The Romanian Competition Authority recommends that retailers affected by COVID-19 can negotiate their rental agreements as a group through intermediaries to avoid breaking competition law in the process

The Competition Council Makes Recommendations in the Context of Reopening the Shopping Centres*

The Competition Council recommends those companies that have rented commercial spaces in shopping centres to independently negotiate their contractual conditions with the owners/administrators of the centres. Coordination of the companies’ market behaviour, for example price coordination, can be sanctioned under the national and the EU competition rules.

However, small enterprises that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic crisis may address to a mediator, resort to a trade association or other third party to represent their interests in relation to the owners of the shopping centres/ administrators, but they shall comply with the competition rules.

"Small enterprises that have been closed and that have recorded losses during this period, can be represented by an intermediary, so that competitors do not exchange sensitive individual information, such as prices, or other sensitive elements of their commercial policy, etc. At the same time, we recommend that companies consult us on the compatibility of their initiatives with the competition law”,

said Bogdan Chirițoiu, President of the Competition Council.

The Competition Council makes these clarifications in the context in which several companies have announced that they are not going to reopen their stores in those shopping centres that have continued to request unjustified full payment of rent for the last months, given that the activity of these retailers has been stopped.

Companies may contact the competition authority at presedinte@consiliulconcurenței.ro.

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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Romanian Competition Authority, The Romanian Competition Authority recommends that retailers affected by COVID-19 can negotiate their rental agreements as a group through intermediaries to avoid breaking competition law in the process, 16 June 2020, e-Competitions June 2020, Art. N° 95498

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