The Competition Commission recently fined the Sofia Commodity Exchange AD for unfair competition.

The commission initiated proceedings based on the grounds of a Supreme Administrative Court decision which established unfair competition. In the past, the court had acted as a court of appeal in an earlier commission decision which found that the Sofia Commodity Exchange had not breached any competition rules. However, the court took a different view in the present case and repealed the commission's decision. The court returned the case to the commission for further review and for the imposition of a fine according to the court's instructions.

The Sofia Commodity Exchange competition breach resulted in a 0% fee for purchasers (ie, members of the exchange). The commission held that the exchange had conducted activities relating to organisation and trading in the form of an organised market. These activities were performed against remuneration in the form of fees. The court and the commission both held that the lack of fees had placed purchasers in a more favourable position, leading to unfair competition which contradicted good-faith practices.

In addition to a 0.5% fine based on the net turnover of sales, the commission ordered the immediate suspension of the Sofia Commodity Exchange's breaching activities.

The commission's decision may be appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court.

For further information on this topic please contact Galina Petkova at Advokatsko Druzhestvo Andreev Stoyanov & Tsekova in cooperation with Schönherr Rechtsanwälte GmbH by telephone (+359 2 933 1072) or email (g.petkova@schoenherr.bg). The Advokatsko Druzhestvo Andreev Stoyanov & Tsekova website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.eu.

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