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Alexei Gherțescu: Six companies will be penalized for carter agreement on oil market

The president of the Competition Council said that the entity that monitors the correctness of prices will soon take a decision as to the punishment of the oil companies that favored the concomitant rise in fuel prices as a result of a cartel agreement. Alexei Gherțescu said the decision to penalize six oil companies could be issued by the end of July, IPN reports.

The report on the illegalities committed by oil sellers by unjustifiably increasing fuel prices was compiled under the previous administration of the Competition Council. The new head of the institution said he thoroughly analyzed that report, staged new hearings with the involved companies and the Council members will soon agree the penalty.

“The oil market is regulated. We have price ceilings that are set by NAER. We cannot intervene when it goes to prices. But we can intervene when it goes to cartel agreements. An investigation on the oil market was initiated last year, but a decision hasn’t been yet adopted by the Council. We need time to thoroughly analyze those data. That investigation was conducted during a very short period of time. Such investigations usually last for two-three years. That investigation lasted for a record period of a month. We held new hearings with the involved companies and are now preparing the decision that will be issued in the near future,” Alexei Gherțescu stated in a special edition on the public TV channel Moldova 1.

The report says that six companies acted concertedly when setting the prices of oil products and liquefied petroleum gas. The former composition of the Competition Council decided to seek a fine of 2% to 4% of the total turnover the year before the year the punishment on the six companies is imposed.

“The oil companies reached a cartel agreement that led to the coordinated modification of prices. If the violation is ascertained, a punishment decision will be made. This decision could be issued in June-July. Six companies are involved. This thing was made public and is no longer a secret for anyone,” stated Alexei Gherțescu.

The six companies suspected of cartel agreements are Rompetrol Moldova, Lukoil-Moldova, Petrom Moldova, Bemol Retail, Datario SRL and Tirex Petrol.  The National Agency for Energy Reregulation for May 26 set a price ceiling of 30.76 lei per liter of gasoline “95” and of 27.15 lei per liter of diesel fuel.

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