Bulgaria’s competition regulator said on May 18 that it has fined electricity distribution firm CEZ Distribution Bulgaria 1.25 million leva for abusing its dominant market position.
The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said that the distribution company had delayed the acquisition of electricity transmission infrastructure without justifiable cause, which was liable to have a negative impact on competition and breach consumer rights.
Under Bulgarian regulations, electricity distribution companies must own all electricity transmission infrastructure, but its customers can build such infrastructure – such as the transformer in a privately-owned residence, as was the case brought to the regulator. Once the property’s owner meets all legal requirements, the distribution firm is required by law to buy the infrastructure.
In this case, CEZ Distribution Bulgaria had failed to do so and failed to answer the customer’s request asking what additional paperwork had to be filed in order to close the sale.
CPC said that the company’s refusal to present the information was in breach of the regulations and mandated that CEZ Distribution Bulgaria must answer the customer’s information request within 30 days of the regulator’s ruling, while also requiring the firm to notify CPC whether it has done so after the deadline has passed.
The fine can be appealed at the Supreme Administrative Court within a period of 14 days, the regulator said.