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Clifford Chance: Competition, a globalized theme

The most recent Global Antitrust Trends report published by Clifford Chance identifies the main competition-related topics for 2016, based on sector-by-sector analysis and multijurisdictional statistics.

"The report confirms expectations expressed earlier this year, based on trends we have identified in our work locally, as well as from the European jurisprudence and other jurisdictions we have access to," said Diana Crângașu, Senior Associate and coordinator of the competition practice with Clifford Chance Badea. "We now see extended multijurisdictional efforts, more scrutiny of M&A activities and an increasing essential role of compliance programs for companies." 

Across the European Union there is a clear regulatory focus on prevention and leniency. As such, the value of antitrust fines reached 364.5 million Euro in 2015 – less than a quarter of 2014 fines. At the same time, the value of leniency and immunity reductions in the EU was almost double the value of fines actually imposed – 646 million Euro (compared to less than half in 2014). This effect is likely due to a combination of larger firms' better resources for compliance and detection, and greater financial incentives to blow the whistle. 

Diana Crângașu added: "Romania saw, last year, its first investigation launched by an immunity application, as well as record numbers of fines imposed and requests for settlement procedure (aimed at encouraging companies to admit to any wrong doing during the competition investigation, in order to benefit from a reduction in the resulting fine). 

According to centralized global data going back to 2004, the top 10 sectors in terms of impact of fines (in total value as a percentage of sector-wide annual turnover, for the most important countries, worldwide) are, in order of importance: Non-metallic mineral products (e.g. glass, ceramics, cement) – with more than 1%; Computer, electronic and optical products; Chemicals/ chemical products; Machinery and equipment; Electrical equipment;  Pharmaceutical; Rubber and plastic products; Financial services (excl. insurance/pensions); Clothing and accessories; Beverages.

Investigations currently ongoing in the countries considered for the analysis identify top 10 industries by number of public cases, in decreasing order: Motor vehicles and parts; Financial services; Computer, electronic and optical; Food products; Waste management/ recycling; Rail transport; Shipping; Chemicals; Pharmaceutical; Non-metallic mineral products.

In recent years, investigations launched by Romanian authorities looked into Energy, Telecommunications, Food Retail, Banking and Insurance, Pharmaceutical, as well as Public Acquisitions. 

In order to read the entire Report, please visit the dedicated page of the project.

Clifford Chance has been present in Romania since 2006 and operates now as Clifford Chance Badea. The Bucharest office is frequently involved in complex transactions such as syndicated loans, project finance, restructurings, Eurobonds and shares issues on international capital markets, derivatives, companies' acquisitions by strategic investors or private equity funds, infrastructure and motorway projects, real estate investments etc., as well as domestic and international litigation and arbitration. 

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