Avia Invest fined over 31 million lei for abuse of dominant position

The "Avia Invest" SRL company was sanctioned 31.63 million lei by the Competition Council. According to the institution, the fine was applied for abuse of a dominant position on the market for providing access services to infrastructure and airport facilities to ground handling companies, on Chișinău International Airport grounds.

According to a Council press release, the investigation was launched based on the complaint of "MGH Ground Handling" SRL, a company that provides ground handling services at Chișinău International Airport. Only two ground handling operators provide services at the airport: "MGH Ground Handling" SRL and "Aeroport Handling" SRL.

The complain refers to "Avia Invest's" unfounded submission of additional agreements to extend leases for an unreasonable period of 30 days.

During the investigation, it was found that "Avia Invest" and "Aeroport Handling" are part of the same group of companies based on their structural and economic dependence. The Competition Council found that "Avia Invest's" abusive behavior manifested as the unfair and unjustified imposition of the lease validity term to "MGH Ground Handling".

The Competition Council found that "Airport Handling" had long-term access (49 years) to the centralized infrastructure for the provision of ground handling services, according to the concession contract, due to the connection with "Avia Invest".

The Competition Council also found an abusive practice implemented by "Avia Invest" in relation to "MGH Ground Handling", namely the differentiated application of tariffs for the provision of leasing services to ground handling companies. At the same time, "Avia Invest" applied unequal rates for the provision of rental services: "MGH Ground Handling" paid a monthly fee per square meter 60% higher than "Airport Handling".

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