroase opinii, unii autori96 considernd c
exclusivitatea este echivalentul unei clauze de
neconcuren. Potrivit opiniei noastre nu se poate stabili
o legtur ntre clauza de neconcuren i statutul de
salariat exclusiv.
Clauza de neconcuren este reglementat de Codul
Muncii i privete relaii dintre angajator i angajat dup
ncetarea raporturilor de munc, respectiv interdicia de
a desfura activiti care se afl n concuren cu cea
prestat la angajatorul su pe o perioad de maxim doi
ani i n anumite condiii. n cazul nclcrii unei astfel
de clauze se atrage rspunderea contractual i nu cea
contravenional. n aceste cazuri clauza de

91
Consilier superior, Direcia General a Finanelor Publice Cluj, Compartimentul Ajutor de Stat, Practici Neloiale i Preuri
Reglementate.
92
Conf. univ. dr. Florin Streteanu, Drept penal. Partea General.
93
Octavian Cpn , Dreptul concurenei comerciale , Concurena onest;
94
Ioan Turcu, Teoria i practica dreptului comercial romn vol II;
95
Conf. univ. dr.Titus Prescure, Curs de dreptul concurenei comerciale;
96
Constantinescu V. Totul despre concurena neloial.

68

COMBATING THE UNFAIR COMPETITION:


A THEME OF PRESENT INTEREST
Petru CEPOI 97
Abstract98
Problems in the field of unfair competition have gained a significant importance lately, as the legal framework was
amended and completed with new regulations. In this context, this article tries to highlight several aspects of the
current legal framework concerning unfair competition practices and of the case-law.
Keywords: unfair competition, non-competition clause, administrative offences, commerce-related criminal offences
In this paper we try to perform a partial analysis of unfair
competition acts and deeds, to the extent they are
considered administrative offences, according to Article
4 letters a) h) of Law no.298/2001 for amending and
completing Law no.11/1991 on unfair competition. We
will try to present each of these facts, starting from letter
a) to letter h) of Article 4 of Law no. 298/2001.

constitutive elements of an administrative offence, the


same as in the case of a criminal offence, are: the
subject, the object, the objective side and the subjective
side. Between an administrative offence and a criminal
one, the delimitation criterion is a quantitative one,
namely the seriousness of the harm brought to the value
protected100.

We underline that the unfair competition acts and


deeds are not listed exhaustively in a certain legal text;
Law no. 298/2001 (lex speciale in the field of unfair
competition) defines, in Article 2, the unfair
competition as any act or deed contrary to fair
commercial practices in industrial and commercial
activities, execution of works, as well as in the provision
of services.

Firstly, we will analyse the administrative offence


provided for in Article 4, letter a) of Law 298/2001,
namely the offering of services by a trader's exclusive
employees to a competitor or the acceptance of such an
offer. According to some authors101, Article 4 letter a)
concerns a true legal prohibition of competition
between the employer and the employee. In other
authors' 102 opinion, the deeds sanctioned by provisions
of Article 4 letter a) represent unfair competition that is
an employee's attitude of infidelity103.

Coming back to the administrative offences provided for


by Law no. 298/2001, we will classify these offences in
four categories (this classification is contained in the
book of Ph.D. Ioan Turcu, Teoria i practica dreptului
comercial romn99 vol.II):
1. actions aimed to undermine the competitor's internal
organization Article 4, let. a), b), h);
2. actions aimed to undermine the competitor's
commercial activities - Article 4, let. e), g);
3. commercial activities contrary to fair practices the
snowball method - Article 4, let. c);
4. misleading advertising Article 4, let.d).
In order to trigger administrative liability, a deed must fit
into the pattern established by the legal rule. The

This administrative offence has a special active subject,


namely the employee which is infidel to his employer.
There are numerous opinions with regards to the
exclusive character, some authors104 considering that the
exclusivity is the equivalent of a non-competition
clause. In our opinion, one cannot make a link between
the non-competition clause and the status of exclusive
employee.
Non-competition clause is regulated by Labour Code
and it concerns relations between an employer and an
employee after the cease of labour relations, namely the
prohibition to undertake activities competing with that
of his employer for a period of maximum two years and

97
Counselor within Ministry of Economy and Finance, Directorate General of Public Finance Cluj, Department for State Aid, Unfair
Practices and Regulated Prices;
98
Translated into English by Georgeta Gavriloiu;
99
Theory and practice of Romanian Commercial Law;
100
(conf. univ. dr. Florin Streteanu, Drept penal. Partea General);
101
(Octavian Cpn, Dreptul concurenei comerciale, Concurena onest);
102
(Ioan Turcu, Teoria i practica dreptului comercial romn vol II);
103
(conf. univ. dr.Titus Prescure, Curs de dreptul concurenei comerciale);
104
(Constantinescu V. Totul despre concurena neloial);

69

neconcuren acioneaz ca o adevrat clauz penal.


Practic, acest art. 4 lit. a) sancioneaz o atitudine
infidel a unui angajat care i ofer serviciile unui
concurent al propriului angajator, fr acordul acestuia.
Subiectul pasiv al contraveniei este persoana juridic,
care are calitatea de angajator, al crui salariat are o
atitudine infidel.
Obiectul juridic, respectiv valoarea social protejat
este dat de raporturile juridice dintre angajator i
angajat care vizeaz fidelitate, respectiv obligaia care
ine mai de grab de moralitatea pe care salariatul o
datoreaz propriului patron.
Latura obiectiv, adic modul n care subiectul activ
poate svrsi aceast contravenie presupune fie
oferirea serviciilor sale unui concurent al propriului
angajator, fie acceptarea unei asemenea oferte de
angajare.
Din punct de vedere al laturii subiective, adic al
atitudiinii subiectului activ fa de fapta sa i de urmrile
acesteia, contravenia de fa poate fi comis doar cu
intenie. Suntem n prezena inteniei atunci cnd
autorul prevede rezultatul faptei sale i dorete sau
accept posibilitatea producerii acestuia. n lipsa
inteniei salariatului exclusiv nu se poate reine
contravenia prevzut de art 4 lit. a).
Astfel considerm c se impune ca n analiza unei
sesizri /plngeri formulate n baza art 4 lit. a) din Legea
298/2001, s nu se verifice doar existena unei clauze
de neconcuren iar n lipsa acesteia s se decid apriori
inexistena contraveniei. Subliniem nc o dat - opinie
susinut i de ali autori - c atributul de salariat exclusiv
nu trebuie confundat cu existena clauzei de
neconcuren din cel puin urmtoarele motive :

clauza de neconcuren este reglementat explicit n


Codul Muncii, caracterul de salariat exclusiv este
prevzut n Legea nr. 11/1991 modificat prin Legea nr.
298/2001, fr a fi ns i definit; exclusivitatea din
punct de vedere al concurenei comerciale ar putea
decurge din faptul c salariatul are contract de munc
cu un singur angajator, fr a nsemna c acestui salariat i
s-ar interzice exercitarea unei activiti similare chiar i
la un concurent al angajatorului sau ci doar ca ntre
salariat i angajator trebuie s existe o permanent
comunicare, informare i o relaie bazat pe fidelitate.

clauza de neconcuren i produce efectele dupa


ncetarea contractului de munc, dac fostul angajat
deruleaz n anumite condiii fixate anterior prin
aceast clauza aciuni de concuren fostului angajator;
pentru a ne afla n condiiile art 4 lit. a din Legea

298/2001, subiectul activ este unul special i anume


doar dac acesta are calitate de salariat, deci efectele se
produc pe parcursul derularii contractului de munc;

clauza de neconcuren acioneaz ca o clauz


penal, plata unei sume cu titlu prejudiciu fiind stabilit
anterior chiar prin aceast clauz; n timp ce n situaia
reinerii faptei prevzute la art 4 lit. a) existena i
recuperarea unui eventual prejudiciu nu se poate
cuantifica imediat;

nclcarea clauzei de neconcuren atrage


rspunderea civil contractual, pe cnd fapta
prevzut de art 4 lit. a) atrage rspunderea
contravenional iar existena unui eventual prejudiciu
atrage rspunderea civil delictual.
Prezentm n continuare o spe care a fost dedus
instanei de judecat, asupra creia are inciden i art 4
lit. a) din Legea nr. 298/2001105
Reclamanta SC ABC SRL desfura activiti de
intermedieri de vnzri-cumprri de imobiliare
avndu-l pe prtul C.I ca i angajat cu care a semnat un
contract de munc.
Printr-un act adiional ncheiat ntre cele dou pri s-a
stabilit c pentru o perioad de 3 ani de la angajare, C.I
s nu desfoare activiti similare cu cele ale
reclamantei, orice abatare de la aceast obligaie
atrgnd rezilierea contractului de munc i plata unei
sume de bani.
Prtul i-a constituit dup aproximativ 2 ani o societate
comercial, care derula activiti similare cu cele ale SC
ABC SRL. Din actele existente la dosar rezult faptul c a
i exercitat asemenea activiti de intermediere.
SC ABC SRL a formulat cerere de chemare n judecat.
Ulterior cele dou prte s-au neles ca n schimbul
achitrii de ctre C.I a cheltuielilor de judecat i a
ncetrii de ctre acesta a activitilor de intermediere
prin noua societate s se renune la plata sumei de bani
stabilite prin actul adiional. Instana a luat act de
nelegerea intervenit ntre pri.
n cazul de fa, fapta lui C.I, n situaia n care acesta
avea contract de munc doar cu SC ABC SRL, poate fii
catalogat ca i contravenie, fiind nclcate prevederile
art 4 lit. a) din Legea 298/2001, cu toate c actul
adiional dintre cele dou pri nu respect n tocmai
condiiile cerute de Codul Muncii pentru a ne afla n
prezena unei clauze de neconcuren. Se reine c un
salariat exclusiv svrete cu intenie aciuni
concureniale fa de propriul angajator, fr a-l ntiina
i n mod evident fr a obine n vreun fel acordul
acestuia.

105
Tribunalul judetean Cluj , s.c. nr 64/1993. Spea este redat i n cartea prof. univ. dr. Ioan Turcu, Teoria i practica dreptului comercial
romn vol II .

70

in certain conditions. In case of infringement of such a


clause, the contractual liability shall be triggered and not
the non-contractual liability. In such cases, noncompetition clause functions as a true penal clause.
Practically, this Article 4, letter a) sanctions an infidel
attitude of an employee which offers his/her services to
a competitor of his own employer, without the latter's
assent.
The passive subject of the administrative offence is the
legal person, the employer whose employee has an
infidel attitude.
The legal object, the social value protected, consists in
the legal rapports between the employer and the
employee which regards fidelity, an obligation which is
more related to morality which the employee owes to
his employer.
The objective side, namely the way in which the active
subject can commit this administrative offence, it
implies either the offering of his services to a competitor
of his own employer, or the acceptance of such a job
offer.
With regards to the subjective side, the active subject's
attitude to its deed and its consequences, this
administrative offence may be committed only
intentionally. We can discuss about intention when the
author foresees the result of his deed and he pursues or
accepts the possibility of its occurrence. In the absence
of exclusive employee's intention, the deed does not
constitute an administrative offence as described in
Article 4, letter a). We consider thus that, in the event of
a complaint based on Article 4, letter a) of Law
298/2001, it is mandatory not to simply check the
existence of a non-competitive clause and in its absence
to conclude apriori that there is no infringement. We
underline once again opinion backed up also by other
authors that the quality of exclusive employee must
not be mistaken for the existence of a non-competition
clause at least for the following reasons:

the non-competition clause is expressly regulated by


Labour Code, the quality of exclusive employee is
referred to in Law no.11/1991 amended by Law
no.298/2001, but it is not defined; from the point of
view of commercial competition, exclusivity might
come from the fact that the employee has a labour
contract with only one employer; this does not mean
that the employee is prevented from undertaking similar
activities even for an employer's competitor but only the
fact that between the employee and the employer must
exist a permanent communication and a relation based
on fidelity.

the non-competition clause produces its effects only


after the termination of the labour contract, i.e. the
former employee undertakes in certain conditions,

previously determined through the clause, actions of


competition against the former employer; in order to fall
within the scope of Article 4, letter a) of Law 298/2001,
the active subject has to be a special one, that is to be a
employee, and the effects must occur during the
execution of the labour contract.

the non-competition clause functions as a penal


clause, the payment of a sum as damages being
established ex ante through the clause itself, while in the
event of the administrative offence described by Article
4 letter a), the existence and recovery of a possible
prejudice cannot be quantified immediately;

the infringement of the non-competition clause


triggers the civil contractual liability; the deed described
in Article 4 letter a) triggers the administrative liability
and the existence of a possible prejudice triggers the
non-contractual liability.
In the next section, we will present a case dealt with by
the court and for which Article 4 letter a) of Law no.
298/2001 is relevant106.
The plaintiff, SC ABC SRL, with real estate activities has
employed Mr. C.I., who signed a labour contract.
Through an additional act agreed between the two
parties, C.I. has committed himself not to undertake
activities similar to those of the plaintiff for a period of
three years from the date of its employment; any
violation of this obligation was to lead to the termination
of the labour contract and to the payment of a certain
amount of money.
After about two years, the defendant has set out his own
undertaking, with activities similar to those of SC ABC
SRL. From the case file resulted that this undertaking
has, indeed, performed activities in the field of real
estate. SC ABC SRL has initiated an action. At a
subsequent moment, the two parties have agreed that if
C.I. pays the costs of the procedure and if he ceases to
perform real estate activities through its newly
established undertaking, the plaintiff will give up its right
to receive the amount of money set through the
additional act. The court has acknowledged the
agreement reached by the parties.
In this case, the deed of C.I., who had a labour contract
only with SC ABC SRL, could be qualified as an
administrative offence, in breach of provisions of
Articles 4 letters a) of Law no. 298/2001, despite the fact
that the additional act does not fulfil entirely the
requirements from the Labour Code to be a noncompetition clause. It should be reminded that an
exclusive employee commits intentionally these
competitive actions against its own employer, without
letting him know and, obviously, without its assent.

106
(County Tribunal Cluj, s.c. nr 64/1993, case described also in the book of Ph.D Ioan Turcu, Teoria i practica dreptului comercial
romn vol II );

71

NOUTI N DOMENIUL CONCURENEI


I AJUTORULUI DE STAT107
I. Antitrust

Comisia European a amendat


membrii unui cartel din industria berii din Olanda
Comisia European a amendat productorii de bere
Heineken, Grolsch i Bavaria pentru derularea unui
cartel pe piaa berii din Olanda, care ncalc art. 81 alin.
(1) din Tratatul EC, care interzice astfel de practici
restrictive. Valoarea total a amenzilor aplicate s-a
ridicat la 273 783 000 euro.
ntre 1996 i 1999, patru productori de bere din
Olanda au avut numeroase ntlniri neoficiale, n cadrul
crora au fost purtate discuii privind coordonarea
preurilor i creterea acestora pe piaa olandez. Cel
de-al patrulea productor de bere reprezentat de grupul
InBev nu a fost amendat de ctre Comisie, ntruct a
furnizat informaii decisive despre cartel, beneficiind,
astfel, de politica de clemen.
La stabilirea amenzilor s-a inut seama de dimensiunea
pieelor pentru aceste produse, durata nclcrii i
dimensiunea firmelor implicate. Astfel, grupul
Heineken NV&Heineken Nederland BV a fost amendat
cu 219 275 000 euro, Grolsch NV cu 31 658 000 euro,
iar Bavaria NV cu 22 850 000 euro.
II. Ajutor de stat

Consultri publice privind reguli


simplificate pentru exceptrile n bloc
Comisia European a prezentat pentru consultri un
proiect de regulament pentru exceptarea de la obligaia
notificrii a mai multor ajutoare care cad sub incidena
regulilor comunitare n materie de ajutor de stat. Noul
Regulament privind exceptrile n bloc va simplifica i
consolida ntr-un singur act cinci categorii de exceptri
privind ajutoarele acordate ntreprinderilor mici i
mijlocii, cercetare-dezvoltare n favoarea
ntreprinderilor mici i mijlocii, ajutorul pentru ocupare,
ajutorul pentru instruire i ajutorul regional.
De asemenea, noul Regulament va permite exceptarea
n bloc a altor trei categorii de ajutoare, si anume:
ajutorul pentru mediu, ajutorul sub forma riscului de
capital i exceptarea ajutorului pentru cercetare
dezvoltare i n favoarea marilor ntreprinderi.

107

Subveniile care ndeplinesc condiiile cerute de noul


Regulament vor fi considerate compatibile cu regulile
de ajutor de stat fr a necesita o notificare prealabil
ctre Comisia European. Prile interesate au fost
invitate s transmit comentarii de baza proiectului, iar
dup o viitoare rund de consultri, Comisia
intenioneaz s adopte versiunea final a acestui
regulament nainte de toamna anului 2008.
Mai multe informaii sunt disponibile la adresa:
http:// ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state
aid/reform/reform.html

Un nou Vademecum
n domeniul ajutorului de stat
Comisia European a lansat n iunie 2005 un amplu
proces de reform al regulilor i procedurilor n materie
de ajutor de stat, cunoscut sub denumirea de Planul de
aciune n domeniul ajutorului de stat. Comisia a
anunat c scopul acestuia n particular este de a asigura
faptul c regulile comunitare sunt bine implementate i
de a ncuraja statele membre s participe activ la
ndeplinirea obiectivelor Strategiei Lisabona, prin
orientarea ajutoarelor pe mbuntirea competitivitii
industriei europene i crearea sustenabil de noi locuri
de munc.
Noul Vademecum ofer o privire de ansamblu asupra
regulilor comunitare n materie de ajutor de stat, fiind
orientat pe aspectele cele mai relevante pentru cei
implicai n derularea programelor aferente fondurilor
structurale.
Noul Vademecum conine informaii despre:
a) tipuri de msuri acoperite de regulile comunitare de
ajutor de stat;
b) msuri de ajutor de stat care sunt acceptate conform
legislaiei europene;
c) procedura de notificare i autorizare;
d) ajutorul de stat n cadrul programelor aferente
fondurilor structurale;
e) fie ale celor mai relevante tipuri de ajutor de stat
pentru fondurile structurale.
Textul documentului este disponibil la adresa:
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state_aid/stu
dies_reports/vademecum_on_rules_2007_en.pdf

Material realizat de Carmen Bucur, inspector de concuren, Direcia Cercetare-Sinteze.

72

NEWS FROM THE FIELD


OF ANTITRUST AND STATE AID108
I. Antitrust

European Commission fined the members


of a cartel from Dutch beer industry
The European Commission has fined the beer
producers Heineken, Grolsch and Bavaria for
participation in a cartel on beer market in the
Netherlands, infringing the rules from the EC Treaty
prohibiting such restrictive practices. The total amount
of fines was of 273 783 000 EUR.
Between 1996 and 1999, four beer producers from the
Netherlands participated at numerous meetings where
they discussed about the coordination and increase of
prices on the Dutch market.
For the setting of fines, the following factors were taken
into account: the size of product markets, the duration
of infringement and the size of the involved parties.
Consequently, the group Heineken NV&Heineken
Nederland BV was sanctioned with a fine of 219 275
000 EUR, Grolsch NV with 31 658 000 EUR and Bavaria
NV with 22 850 000 euro.

Subvention which fulfills the conditions required by the


new Regulation will be considered compatible with
State aid rules without a prior notification to the
European Commission. The parties interested were
invited to adopt the final version of this regulation
before the autumn of 2008.
More information is available at the following
address:
http:// ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state
aid/reform/reform.html

A new Vademecum on State aid


The European Commission launched in June 2005 an
extensive process to reform the rules and procedures in
the field of State aid, know as State aid Action Plan.
Commission has announced that the aim of this plan is
to ensure that community rules are correctly enforced
and to encourage the Member States to contribute to
the fulfillment of Lisbon Strategy's objectives, through
targeting State aids towards the improvement of
European industry's competitiveness and the creation of
new jobs.

II. State aid


The new Vademecum offers an overview of the
community rules on State aid and it is focused on
aspects relevant for those involved in the management
of Structural Funds programs.

Public consultations on simplified


rules on block exemptions
The European Commission has published for public
consultation the draft of a regulation for the block
exemption from the notification obligation of many
aids falling within the scope of Community State aid
rules.
The new block exemption regulation will simplify and
consolidate in a single act five categories of exemptions
for aids granted to small and medium enterprises,
research and development for small and medium sized
enterprises, employment aid, training aid and regional
aid.
In addition, the new regulation will allow the block
exemption of other three new categories of aids,
namely: environmental aid, risk capital aid and the
exemption for research and development aid for large
enterprises.
108

This new Vademecum contains information about:


a) types of measures covered by the rules on State aid;
b) State aid measures acceptable under the community
legislation;
c) notification and authorization procedure;
d) State aid in the context of Structural Funds
programs;
e) Fiches of types of state aid relevant in the context of
Structural Funds.
The document is available at the following address:
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state_aid/stu
dies_reports/vademecum_on_rules_2007_en.pdf

Drafted by Carmen Bucur and translated into English by Georgeta Gavriloiu (competition inspectors within Research and Syntheses
Directorate).

73