Carpatcement appeals over Romanian cartel fine

Carpatcement appeals over Romanian cartel fine
Published: 09 June 2005

Carpatcement, a unit of Germany’s HeidelbergCement will ask a local court to cancel an €8.6m fine by Romania’s competition watchdog for price fixing, the company said on Wednesday.

The Competition Council fined the three operators in Romania’s cement market a total of more than €27m (US$33m) for forming a cartel to set prices between 2000 and 2004.

"Our lawyers Salans are preparing the file for the Romanian Court of Appeal to submit this month. We are not seeking to appeal the decision in European courts for the moment," Bogdan Arnautu, communications director of Carpatcement, told Reuters.

Arnautu said the file would prove that the Competition Council’s decision did not observe European Union legislation and that it was groundless.

Holcim Romania, a unit of Switzerland’s Holcim , also fined by the watchdog, has already paid its €9.4m fine, the company said.

"We paid the fine last week and we don’t plan to appeal the decision," Luminita Oprea, Holcim Romania communications manager, told Reuters. She did not elaborate.

The third company, Lafarge Romania, a unit of France’s Lafarge , had said it would appeal against the decision and alert the EU, which Romania hopes to join in 2007.