Bucharest, 6 December 2016 – Bucharest Court of Appeal (CAB) – 8th Administrative and Fiscal Dispute Division admitted the motion of Sig Sauer GmbH & Co KG to annul Competition Council Decision no. 44/2014, by which Sig Sauer was sanctioned by civil fine in amount of over RON 7 million.
The German company, established in 1853, is one of the most important global weapon manufacturers, being renowned especially for its revolvers, which have been for a long time in the use of police and security forces in many states around the world.
In November 2013, the company, together with other 3 companies, was sanctioned by the Competition Council for an alleged violation of Article 5 para. (1) lett. f) of the Competition Law and of Article 101 of TFEU, which violation consisted in a concerted practice of participation with fixed bids, by distributing the tendered products, in the public procurement procedures organized by the Ministry of National Defence, for the procurement of products in the range of “infantry weapons” and “optical equipment”, during the period 2005-2007.
Bucharest Court of Appeal partly admitted the action filed by Sig Sauer and ordered the annulment of the sanctioning decision of the Competition Council in respect of the company, the resolution of the court being subject to appeal with HCCJ.
“The extremely various issues brought before the court, including procedural aspects, the interferences of the EU Competition Law with the Romanian Law, extremely new aspects in the Competition Law such as “hub-and-spoke” understandings and the evidentiary standard associated with this type of deeds, but also the revisiting of “classic” institutions of Competition Law, such as the distinction between restrictions by object and restrictions by effect and the individualisation of sanctions, made this litigation a very significant one, but also challenging, especially for the court of law, the latter having to evaluate the entire range of issues, applied to an eminently technical field, at the same time with judging many more files. We therefore appreciate especially the openness of the court to completely and exhaustively evaluate all the sides of this interesting file and we hope that the decision in this case becomes one that shall significantly contribute to the clarification of many questions regarding the interpretation and enforcement of Competition Law”, stated Paul Buta – Partner Mușat & Asociații.
Sig Sauer has been assisted ever since the first stages of the investigation by Mușat & Asociații, the team of attorneys involved in the project being coordinated by Anca Buta Mușat – Partner and Coordinator of the Competition Practice within Mușat & Asociații, together with Paul Buta – Partner, Răzvan Pele – Managing Associate and Sandra Olănescu – Associate.