On 24 July 2015 an amendment to the Bulgarian Protection of Competition Act (“PCA”) was promulgated, introducing a novel type of infringement – abuse of stronger bargaining position. Article 37a of the PCA reads as follows: Paragraph 1: “Any act or omission of an undertaking with a stronger bargaining position, which contravenes good-faith commercial practice…

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) in a 5-member panel (acting as final instance) has annulled the decision of the 3-member panel of the SAC (acting as second instance) regarding the appeal of a decision of the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”). The ground for annulment is the lack of analysis of the…

After almost three years of investigation, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) has issued a Statement of Objections against in total 24 Bulgarian undertakings for bid-rigging in public procurement procedures under the National Program for Energy Efficiency of Multifamily Residential Buildings (“Energy Efficiency Program”). The bid-rigging was considered a breach of Article 15…

A fine of slightly above EUR 400 000 was imposed to the biggest Bulgarian telecom operator – A1 Bulgaria, member of Telekom Austria Group (“A1”) for abuse of stronger bargaining position in its contractual relationship with its former sales representative – Handy Bulgaria (“Handy”). The relationship between the two companies started back in 2005, when Handy…

In July this year, the Bulgarian Commission for protection of competition (the “Bulgarian Commission”) blocked the acquisition of the vertically integrated business of CEZ Group of companies (owned by CEZ a.s., Czech Republic) in Bulgaria by Inercom EAD (Bulgaria). The refusal to approve the CEZ/Inercom transaction was discussed in a previous post. In August 2018,…

The contemplated acquisition of Nova Broadcasting Group AD by PPF TMT Bidco 2 В.V (the latter entity and its economic group hereinafter referred to as “PPF”) along with a separate acquisition of the vertically integrated business of CEZ Group of companies (owned by CEZ a.s.) by the Bulgarian company Inercom EAD have been making the…

At the beginning of August 2018, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) opened proceedings against a local company for non-notification of an acquisition of another undertaking. Such proceedings are very rare, and the last fine for a similar breach in Bulgaria was in 2012. The undertaking acquiring control – Agria Group Holding AD…

On 19 July 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) refused to approve two separate concentrations – the acquisition of the vertically integrated business of CEZ Group of companies (owned by CEZ a.s., Czech Republic) by Inercom EAD (Bulgaria) and the acquisition of Nova Broadcasting Group AD by PPF TMT (the Netherlands). Both…

By its Decision № 717 dated 28 June 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“the CPC”/”the Commission”) adopted a sector inquiry of a number of markets within the media sector. The decision contains some intriguing stances by the CPC, especially against the background of its own previous case law or the decisional practice…

Approximately 3 months after initiation of the sector inquiry into the media market in Bulgaria, the national Commission for Protection of Competition (the Commission) published its report on the conducted investigation. As intended, the Commission analysed the activities of all media service providers in the sector. The conclusions of the investigation, however, raise certain concerns…