The European Commission has imposed a fine of EUR 1 million on OPCOM, the Romanian power exchange, and its parent company Transelectrica, for having abused its dominant position.
The EC found that OPCOM discriminated against electricity traders established in EU countries other than Romania by requiring them to obtain a Romanian VAT registration even though they already had a VAT registration in their home country, according to the official EC statement.
„This was not a requirement of Romanian law, but resulted only from OPCOM’s behavior. The abuse lasted from 2008 to 2013. Not accepting the market entry of traders from other EU countries on the Romanian exchange created an artificial barrier to market entry for EU traders and in turn reduced liquidity on the Romanian wholesale electricity market,” according to the EC.
The Commission also fined two leading European spot power exchanges, EPEX Spot and Nord Pool Spot (NPS), with EUR 6 million, for having agreed not to compete with one another, in particular by allocating territories between themselves, in 2011 and 2012.
„These two decisions are significant, because power exchanges are central to the efficient functioning of electricity markets, in the best interest of consumers,” according to EC Vice-President Joaquín Almunia.