KONKURENCIJOS TARYBA TERMINATES INFRINGEMENT PROCEEDINGS IN BIOFUEL MARKET
The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has decided to close the infringement proceedings into an alleged anti-competitive agreement between the firms Vilniaus energija and Bionovus (its successor was First Opportunity, a company registered in Estonia and later liquidated) in the biofuel market.
On 2 December 2015 the authority found that Vilniaus energija and Bionovus made a long-term exclusive biofuel purchasing agreement under which Vilniaus energija committed to purchase biofuel from its sole supplier Bionovus. Since both firms had significant market power, Konkurencijos taryba had decided that the anti-competitive agreement had negative effects on competition, as well as consumers, and infringed the Law on Competition.
The decision of Konkurencijos taryba was annulled by the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, which returned the case back to the authority for an additional investigation. The Court had ruled that the authority's definition of the market, which is a means of assessing a restriction of competition, was not appropriate.
Having renewed the investigation, Konkurencijos taryba carried out an additional analysis of the data that it had previously collected and concluded that the information available to it did not constitute grounds for defining the market in a different way than it was done in 2015. Considering the Court’s ruling that previously the market was not defined properly, and that such ruling is binding, Konkurencijos taryba decided to terminate the infringement proceedings.
The decision of Konkurencijos taryba may be appealed to Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.