18 April 2018

Romania: New recommendations from the Romanian Competition Council for online retailers

The Competition Council launched its report on the e-commerce sector, zooming-in the marketing strategy component, for public consultation.

What are the main areas of interest?

Focus on price discount campaigns

The report finds that the main basis of these campaigns is consisting of the significant discounts negotiated by retailers with their suppliers, which contribute to increasing barriers between large retailers and those with an insignificant market position.

Black Friday, the highest-profile of these campaigns (according to the report, retailers generate revenues of approx. 7% of their annual sales during this campaign) is found to be targeted as a volume-based campaign rather than aimed at price discounting.

Thus, prices charged during Black Friday by online retailers are considered comparable to those in other campaigns - and customer perception of the actual price (the reference price) is therefore distorted.

Transparency on the evolution of consumer prices

The report signals a future collaboration between the Competition Council and the National Authority for Consumer Protection aimed at improving the legal framework for promotional campaigns.

The Competition Council recommends online retailers to do the following:

  • each online store should display, for each marketed product, information on the evolution of the reference price and the price actually charged within the last 30-day period;
  • this record should reflect all changes in reference prices and those actually applied over the past 30-day period, not just daily/regular series of prices;
  • own online platforms should integrate a transparent price history reporting system (even outside of a legal obligation expressly set out by the legal framework).

The report may be consulted for 30 days - for any comments or views - on the Competition Council website, here.


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Further reading:

Focus on Czech Republic, Slovenia and Bulgaria: Competition and antitrust in the digital age