Bulgarian MPs amend competition law, impose tighter rules on retail chains
Bulgaria’s Parliament has passed at second reading amendments to the Competition Act, specifically the parts that govern the relationship between retail chains and producers.
The new rules are meant to tighten restrictions on the retailers, such as requiring them to pay all suppliers within a month and also prohibiting the imposition of additional fees, and were tabled by the opposition socialists.
Socialist MP Kornelia Ninova, who was one of the authors of the bill, said after the vote that it was the culmination of four years of attempts by the party to “rein in” the retail chains.
A similar bill passed in the previous legislature, dominated by the socialists and the predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms, was vetoed by President Rossen Plevneliev in June 2014. He welcomed the goals of that bill, but argued that it did not have an assessment of the impact that the changes would have on consumers.
With the administration of Plamen Oresharski on its way out of office, Parliament was unable to overturn the veto, but the socialists tabled the amendments anew in the 43rd National Assembly and were successful in passing the law this time.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)