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MORTUARY COMPANY FINED FOR ABUSING DOMINANT POSITION

08 05 2003

Acting in accordance with provisions of the Law on Competition the meeting of the Competition Council examined the findings of the conducted investigation and passed a decision concerning actions of A.Jankauskas service and trade company operating in Biržai, constituting an infringement of Article 9 of the Law on Competition which prohibits the abuse a dominant position. A.Jankauskas service and trade company was obligated to cease the illegal activity and was subject to a monetary fine of LTL 3.000 for infringement of the Law on Competition.

The investigation thoroughly reviewed the situation which evolved in Biržai town and neighbouring settlements concerning the terms of rent of premises used for biding farewell to the deceased. It was established that alongside with the premises provided for funeral ceremonies additional conditions were imposed upon relatives of the deceased. Since in Biržai there are only two undertakings providing mortuary services (said A.Jankauskas company and UAB “Kremata” which does not have special mortuary premises) incidents were reported when premises owned by A.Jankauskas undertaking were leased on condition that the coffin and all other accessories are purchased exclusively in said undertaking. UAB “Kremata” which applied to the Competition Council asserted that such actions by A.Jankauskas service and trade undertaking restrict possibilities of other undertakings to act in the mortuary services and accessories market.

The investigation established that A. Jankauskas service and trade undertaking holds the dominant position in the market for leasing the mortuary premises in the town of Biržai and neighbouring settlements. By refusing to provide the service to customers who acquired other necessary mortuary items in other than A. Jankauskas undertaking it abuses the dominant position preventing the other undertakings from selling similar goods or obstructing the entrance to the market for those not offering a full package of funeral services. Such actions of A. Jankauskas undertaking dominating in the Biržai market for lease of mortuary premises were considered to constitute an infringement of item 4 of Article 9 of the Law on Competition which prohibits making the conclusion of contract subject to acceptance by the other party of supplementary obligations which, by their commercial nature or usage, have no connection with the subject of such contract.

Competition Council Spokesperson