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The first identified instance of a breach of the EU Treaty competition rules: NNDKP obtained the annulment of the competition council’s fine for Alico Pensions

The Bucharest Court of Appeals annulled the Competition Council’s decision to impose a fine on Alico Pensions for breach of competition rules, ending a dispute which started in 2010. It was the first instance where the competition authority found a breach not only of the Competition Law, but also of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The project was coordinated by Partner Sorina Olaru (Creţu), part of the Litigation Department, and Managing Associate Georgeta Harapcea (Dinu), Head of the Competition Practice Area.

I strongly believed in this case from the very beginning of the investigation and of the hearings before the Competition Council. I could not agree with a market sharing conclusion that failed to take into account the actual context in which the events unfolded” states Georgeta Harapcea. “The court’s decision confirms that Alico Pensions did not restrict competition, but acted in order to secure the participants’ interests, helping  them join the pension fund they opted for instead of being  randomly allocated to any fund” added Sorina Olaru.

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About the project’s coordinators:

Sorina Olaru (Creţu) is praised by Chambers Europe and Chambers Global as “an established practitioner”, with “impressive knowledge of local law” and “prompt in replying to queries”, “known for her international arbitration expertise”.

One of the most significant projects coordinated by Sorina is the representation of Direcţia Silvică Suceava in the litigation for the highest stake restitution in the country (estimated to 3.5 billion euros), in which the private foundation Fondul Bisericesc Ortodox Roman al Bucovinei claimed from the Romanian State and Romsilva through Direcţia Silvică Suceava over 166,000 ha of forest, grassland and farmland in Bucovina.

Georgeta Harapcea (Dinu) is praised by Chambers & Partners “for her profound understanding of her clients’ business needs”, interviewees observing that she is “technically excellent, very commercial and very experienced” and that she “has a very intelligent and dedicated approach both to the specific matter and the client in general”. She is also recommended by The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists 2012 (Global Competition Review) and PLC Which Lawyer?

In the past year, NNDKP’s competition team headed by Georgeta Harapcea was engaged in three ample investigations closed by the Competition Council without finding any breach or enforcing any fines (the investigation on the pharmaceuticals market, assisting Romastru Trading; the investigation among insurance companies, providing counsel for Alico Insurance; and the investigation regarding a possible abuse of dominance by Lafarge). Moreover, together with the Litigation Department, the team succeeded in reducing by 40% the fine imposed by the Competition Council on Raiffeisen Bank for providing inaccurate information.

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