FINES IMPOSED UPON VILNIUS TAXI COMPANIES FOR THE PROHIBITED AGREEMENT
Having assessed the results of the conducted investigation and having, at the open sitting, listened to the explanations presented by interested parties the Competition Council passed the decision establishing that the Association of taxi services providers and some of the Vilnius taxi companies committed actions infringing the requirements of Article 5 of the Law on Competition.
On the basis of the findings of the investigation initiated in early October 2004 by the Competition Council it has been acknowledged that members of the Association, some companies providing taxi services in Vilnius, namely „Argilta“, „Artaksa“, „Autovisatos taksi“, „Fiakras ir Ko“, „Greitvila“, „Kablasta“, „Kobla“, „Martono taksi“, „Merseros autotransportas“, „Romerta“, „Taksvija“, „Tanagros taksi“ and „Transmoderna“, have coordinated their actions to raise the passenger carriage rates. Such practice where, having agreed among themselves the undertakings concerned fixed the taxi rates and/or the boarding fee contradicts the requirements of Article 5 of the Law on Competition. Further, it was concluded that the requirements of Article 5 of the Law on Competition were also infringed by the Association of the taxi services.
Appropriate sanctions were imposed upon the companies for the committed actions prohibited by Article 5 of the Law on Competition, namely agreements which have as their object the restriction of competition or which may restrict competition including agreements to directly or indirectly fix prices of certain goods or other conditions of sale or purchase. UAB „Martono taksi“ was sanctioned by a fine of LTL 50,000. Other taxi companies „Autovisatos taksi“, „Fiakras ir Ko“, „Greitvila“, „Kablasta“, „Kobla“, „Merseros autotransportas“, „Romerta“, „Taksvija“, „Tanagros taksi“ ir „Transmoderna“ were each subject to fines of LTL 5,000. The total of the fines imposed upon the companies providing taxi services in Vilnius for the committed infringement of the Law on Competition is LTL 100,000.
The Competition Council notes that the market under investigation is very dynamic and rapidly developing in view of the internal qualitative and quantitative changes, therefore the companies are entitled at certain times to revise the carriage rates. Competing on fair terms means seeking to provide higher quality services while competing in prices and raising the servicing culture. However, the Law on Competition prohibits agreements with a view to fixing the prices of goods and services.Competition Council Spokesperson