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FINES TO KLAIPĖDA COMPANIES FOR PROHIBITED AGREEMENTS

15 03 2007

Referring to the findings of the investigation conducted thereby the Competition Council adopted the resolution concerning the actions of companies participating in public procurement tenders called by the Maintenance services of educational institutions of Klaipėda municipality. The actions concerned were assessed as constituting on infringement of Article 5 of the Law on Competition. The investigation allowed a conclusion that the competing UAB Lamberta, UAB Sobo sistemos and UAB Termofora participating in the public procurement tenders for renovation works in a number of general education schools and pre-school educational establishments were coordinating their tenders and assisting each other in price calculations. Such activities have to a large extent facilitated the companies to win the tenders. UAB Lamberta was a regular winner in tenders for renovation works in the school buildings and UAB Sobo sistemos – of pre-school educational institutions. While participating in tenders examined by the Competition Council UAB Termofora would submit tender forms and price calculations developed by UAB Sobo sistemosUAB Termofora would often offer higher prices thus creating an impression of competition thus allowing other bidders to win. Such actions of competitors, whereby prices of competing tenders are made known prior to their official announcement, as computed for itself and for competitors by an interested undertaking are to be treated as price coordination for public procurements contracts and the allocation of the procurement objects by the buyer activity type that is prohibited under Article 5 of the Law on Competition.

The companies determined to have participated in the cartel agreement were subjected to sanctions provided in the relevant legal acts: UAB Lamberta was fined at LTL 71,755, UAB Sobo sistemos – LTL 62,774, and UAB Termofora- LTL 7,252. When establishing the fines the Competition Council took into account the proceeds generated by the companies due to the former prohibited agreements as well as the alleviating circumstances – even prior to the completion of the investigation the companies concerned filed with the Competition Council the notifications whereby they admitted the established facts and undertook to refrain in the future from any actions possibly infringing the requirements of the Law on Competition.

The Competition Council had initiated the investigation in response to the letter from the Public Procurement Office under the Government of the RL. The investigation covered a period from March 2005 until February 2006. The Competition Council examined the fifteen public procurement tenders announced by the Maintenance services of educational institutions of Klaipėda and determined the presence of prohibited agreements between the companies participating in the tenders. The tenders concerned had been announced under the program for the renovation of educational establishments of the Klaipėda municipality until the year 2015. The implementation of the program was funded from the budget of the Klaipėda city municipality, the Privatisation fund, ES structural funds and other sources.

Competition Council Spokesperson