Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) could investigate taxi companies in the country’s capital city Sofia to ascertain whether they have entered a price-fixing cartel, the regulator’s chairperson Petko Nikolov said on November 12.
“If there is any proof of hidden policy to fix prices of taxi fare services, then we could talk about a cartel and we could launch an investigation, but I cannot comment further at this point,” Nikolov said, as quoted by news website mediapool.bg.
The statement comes just days after Sofia cabs upped prices by about 20 per cent, citing higher costs of fuel and spare parts. In the past, cab companies have repeatedly rejected allegations of cartel.
Nikolov said that the regulator was probing all sectors of the economy and had 1000 ongoing investigations. Last week, it issued a record 16 million leva fine for the Hyundai distributor in Bulgaria, but its high-profile sector investigations into cartels – such as fuel retailers earlier this year, where accusations are rife because of the concerted price hikes – have failed to unearth price-fixing agreements.
(Taxis at Sofia railway station Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)