Thursday, January 5, 2012

Romanian Competition Body Unlikely to Fine Oil Firms the Maximum

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Romania’s competition council is unlikely to impose the maximum fine on any of the oil companies under investigation for an alleged breach of antitrust rules, said Bogdan Chiritoiu, who heads the regulator.

The probe involves companies such as OMV Petrom SA, Rompetrol Group NV and the Romanian unit of Lukoil OAO, and the maximum fine would be 10 percent of total sales.

The competition council will announce the result of the inquiry and recommend sanctions at the start of next week, Chiritoiu said during a conference in Bucharest today.

“Our report differentiates between the companies because their facts are different,” he said. Under Romanian law, those that initiated actions damaging to competition will get tougher penalties, he added.

The companies are being probed in connection with the withdrawal from the market of Eco-Premium, an unleaded gasoline pre-mixed with lead substitute.

--Editors: Alan Purkiss, Chris Peterson

To contact the reporter on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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