The Competition Protection Commission recently initiated two new sector inquiries.
At the beginning of March 2011, as a reaction to a dramatic increase in fuel prices, the commission started a sector inquiry into the production and realisation of gas oil and diesel. During the inquiry the commission will analyse the reasons for the increase.
The commission began the procedure upon receipt of a letter from the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications which outlined claims made by certain associations in the transport sector that the increase in fuel prices was caused by anti-competitive behaviour.
Since the markets for the production and realisation of gas oil and diesel are of particular economic and social importance, the commission considered it necessary to collect reliable and comparative information from as far back as 2008. In this way, the commission intends to ascertain whether any anti-competitive changes in the behaviour of the relevant market participants have taken place, since in 2009 the commission found neither cartel activity nor abuse of a dominant position on the Bulgarian fuel markets for the period 2005 to 2008.
At the end of March 2011 the commission opened a sector inquiry into the inter-related grain, wheat flour and bread markets following an increase in bread prices.
The aim of the inquiry is to analyse the factors which affect the price of bread and to identify any anti-competitive practices. As bread prices depend on fluctuations in the wheat and flour markets, the commission will analyse all three inter-related markets in this chain. At the end of the inquiry the commission may either suggest a package of measures in order to eliminate competition problems, or else initiate procedures relating to violations of the Competition Protection Act.
For further information on this topic please contact Ilko Stoyanov at Advokatsko Druzhestvo Andreev Stoyanov & Tsekova in cooperation with Schönherr Rechtsanwälte GmbH by telephone (+359 2 933 1072), fax (+359 2 986 1105) or email ([email protected]).