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PARTICIPANTS OF AUCTION BY IGNALINA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT DID NOT AVOID LIABILITY FOR CARTEL INFRINGEMENT

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Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court) upheld the decision of the Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba, according to which UAB Norvesta and the German company Sypra concluded a cartel agreement while participating in the radioactive scrap metal auction conducted by Ignalina nuclear power plant.

The Court rejected the claim by the German company Sypra and left the decision of Konkurencijos taryba unchanged. For entering into a bid rigging agreement Norvesta and Sypra had been fined EUR 27,500 and EUR 27,100 respectively.

Konkurencijos taryba opened the investigation after receiving information from the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania. The authority found that both firms coordinated their actions by agreeing in advance that Sypra will submit a bid of more than EUR 1.5 million and Norvesta will not bid higher therefore allowing Sypra to win the auction that took place in 2014.

Due to the cartel between the companies, Ignalina nuclear power plant could not get the best offer in terms of price and ensure that state budget was used efficiently.

The judgement of the Court is subject to appeal.