Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu and Allen & Overy have successfully represented Romania's Zenith Media Communications before the CJEU in a dispute regarding the calculation of competition infringement-related fines.
According to RTPR, as a result of the CJEU decision – while calculating fines for competition infringements – the amount of imposed fines will have to reflect the real economic situation of the sanctioned companies. "For certain companies, such as media agencies, travel agencies, bookmakers, ticket offices, labor recruitment companies, auction houses, etc., the nature of their business requires that various amounts transit the company accounts temporarily and for operational purposes – e.g., advertising budgets, tourist packages, other amounts reimbursed to clients," the firm reported. "Depending on the accounting approach chosen, this may mean that the balance sheets of the respective companies will also reflect all these amounts in their turnover."
The CJEU "ruled that proportionality and substance-over-form principles will prevail in the calculation of the percentage fines applied by reference to turnover," RTPR informed. "The court ruled that the formalist approach whereby when applying the fine the national competition authority takes into account in all instances the accounting turnover of the company, without analyzing the company’s arguments that prove that the turnover mentioned in the balance sheet does not reflect the real economic situation of the company, is contrary to EU law."
The RTPR team included Partners Valentin Berea and Roxana Ionescu, Managing Associate Andrada Rusan, and Associates Petrus Partene and Laura Costea.
The Allen & Overy team included Budapest-based Counsel Attila Komives.