Valentin Mircea, e-Competitions | N° 51789, www.concurrences.com
The Romanian Competition Council issued recently its first guidelines, which supplement the EC Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to horizontal co-operation agreements – 2011/C 11/01. The object of these guidelines is quite rare: the approach towards the petitioning activities performed in cooperation by several undertakings – when may this be considered a legitimate petitioning and when it may go counter the competition
provisions from the Romanian Competition Law and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The article wishes to argue that there is a balance between two equally important legal
principles and how this balance may be stricken, without undermining the competitive process and
without neglecting the right to petition either. The article also explains the background – the
case-law of the Romanian Competition Council and other considerations – which led to the issuance
of these guidelines.
The Romanian Competition Council (“RCC”) published in March 2013 its first guidelines on best
practices, which cover the application of the rules on the prohibition of cartels in the context of the
petitioning (lobbying) activities performed in common by two or more undertakings or by
associations of undertakings . The possibility to issue guidelines of best practices was included in
the Romanian Competition Law in 2011 (“RCL”) and it is the first time such soft-law provisions are
issued. The guidelines are in addition to the EC “Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the
Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to horizontal co-operation agreements” (“The
Guidelines on Horizontal Co-operation Agreements”), which are equally applicable in Romania, even
when article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union itself is not applicable .