On May 29, 2023, the Albanian Competition Authority held a hearing before the Committee for Economy and Finance of the Parliament of Albania regarding the annual report on the activity of the Albanian Competition Authority for the year 2022. The representatives of the Competition Authority in this hearing were: Mr. Denar Biba, Chairman; Mrs. Leida Matja, Deputy Chairwoman; and Mr. Durim Kraja, Member of the Competition Commission.
During his speech, Mr. Biba, the Chairman of the Albanian Competition Authority, highlighted the steps taken by the institution to ensure a free and effective competition in the market, in accordance with Law No. 9121, “On Competition Protection”. He also emphasized the fulfillment of the recommendations outlined in the Assembly’s Resolution evaluating the ACA’s activity for the year 2021.
Furthermore, Mr. Biba informed the Commission for Economy and Finance that the Competition Commission made 99 decisions in 2022, which not only set a record in the 17-year history of the ACA but also demonstrated the continuous work of the Competition Authority. Additionally, during the year, 15 market monitoring operations were conducted in sensitive markets with a direct impact on consumer well-being, and 11 investigative procedures were carried out in various markets, including wholesale markets for diesel fuel and gasoline, international call termination, drugs and medical devices, vegetable oil import and production, chemical fertilizers import and wholesale, non-bank financial entities, Tirana International Airport parking facilities management, service provision of measuring instruments through fuel and liquefied gas distribution instruments, cement production/import and wholesale, concrete production in Tirana district, Durrës, Elbasan, and the production, transmission, and digital sale of audio and video products to cable operators (repeaters of programs supported by cable network).
Although the Albanian Competition Authority’s principle is to prioritize education rather than imposing fines on the subjects under investigation, it is worth noting that the Competition Authority imposed four fines for serious violations of Law No. 9121/2003 “On Competition Protection” in the markets of chemical fertilizer import and wholesale trading, crude oil production and trading, management of Tirana International Airport parking facilities, as well as wheat import, production, and trading of flour. The total value of these fines amounted to ALL 224,225,947 (two hundred and twenty-four million two hundred and twenty-five thousand nine hundred and forty-seven), marking the highest amount in the past five years.
The Chairman of the Albanian Competition Authority emphasized that the institution will continue to fulfill its defined purpose under Law No. 9121/2003 by ensuring a free and effective competition in the market through monitoring, investigations, and necessary measures in sensitive markets directly impacting the well-being of Albanian consumers. The authority will also work towards aligning legislation with the European integration process and remain engaged in promoting competition advocacy with stakeholders.
During the hearing, the members of the Committee for Economy and Finance posed various questions, which were answered by the Chairman of the Albanian Competition Authority.
Mr. Eduard Shalsi, Chairman of the Committee for Economy and Finance, expressed full support for the work carried out by the Competition Commission. He emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation with the ACA through continuous communication and coordination to achieve common goals in the field of competition protection. In line with the previous year, a resolution will be drafted and subsequently approved by the Assembly to address the issues raised by the deputies of the Committee for Economy and Finance.
Concluding his speech, the Chairman of the Albanian Competition Authority reiterated the institution’s commitment to fulfilling its purpose as defined in Law No. 9121/2003 by ensuring a free and effective competition in the market. This will be achieved through monitoring, investigations, and necessary measures in sensitive markets with a direct impact on the well-being of Albanian consumers, as well as by aligning legislation with the process of European integration. The authority will also continue its efforts in promoting competition advocacy with stakeholders.