Samsung and the top three electronics retailers in Romania targeted by anti-trust probe
Romania's Competition Council has carried out unannounced controls at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics Romania – the local subsidiary of South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung, and at the top three local electronics retailers – Altex, Flanco, and Dante International (eMAG).
The controls are part of an investigation into possible agreements or price-fixing practices between Samsung Electronics Romania and the three retailers, according to a press release issued by the competition watchdog.
The Competition Council started its investigation after it received a notification on its whistleblowers' platform.
Samsung Electronics Romania is the biggest distributor of electronic products on the local market, with a turnover of over RON 5 bln (EUR 1 bln) in 2019.
Altex, Flanco, and Dante International (eMAG) are the biggest electronics retailers in Romania. The three companies had a combined turnover of RON 9.8 bln (EUR 2 bln) in 2019, based on public data.
Thus, if the investigation confirms the suspicions related to the four companies' anti-competitive behavior, it could lead to significant sanctions. The Competition Council can rule fines of up to 10% of the investigated companies' turnover.
"The unannounced inspections are an important step in the procedures for investigating possible anti-competitive behavior, as they do not represent a forewarning on the companies' guilt. The documents collected are under the analysis of the Romanian competition authority, within the specific procedures," the Competition Council said.
(Photo source: Dreamstime.com / Cosmin Constantin Sava)