The objective of competitive neutrality is to ensure that all market participants (both public and private) in a given market operate on a level playing field. Public entities and their capital companies are obliged to ensure free and fair competition in their activities, i.e. they must not favour their capital company and, in a situation where several private market participants are active in a given market, they must not discriminate against any particular market participant or make it more difficult for it to operate or enter the market.

Pursuant to Section 14.1 of the Competition Law, public entities and their capital companies are prohibited from:

  • discriminating between market participants by creating unequal conditions of competition;
  • creating advantages for capital companies in which a public entity has a direct or indirect participation;
  • taking actions due to which another market participant is forced to leave a relevant market or the entry or operation of a potential market participant into a market is made difficult.

The main principles to be respected by public entities and their capital companies in their activities to ensure compliance with the obligation of competitive neutrality:

  • distinguish between economic and public functions;
  • separate economic costs to avoid the risk of cross-subsidisation;
  • ensure equal treatment of all players in a respective market;
  • organise pro-competitive public procurement and tendering.


In order to ensure compliance with requirements of the Competition Law, the Competition Council carries out negotiations with the respective public administrative body or capital company owned by it.

If compliance with requirements of the law is not achieved during negotiations, failing to ensure a favourable outcome for competition, the Competition Council may continue investigation of the infringement case regarding capital companies owned by public administrative bodies, adopting a decision on detecting an infringement and imposing a legal obligation and a fine.

A fine up to 3% of net turnover of the last financial year, but not less than 250 euros, may be imposed on a capital company owned by a public administrative body.

The procedure for calculation of fines will be stipulated by the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations.

Timeframe for adjudicating a case of violation

The Competition Council takes a decision within six months from the day of the initiation of a case. If due to objective reasons it is not possible to observe the six month time period, the authority may extend it by up to one year counting from the day of initiation of the case. However, if prolonged fact-finding is required in the case, the Competition Council may, with a justified decision, extend the time period for taking a decision to a period not exceeding two years from the day of initiation of a case.

Appealing a Decision by the Competition Council

A decision may be appealed to the Administrative Regional Court within one month of the date the decision has taken effect.

A judgement of the Administrative Regional Court may be appealed upon the submission of a cassation complaint to the Department of Administrative Cases of the Senate of the Supreme Court.

Rights and obligations of parties to proceedings

Parties to proceedings have the following rights:

  • to submit evidence and provide explanations
  • to propose that the information submitted to the Competition Council is assigned the status of restricted access information (more information)
  • to review the materials in the case in accordance with the procedures established by law, to express own opinion
  • to appeal decisions by the Competition Council

Parties to proceedings have the following obligations:

  • to provide the information requested (including information containing trade secrets) within the period, to the extent and in the form prescribed by the Competition Council
  • to submit evidence at the party’s disposal and to notify the Competition Council of any facts it may be aware of and that may prove relevant in the particular case

Failure to submit information in the possession of a person to the Competition Council within the period and to the extent specified by the latter, provision of false information, and failure to comply with the decisions of the Competition Council or the lawful demands of officials are subject to administrative liability (more information).