COMPANIES FINED FOR OBSTRUCTING INVESTIGATION
Konkurencijos taryba found the companies Būsto aplinka and Mano Būsto priežiūra guilty of obstructing the authority‘s officials in carrying out inspection and obtaining documents relevant for the investigation. The companies were fined a total of EUR 1,074,416.
In December 2017 the authorized officials of Konkurencijos taryba carried out the inspection in the premises of Būsto aplinka (former Mano aplinka) as part of the investigation into suspected bid-rigging activities. During the inspection the officials ordered the company‘s employees to grant access to the undertaking‘s e-mail via server in order to examine relevant documents, however, such access was denied for more than two hours.
The aforementioned actions of the company‘s representatives prevented the officials from carrying out the inspection properly.
After conducting an investigation into obstruction, Konkurencijos taryba detected that some information was deleted from the server. Although the company‘s manager was obliged to refrain from deleting, modifying or changing information stored on his computer, it was found that the manager used a software program to permanently delete files and documents, which led to an irrecoverable loss of the stored data.
“It might have been that the obstruction of the company‘s representatives led to the termination of our investigation since no direct evidence of an infringement was found during the inspection. However, identified obstruction of an investigation gives us sufficient grounds to impose liability on companies‘ representatives“, – said Dina Lurje, the Deputy Chairwoman of Konkurencijos taryba.
Since the employees of Būsto aplinka obstructed the investigation in cooperation with Mano Būsto priežiūra, which constitute one economic unit, Konkurencijos taryba imposed a joint and several fine of EUR 1,074,416.
The decision of Konkurencijos taryba can be appealed to Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.