SUPREME ADMINISTRATIVE COURT OF LITHUANIA UPHELD COMPETITION COUNCIL’S DECISION ON BID RIDDING

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (Court) upheld the Competition Council’s decision on two bid rigging agreements.

On 5 November 2015 the Council found that UAB Ministerium, UAB Nebūk briedis and VšĮ TV Europa concluded a bid rigging agreement in the public procurement for the purchase of software development works organised by VšĮ Kelių ir transporto tyrimo institutas, while UAB Nebūk briedis and VšĮ Media medis – for the purchase of communications services organised by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania.

For the infringements of the Law on Competition, the Council fined four undertakings EUR 34,700.

The Court upheld the Council’s decision and confirmed the existence of these infringements. Due to the fact that the public procurement participants could compete with each other and independently submit tenders or refuse to submit them, the Court also agreed that competition law breach was not caused by the actions of purchasing organisations. In addition, the Court once again confirmed that the Council may use pre-trial investigation material received from other institution while proving the infringement.

The final and binding decision of the Court confirmed the following fines on the companies: Ministerium – EUR 4,000, VšĮ Media medis – EUR 4,200.

The company Nebūk briedis and VšĮ TV Europa did not appeal the Council’s decision to court. TV Europa paid EUR 2,000, while Nebūk briedis – only a part of the two fines of EUR 4,100 each. Due to the aforementioned reason, the enforcement of the remaining part of the fine was transferred to the bailiffs.