Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice maintained the Competition Council’s decision that Orange Romania, the country’s largest mobile carrier, abused its dominant position in its relation with local firm Netmaster Communications.
The court also decided that Orange should pay a RON 110.9 million fine (EUR 23.8 million), one of the highest ever paid by a local company in a competition case.
The Competition Council initially fined Orange with RON 147.9 million (EUR 34.8 million) but the court decided to reduce the amount. The court’s decision is final.
In 2011, the Competition Council sanctioned Orange and Vodafone for refusing to grant local firm Netmaster Telecom access to their networks. The two companies challenged the fines in court. The Bucharest Court of Appeal initially ruled differently in the two lawsuits and the High Court sent the case back for a re-trial. In 2017, the Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled that both companies had breached the competition law and maintained the Competition Council’s sanctions.
Both Orange and Vodafone challenged the decisions at the High Court. The ruling in Vodafone’s case is expected later this year.