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Finding impunity for state officials' patent monopoly

Finding impunity for state officials' patent monopoly

For the second time in a short time, the Competition Authority found illegality in the market, but did not see fit to impose punitive measures, questioning whether or not it is able to enforce the law, which appears to have been openly defied by a director the state.

On Friday, March 24, the Authority stated that the commission had examined in the meeting the problem arising from the agreement of an association that claims to represent driving schools with the director of the Directorate of Road Transport Services, Blendi Gonxhe, in the presence of the General Directorate of Taxes. The Competition Authority considered the agreement illegal.

"At the end of the legal assessment, it was concluded that the Agreement Act No. 2729 prot., dated 13.02.2023, concluded between interest groups representing driving schools, DPSHTRR and DPT, is a prohibited agreement in itself in terms of object , in the sense of article 4, point 1, letter a), of law no. 9121/2003, as upon entry into force it will lead to the same practices in prices/payment fees for preparing and obtaining the driving license category, evidence or certificate, hindering, limiting and distorting competition in the market. As such, this Agreement Act, in the sense of Article 4, Point 2, of Law no. 9121/2003, is prohibited ," the Competition Authority stated on Friday. [link]

But the authority had no punitive measure against the driving schools, while the directors of Road Transport and Taxation, both law-enforcing and non-legislative agencies, seem to be unconcerned at all by the authority's decisions. Even just two days ago, the director of the Directorate of Road Transport Services ignored the role of the Competition Authority in this matter.

" We have not withdrawn, with the Authority, without the Authority it (the agreement) will go ahead. It is not disputed that not only does what we are doing irreparably jeopardize competition, but competition was irreparably jeopardized by what the authority and other authorities who have not worked for years to protect fair competition were not doing. " Gonxhe declared.

This is not the first case when the Competition Authority finds violations of the law on the protection of competition without taking punitive measures.

Last December, the Authority found after a one-year investigation that Vodafone Albania has abused its dominant position in the wholesale market of international calls, but despite the finding, the authority apparently decided not to implement its duty of fining the offender. Instead of a fine, the commission was content with declaring that Vodafone is ordered not to continue abusing its dominant position.

The agreement signed by Gonxhe and the General Directorate of Taxes with several entities that presented themselves as representatives of driving schools in Albania, set the increase to over 80 thousand lek for the driving school service, a doubling of the price compared to the current rates offered by the market free. / Reporter.al /

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