OVER TWO MILLION LITAS TO REACH THE STATE BUDGET FROM A FINE IMPOSED UPON AB ‘LIETUVOS TELEKOMAS’ BY THE COMPETITION COUNCIL
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania passed the final and inappellable ruling in the litigation proceedings which lasted for over a year between the Competition Council and AB “Lietuvos Telekomas”. The subject matter of the case was the infringement committed by AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” and established by the Competition Council which imposed a fine upon the company.
Having examined the appeal lodged by AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” concerning the decision passed by Vilnius County administrative Court on April 10, 2003, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the decision of the Competition Council and rejected the appeal. Having established and proved abuse of the dominant position exercised by AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” which constituted an infringement of the Law on Competition, the Competition Council imposed a fine of LTL 2,770,154, which the company will have to pay to the State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania.
“Lietuvos Telekomas” appealed the decision of the Competition Council of February 21, 2002 which concluded that AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” had violated the provisions of Article 9 of the Law on Competition providing for a prohibition to abuse a dominant position. Holding a dominant position in the fixed public telecommunications and communications network lease markets AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” had passed a decision the block the lines leased to UAB “Interprova” and about 30 other companies providing the Internet telephony services. This decision by AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” eliminated competition in the market concerned and consolidated the dominant position in the Internet telephony market held by AB “L:ietuvos Telekomas”. The Competition Council qualified such actions by AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” as restricting the Internet telephony services and monopolizing the market in contradiction to the Law on Competition. The ruling of the Court merely confirmed that the monopoly of AB “Lietuvos Telekomas” did not extend over the Internet telephony market, therefore, the company had been unjustifiably restricting the rights of other companies to render the Internet telephony services.Competition Council Spokesperson