EU and competition in Romania
Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii’s practice, led by Raluca Vasilache, covers a broad range of competition-related matters, namely antitrust, merger control and state aid procedures. It represents Carrefour Group in a Romanian Competition Council investigation and acted for Energy Financing Team in a successful Court of Appeal annulment of a Competition Council sanctioning. Industries of expertise include the technology, telecoms, retail, electricity and gas, motor oil distribution and pharmaceutical sectors.
D&B David si Baias SCA assisted clients in several high-profile investigations by the Romanian Competition Council; examples include representing EnergoBit in relation to allegations of bid rigging for public tenders and acting for Toneli in an investigation into anti-competitive egg pricing. Sorin David is the name to note. Manuela Guia and Bianca Naghi left to establish GNP Guia Naghi and Partners SCA in 2019.
Filip & Company acts in compliance matters and Competition Council investigations for clients from the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, TMT, retail, consumer goods, electronics and insurance industries. It assists Arctic Romania and Banca Transilvania with day-to-day competition issues, acting for the latter in relation to merger control proceedings following its acquisition of Bancpost. On the investigation front, practice head Cătălin Suliman represented Inform Lykos in the challenge of a decision made by the Competition Council. Senior associate Georgeta Gavriloiu is also singled out.
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen's team displays a ‘very satisfactory degree of engagement and responsiveness as well as professionalism’. It handles investigations, merger clearances and compliance work. Practice head Georgeta Dinu has a ‘perfect grip on Romanian and European legislation’ and represented Elster Rometrics in a bid rigging investigation launched by the competition authority. Industries of particular expertise include real estate, media, technology and natural resources.
bpv Grigorescu Ştefănică possesses ‘high-quality legal knowledge not only as to national competition law but also as to EU law’. Google relies upon the ‘outstanding strategic skills’ of practice head Cătălin Grigorescu for day-to-day competition advice in Romania. The team regularly advises on anticompetitive practices, merger control, competition compliance issues, trade regulation and cartel prevention. ‘Highly efficient’ managing associate Iulia Dragomir ‘has an excellent understanding of the client’s expectations’.
The ‘highly knowledgeable and highly experienced’ team at Muşat & Asociaţii ‘knows the market very well' and ‘delivers a complete package’ of competition services. Electromagnetica called upon Paul George Buta's ‘excellent strategic thinking’ for a Competition Council investigation into bid rigging and other collusive practices in the electricity meter market. ‘Highly experienced’ managing associate Manuela Lupeanu is ‘up-to-date on everything competition-related’.
Valentin Berea and counsel Roxana Ionescu are ‘outstanding’ and ‘know competition law very well’. The pair jointly lead the practice at RTPR Allen & Overy (Radu Tărăcilă Pădurari Retevoescu SCA in association with Allen & Overy LLP), which adeptly handles merger approvals, dawn raids, antitrust investigations and litigation and internal audits. Recent highlights include representing Electrica in relation to allegations of cartel facilitation and successfully obtaining the annulment of a fine issued by the Competition Council for Maspex Romania.
Schoenherr şi Asociaţii SCA was recently successful in discarding a Romanian Competition Council investigation into non-discrimination commitments on behalf of client Vodafone Romania. Practice head Georgiana Bădescu led on the matter and is particularly experienced in acting on telecoms market investigations. In addition to inquiries and investigations, competition litigation, compliance programmes, state aid matters and contractual reviews form the recent caseload. Merger clearances are also a strength with the group recently obtaining clearance for AkzoNobel's acquisition of Fabryo Corporation.
Biriş Goran SPARL is experienced with handling cartel matters, leniency cases, compliance work and antitrust litigation, acting for a client base which includes UniCredit Bank, Siemens and Nestlé. Practice head Gelu Goran is acting for Aon UK and affiliate, Aon Romania, in a Competition Council investigation into alleged bid-rigging and price fixing in the aviation insurance market.
At Dentons, practice head Raul Mihu successfully assisted two retail giants with Competition Council negotiations pertaining to a first of its kind, joint acquisition project. Mihu’s team handled the full range of competition matters including EU and national merger control, cartel investigations, antitrust, compliance programmes, state aid and restrictive practices.
DLA Piper Dinu SCA displays ‘great knowledge wrapped in a pro-client attitude’. The team is particularly knowledgeable of the pharmaceutical, telecoms, retail and FMCG industries and has a recent track record of acting for clients in the automotive sector. It notably acted for the Association of Dacia, Renault and Nissan Concessionaires in relation to a Competition Counsel investigation of a potential cartel relationship between its members and insurance companies. Practice head Livia Zamfiropol (Constantinescu) is praised for her ‘high professionalism and outstanding performance’. Alina Lacatus made partner.
Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii
Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii's practice is headed by recently promoted partner Mihaela Ion. Her team hosts a well-regarded antitrust litigation practice and is particularly strong in competition matters in the IT, pharmaceuticals and retail sectors. It assisted Germany-based Xella Ro with the successful merger clearance for its acquisition of Macron Group.
Reff & Associates SCA's ‘dedicated’ and ‘very professional’ team is led by Florentina Munteanu, who recently provided state aid advice to the Ministry of Communication and Information Society in respect of a proposed share capital increase in Poșta Română. The team also handles merger clearances, compliance programmes and Competition Council investigations. Senior associate Oana Busca is praised for her ‘professional, focused’ approach and ‘in-depth’ understanding.
Horea Popescu and Cristina Popescu are the names to note at CMS and have experience in compliance work, investigations, antitrust issues and dawn-raids. The team is also well regarded for its merger work and assisted CCC with seeking clearance for the acquisition of its Romania-based franchised business.
Wolf Theiss' practice head Adrian Şter represents SC Diferit in a Competition Council investigation into alleged bid rigging in the road maintenance sector. Ster is assisted by recently promoted partner Claudia Chiper; the pair also provides day-to-day competition advice to Henkel Romania. Industries of expertise include retail, pharmaceuticals, transport and FMCG.