COMPETITION COUNCIL OF LITHUANIA FAVOURS PARLIAMENT’S DECISION TO REJECT THE AMENDMENTS TO THE LAW ON COMPETITION
On 18 September, the Parliament of Lithuania rejected the amendments to the Law on Competition providing to establish a fixed fine of 150 000 litas (43 378 euros) for non-notified mergers that do not significantly restrict competition within a relevant market. Most of the Parliament members noted that the existing regulations allowing to impose fines up to 10 per cent of companies’ annual turnover, depending on the gravity of infringement, is a significant preventive tool and Competition Council shall not be deprived of it.
Some background information:
On 15 July, the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania introduced amendments to the Law on Competition. According to the proposed amendments, the maximum fine for implementing a non-notified merger should account for no more than 150 000 litas, provided the merger did not significantly restrict competition within the relevant market.
On 29 July, the President of the Republic of Lithuania vetoed the amendments and returned the bill for reconsideration emphasizing that amendments would create possibilities for large cap companies to escape fines adequate to the committed infringements.
On 18 September, 79 out of 99 members of the Parliament supported the President’s veto and left the Law on Competition unamended.
Competition Council welcomes such decision since the implementation of a non-notified merger is not just a procedural infringement. “Failure to notify a merger is one of the most serious infringements of the competition law. Such infringement may have a strong negative effect on consumers as well as market participants. A merger has to be notified prior its implementation.” – reminds Šarūnas Keserauskas, the Chairman of the Competition Council.Competition Council Spokesperson