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EFT: “We will use all legal remedies against the decision of the Competition Council to fine us”


Swiss energy company Energy Financing Team (EFT), which received the highest fine from the Competition Council following the investigation that targeted Hidroelectrica and its clients in long-term contracts, says it will use all legal remedies available against this decision, which it considers a clear violation of Community law, the company said in a statement.

Company representatives mention that they haven’t received yet the decision of the Competition Council and that they learned about it from the media. “We believe that this practice of the Competition Council in Romania is unusual”, the communique mentions.

The Competition Council yesterday made public on its website the fact that it had sanctioned with fines of EUR 37mln Hidroelectrica and 10 contractual partners thereof, including Energy Financing Team (Switzerland) AG (EFT), for the conclusion of anticompetitive agreements on the production and sale of electricity in Romania.

The company shows that the highest fines were applied to foreign companies, including EFT (EUR 16mln), despite the fact that EFT has never had a market share higher than 4%.

“We are a Swiss company that prides itself on the fact that it operates in accordance with good commercial practice and therefore we have a good reputation throughout Europe. We carry out our activity with professionalism and we have an extensive experience in the field. We have concluded long-term bilateral contracts on commercial basis, making sure that our actions were globally compliant with all the applicable laws and market conditions. We cannot be held liable for any errors, failures and omissions of our co-contractors or their poor management”, the energy trader stated.

According to the company, contracts it has had with Hidroelectrica have already been analyzed and authorized by the European Commission in terms of state aid rules.

“According to a press release of the European Commission dated June 12th 2015, the European Commission found that «either contracts have been concluded in market conditions or, if tariffs were below the market level, the Romanian state could not be held responsible for tariffs granted. Especially, the analysis showed that Hidroelectrica has practices prices that were fully in line with the reference price in the market, in relation to nine clients (ArcelorMittal, Alro, Alpiq RomEnergie, Alpiq RomIndustries, EFT, Electrica, Electromagnetica, Energy Holding, Euro-Pec)». The Competition Council has reached a different conclusion, although it analyzed the same facts and should have applied the same principles and standards and the European Commission”, the quoted source mentions.

EFT has no longer been active in the Romanian market since 2012.