LITHUANIAN COMPETITION AUTHORITY WILL REVIEW TRANSACTION BETWEEN TICKET DISTRIBUTORS ON ITS OWN INITIATIVE
The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has decided to apply the merger control procedure on its own initiative and assess whether the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of the Lithuanian ticket distributor Tiketa by the Estonian company Piletilevi Group has created or strengthened a dominant position or significantly restricted competition in the ticket distribution market in Lithuania. The authority has imposed an obligation on Piletilevi Group to submit a merger notification by 10 December 2021.
The Law on Competition stipulates that the intended merger must be notified to Konkurencijos taryba and clearance must be obtained if the combined aggregate income of merging parties in the business year preceding the merger exceeds EUR 20 million and the aggregate income of each of at least two merging parties in the business year preceding the merger exceeds EUR 2 million.
Since the income of Tiketa in 2020 did not exceed EUR 2 million, there was no obligation for Piletilevi Group to notify the intended merger to Konkurencijos taryba and obtain its clearance.
However, the authority has decided to apply the merger control procedure on its own initiative and oblige Piletilevi Group to submit the merger notification after suspecting that the transaction might have created or strengthened a dominant position or significantly restricted competition in the market for the distribution of tickets to various events in Lithuania, where Piletilevi Group owns two of the largest ticket distributors, namely Tiketa and Nacionalinis bilietų platintojas (the latter owns the ticket distribution platform bilietai.lt).
Piletilevi Group has been obliged to submit the merger notification in relation to the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of Tiketa by 10 December. Having received the notification, the authority will collect information and data from companies which distribute tickets to events in Lithuania, as well as from event organisers and other undertakings related to ticket distribution activities, and will assess in detail whether the implemented transaction creates negative consequences for market participants and consumers.
This decision of Konkurencijos taryba is not subject to appeal.
Konkurencijos taryba may apply the merger control procedure on its own initiative and impose an obligation on undertakings to submit a merger notification where it is likely that the transaction will result in the creation or strengthening of a dominant position or a substantial restriction of competition in a relevant market, and where no more than twelve months have passed from the implementation of the merger in question.