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LITHUANIA: THE COMPETITION COUNCIL ADOPTS ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES NOTICE

03 07 2012

On 2 July, 2012, the Lithuanian Competition authority (Competition Council) adopted a Notice on Agency’s Enforcement Priorities (Enforcement Priorities Notice). The adoption of the Notice, that was made possible after the adoption of a new version of the Law on Competition in March 2012, marks a significant development in competition law and policy in Lithuania.

The Notice outlines a single priority of the Competition Council, which is to ensure highest consumer benefit. The priority allows rationally allocating the Council’s resources, and makes it possible to prioritize between investigations more efficiently.

In order to decide whether a matter falls within the enforcement priority, the Competition Council will assess the following principles:

1) the potential impact of an investigation on effective competition and consumer welfare;

2) the strategic importance of such an investigation; and

3) the rational use of resources.

Under the first principle, the Council would assess such factors as the nature and extent of a possible infringement. The Notice further elaborates that the harm to consumers is more likely when the conduct in question directly affects prices, quality or availability of the products. Under the second principle, the strategic importance could depend on the preventive effect of the investigation or the possibilities of other state institutions to effectively address the issue. The third principle allows the Council to evaluate whether conducting the investigation would amount to a rational use of its limited resources.

Competition Council Spokesperson