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BUCHAREST (Romania), January 14 (SeeNews) - Romania's competition authority said on Monday that it has fined 13 tourism agencies and the national travel agencies authority, ANAT, 11.4 million lei ($2.8 million/ 2.4 million euro) for price fixing.
The Competition Council has found that from June 2013 until September 2016, the 13 travel agencies coordinated their commercial policies, including through an exchange of sensitive information, in order to prevent prices for tourism products from falling, the anti-trust authority said in a press release.
They also limited or removed promotional campaigns by rival companies offering discounts or free services to customers, and shared seats between themselves only in contracted aircraft for charter flights, thus leading to an artificial increase in sale prices.
The fined agencies are Aerotravel, Air Fla, Corali Holidays, Eximtur, Fibula Air Travel, Happy Tour, Nova Travel, Paralelal 45 Turism, Prestige Tours International, Prompt Service Travel Company, Residence World Travel, Tez Tour and Touring Europabus Romania. The latter received the biggest fine, of 5.4 million lei.
Aerotravel, Eximtur, Fibula Air Travel, Nova Travel, Paralela 45 Turism, Prompt Service Travel Company, Rezeda World Travel, Tez Tour and Touring Europabus Romania have admitted to taking part in the price-fixing scheme and their fine was reduced by 20%, the council added.
ANAT was fined 53,304 euro because between September 2012 and April 2016 it banned resellers of tourist products and services from offering discounts on the prices set by the tourist agencies from which those products and services originated.
(1 euro=4.6771 lei)