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CARTELISTS HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED INDIVIDUAL SANCTIONS  

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The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba assigned individual sanctions to the companies Būsto aplinka and City Service Engineering which concluded a bid-rigging cartel.

Following the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (Court), Konkurencijos taryba reopened the investigation into the actions of the companies relating to the public procurement for cemetery maintenance services organised by Vilnius City Municipality. The Court upheld the authority’s decision whereby it was found that in 2018 the competitors Būsto aplinka and Naujininkų ūkis, assisted by City Service Engineering, concluded a cartel, i.e. agreed to rig their bids, including the price, and only imitated competition.

The Court acknowledged that Konkurencijos taryba had rightly imposed EUR 31,000 fine on Naujininkų ūkis, however, it partially upheld the appeals of Būsto aplinka and City Service Engineering, which were jointly fined EUR 381,100, and obliged the competition authority to review the decision and assign individual fines since the Law on Competition did not foresee joint and several liability at the time.

During the renewed investigation, the companies submitted written explanations regarding the calculation of individual fines and agreed to pay them in the following proportions: Būsto aplinka – 70% of the joint applicable fine, while City Service Engineering – 30% of the joint applicable fine. Konkurencijos taryba assessed such consent to pay sanctions, which prevents further disputes, as a mitigating circumstance and thus reduced the final fines by 5% imposing EUR 253,430 fine on Būsto aplinka and EUR 108,610 fine on City Service Engineering.

The decision of Konkurencijos taryba may be appealed to Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.