SUPREME ADMINISTRATIVE COURT: ORDERS OF MINISTER OF INTERIOR RESTRICTED FAIR COMPETITION

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania acknowledged that in 2004 and 2005 the Minister of the Interior adopted legal acts which granted exclusive rights to the state enterprise Infostruktūra and thus restricted the freedom of economic activity. According to the Court, such legal regulation infringed the constitutional principle of the rule of law.

Examining the civil case under Telia Lietuva claim to annul the data transmission network service agreement between the Directorate of Aukštadvaris Regional Park and the state enterprise Infostruktūra, the Supreme Court of Lithuania referred to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania.

The Supreme Court of Lithuania asked the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania to verify whether the orders adopted by the Minister of the Interior in 2004 and 2005 did not infringe the Law on Competition and the Law on Public Procurement. These orders exclusively enabled Infostruktūra to implement the functions of a safe state data transmission operator and provide the maintenance services of data encryption equipment to other state bodies. The Competition Council provided its assessment regarding the freedom of economic activity and freedom of fair competition.

The Supreme Administrative Court stated that the orders granted privileges to Infostruktūra and discriminated against other undertakings providing the aforementioned services.

The Supreme Administrative Court’s decision confirmed that legal regulation did not ensure the freedom of fair competition. Providing its assessment in the aforementioned cases, as well as examining the draft legal acts related to the regulation of safe state data transmission, the Competition Council repeatedly noted that authorising one undertaking, in this case Infostruktūra, to provide the services without a competitive procedure might unduly restrict the freedom of economic activity and fair competition.