Bulgaria competition watchdog levies record 16 million leva fine on Hyundai distributor

Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said on November 8 that it fined the Bulgarian distributor of Hyundai cars 16 million leva, a record amount for Bulgaria, for unfair business practices. Five Hyundai dealers were fined a combined 425 000 leva.

In a statement, the regulator said that that Industrial Commerce, the official distributor of the South Korean car maker, had signed contracts that limited competition between its authorised dealers and car service companies, as well as limiting the access of other companies to the market.

Because the company engaged in unfair business practices for a long time, CPC said that it found so many breaches that if it levied all applicable fines, these would exceed the maximum amount allowed by law, so the fines were capped at 10 per cent of the company’s turnover in 2011.

The company, quoted by news website dnevnik.bg, said that the contract clauses cited by the regulator did exist, but were never used. Furthermore, the company argued, with less than three per cent market share for the Hyundai brand, these did not affect competition on the new car sales market.

Industrial Commerce said that it planned to appeal the ruling.

(Photo: Graham Briggs/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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