DRIVIGN SCHOOLS FINED FOR PROHIBITED AGREEMENTS
The sitting of the Competition Council examined the issue concerning the compliance of undertakings providing driver training services and the actions of the association of the qualification improvement schools with the requirements of Article 5 of the Law on Competition. The investigation was initiated by the Competition Council in February 2004, prompted by the finding of almost simultaneously increased fees for training of B category road vehicle drivers.
Having examined the data and the findings of the performed investigation and having heard the explanations of the interested parties the Competition Council acknowledged that some driving schools operating in the relevant market of Klaipeda and providing the driver training lessons committed actions contradicting the provisions of the Law on Competition on prohibited agreements. It has been established that some entities operating in the market have concluded agreements in contradiction with the Law on Competition in the form of concerted actions (coordinated prices for provided services). Because of such coordinated actions in early 2004 some of driving schools operating in Klaipeda raised the prices for their services from LTL 500 to LTL 860-900.
Having concluded that the prohibited agreements constituted the infringement of Article 5 of the Law on Competition the Competition Council decided to impose sanctions upon the infringing undertakings operating in Klaipeda market in the form of pecuniary fines in the following amounts: UAB “Particula” -LTL 5.000, UAB “Alvridika” - LTL 1.000, UAB “Klaipedos darbo rinkos mokymo centras” - LTL 1.000, UAB “Kalbu gama”, - LTL 1.000, E. Matuzeviciaus II - LTL 1.000, A. Andrijausko II -LTL 1.000, UAB “Kerulis ir partneriai” - LTL 1.000, J. Gelumbausko II-LTL 1.000, V. Voliko II -LTL 1.000, A. Strizak II- LTL 500.
For the purpose of imposing of the fines for the concluded prohibited agreements and establishing the amounts of the fines the Competition Council had considered several circumstances. First, the market examined in respect of the prohibited agreement and the services concerned are specific. The characteristic feature of the market is a significant number of entities operating therein and coming into severe competition. Besides, the market shares that the undertakings in question account for are insignificant and they all represent small business, revenues of some of them are quite insignificant, and some experience serious difficulties. Upon the accession of Lithuania into the European Union these undertakings are to effect considerable investment and improve the quality of training. Besides, after the Competition Council started the investigation the prohibited operations in the market were terminated, and some undertakings were of their own free will cooperating with the officials of the Competition Council.Competition Council Spokesperson