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SEIMAS ADOPTED AMENDMENTS TO LITHUANIAN COMPETITION LAW

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Today Seimas adopted amendments to the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania. One of the major changes concern the right of the Lithuanian competition authority to remunerate whistleblowers that provide information about anti-competitive agreements.

According to the amendments, Konkurencijos taryba will have the right to remunerate persons disclosing to it competition law breaches, and guarantee the protection of their identity. In return for useful information, Konkurencijos taryba would pay whistleblowers a single payment (from EUR 1,000 to EUR 100,000) constituting 1 percent of the fines imposed on the infringers.

The remuneration will not be paid to persons who have received the respective evidence as a result of criminal offence or their duties in the law enforcement authority. Otherwise, the remuneration would have to be returned.

The respective amendments also foresee fines and periodic penalties for different procedural breaches, as well as the right for the authority to receive clarifications from a higher number of persons in the course of an investigation.

Furthermore, in order to seek the termination of a competition law breach, Konkurencijos taryba will be able to oblige the infringers to change the structure of their companies, e. g., sell some part of business.

From 1 July, after the law amendments have entered into force, Konkurencijos taryba will also be entitled to observe how public bodies implement its proposals and conclusions.