A Former Prime Minister’s Company Fined for Cartel Agreement

A Former Prime Minister’s Company Fined for Cartel Agreement
Photo: moldnova.eu
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02 April 2021 | 13:59

The Competition Council announce that they applied the highest possible fine of 4.5 million euros to four enterprises for cartel agreements. One of the companies belongs to a former Prime Minister.

The Competition Council announce that they applied the highest possible fine of 4.5 million euros to four enterprises for cartel agreements. The companies set prices for fertilizers that produced damages amounting to 9.5 million euros. One of the companies, SRL Bioprotect, specialized in providing services for farmers, belongs to former Prime Minister Valeriu Streleț. The former Liberal Democrat is the founder and administrator of the company. In 2014, Streleț gained 200,000 euros from the company’s profit. Streleț held the position of Prime Minister from July 30, 2015, to October 29, 2015.

According to the Competition Council “there is direct evidence that proves with certainty the communication between enterprises through which they set prices and the conditions for trading the fertilizers.”

The note also mentions that, as a result of these cartel agreements, the Competition Council found that the prices of similar products sold in Romania and Ukraine are approximately 28-43% lower compared to Moldova.

“The turnover and activities of the enterprises increased by tens of millions of euros until doubling during the last 5 years, while the farmers did not become richer. Moreover, the consumers are forced to buy agricultural products at higher prices and our products become less and less competitive in foreign markets. The damage brought to the consumers by the cartel agreement during the years 2015-2020, amounts to approximately 9.5 million euros”, it is mentioned in the institution’s note.

In this context, the Competition Council stated that they have pressure from the sanctioned companies.

“Recently, some of the sanctioned companies have put unprecedented pressure on the Competition Council through defamatory denunciations addressed to the country’s leaders and law enforcement agencies. They warned us that in a case of an unfavorable decision, they will not spare money on discrediting and destroying the Competition Council in the media. We can only see if the money earned from farmers works against the state control institutions,” said the Competition Council representatives.

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