From 1 January 2020, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “CPC”) has been applying new merger filing guidelines (the “Guidelines”). The former guidelines, applied for more than ten years, did not differentiate between transactions (simpler or more complex) irrespectively of their potential competition concerns. This unified approach was unnecessarily bureaucratic with regard…

The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) imposed a fine amounting to BGN 315 612 the National Electricity Company EAD (“NEK”) for abuse of dominance – infringement of Art. 21, para. 1 of the Bulgarian Competition Protection Act (“BCPA”) (corresponding to Art. 102 TFEU). The BCPC found that NEK unilaterally and unjustifiably modified the…

By 19 July 2018 the Bulgarian competition authority (“the Bulgarian NCA”/ “CPC”) had never blocked a transaction in a merger control procedure.[1] Since then, CPC has prohibited a total of 4 concentrations[2], including proposed acquisitions of the Bulgarian subsidiaries of CEZ A.S. (“CEZ BG group”) by various investors twice.[3] The last prohibition occurred on 24…

Bulgarian administrative law sets the bar high for legal interest of third parties not being an addressee of an administrative act to appeal the latter. A notorious example for the lofty threshold is the case regarding the revocation of the license of Corporate Commercial Bank. The majority shareholder in the bank appealed the revocation of…

Flashback In January 2019, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) 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”), carried out in the municipalities of Targovishte (Northeast Bulgaria) and Gotse Delchev (Southwest…

In 2016, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) was notified for the intention of two of the biggest Bulgarian companies operating on the market of the manufacturing, repair and trade of defence-related products to merge. EMKO Ltd. aimed to acquire direct and sole control over Dunarit JSC by means of purchasing newly issued…

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…