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LAST YEAR‘S ACHIEVEMENTS WERE PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNMENT

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Šarūnas Keserauskas, Chairman of the Competition Council (hereinafter – the Council), presented the authority‘s achievements of 2015 to the members of the Cabinet.

The Council‘s mission is to protect the freedom of fair competition for the benefit of consumers. The Council has made a commitment to create consumer benefits exceeding the authority‘s budget five times. In 2015 the commitment was fulfilled substantially – one euro invested in the Council brought nine euros in return.

In 2015 we disclosed four cartels – two cartels among cinema operators in Vilnius and Kaunas, one cartel in the market of public relation services and one more in the market of combined heat and power plants. We also took action against an anti-competitive agreement between UAB Vilniaus energija and UAB Bionovus and, thus, opened the market for cheaper biofuel. Furthermore, we restored fair competition which was previously restricted by Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys, Joniškis, Švenčioniai and Alytus District Municipalities in the markets of public transport, energy and municipal waste.

Last year the Council cleared 36 mergers and blocked one merger, since the latter might have restricted competition in the market of pilsen malt production and trade.

Despite these achievements, our budget is smaller than the budget of any other market supervision and regulation authority in Lithuania. Lack of financial resources creates difficulties for maintaining the team which is key to all institution's achievements. Last year we lost almost 20 per cent of our staff working on competition enforcement – better funding could certainly help the authority to stay on par with competitors in its attempt to attract and maintain qualified professionals so that the authority could continue protecting the freedom of fair competition for the benefit of consumers

                                                                        –Šarūnas Keserauskas, Chairman of the Competition Council

In addition, the Chairman announced that antitrust and competition law journal and news service Global Competition Review has awarded the Competition Council three stars out of five for two consecutive years.