Bulgaria’s Competition Watchdog Fines Electricity Firm

Bulgaria’s competition regulator announced on June 16 that it found three local subsidiaries of energy group CEZ guilty of unfair trade practices and issued fines worth a combined 4.4 million leva, or about €2.25 million.

The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) stated that CEZ, which serves customers in western Bulgaria, including capital city Sofia, took advantage of its stronger bargaining position in contract negotiations with payment operator Fast Pay.

Fast Pay, one of a number of intermediaries used by CEZ for its consumers to pay their electricity bills, claimed that CEZ cancelled an existing contract without any grounds, imposing unjustifiably tough contractual terms during the subsequent re-negotiation.

The CPC stated the actions of CEZ subsidiaries endangered Fast Pay’s economic viability, but also risked damaging consumers, who would receive poorer service.

Full Content: Sofia Globe

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