COURT UPHOLDS KT‘S DECISION TO REFUSE TO LAUNCH AN INVESTIGATION ON ARTICLE 4 OF THE LAW ON COMPETITION AS REQUESTED BY LITHUANIAN BUSINESS EMPLOYER‘S CONFEDERATION
On 27 May 2013, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (VRAC) rejected the complaint by the Lithuanian Business Employer‘s Confederation (LBEC) concerned with the Competition Council‘s (Konkurencijos taryba, KT) resolution of 25 September 2013, whereby the KT refused to launch an investigation on the actions of public administration entities when implementing the Custom Convention on the international transport of goods under cover of TIR carnets (TIR Convention) compliance with requirements of Article 4 of the Law on Competition. The Court judgement was not appealed, therefore, came into force and is final.
The LBEC addressed the KT with a complaint, according to which, the Customs Department and other state institutions had allegedly infringed the requirements of Article 4 of the Law on Competition by granting the Lithuanian National Road Carrier’s Association LINAVA with the right to distribute TIR carnets, without determining the prices of TIR carnets’ distribution as well as legal basis and order for the control and supervision of financial and other activities undertaken by the association concerned. According to the allegedly infringed requirements of Article 4 of the Law on Competition, public administration entities are obligated to ensure the freedom of fair competition.
The VRAC confirmed the KT’s evaluation whereby the authority acknowledged that, on the grounds of a sole circumstance, i.e. no other association that meets the requirements of the TIR Convention exists in Lithuania, there are no evidence to suspect that state institutions by the means of their decisions granted the association LINAVA with an exclusive position to distribute TIR carnets. The VRAC upheld the KT’s conclusion, according to which, the circumstance, wherein the association LINAVA was granted with the right to distribute TIR carnets, had been determined not by the decisions of public administration entities but by the will of the undertakings which had failed to establish an alternative association that would meet the requirements of the TIR Convention.
The Court also acknowledged that when examining the LBEC’s statement the KT operated actively and carried out a thorough investigation. Moreover, in this case the KT determined that there were no decisions, adopted by the public administration entities, allowing to suspect that separate undertakings or their groups are granted with privileges or discriminated or that the difference in conditions of competition arise.
It is important to note, that the KT is currently engaged in the investigation on the alleged abuse of dominance by association LINAVA when determining the prices of TIR carnets.
Entities of public administration are prohibited from adopting legal acts or other decisions which grant privileges to or discriminate against any individual undertakings or their groups and which give rise to or may give rise to differences in the conditions of competition for undertakings competing in the relevant market (Law on Competition, Article 4).
Communication DivisionCompetition Council Spokesperson