MERGER OF TICKET DISTRIBUTORS DID NOT RESTRICT COMPETITION
The Lithuanian competition authority Konkurencijos taryba has cleared the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of UAB Nacionalinis bilietų platintojas by the Estonian company Baltic Ticket Holdings.
Following the merger of two ticket distributors, Konkurencijos taryba applied the merger control procedure on its own initiative 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 in Lithuania.
On 18 January 2018 Konkurencijos taryba received merger notification. Having evaluated the circumstances related to the transaction, the authority acknowledged that the intended merger would not create or strengthen the dominant position, or significantly restrict competition in the relevant markets.
The companies managed by Baltic Ticket Holdings provide ticket distribution services in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Belarus. Prior to the implementation of the merger, the Estonian company carried out its activities in Lithuania through the company Bilietų pasaulis, which currently is not engaged in any business activities.
As prior to the implementation of the merger, Nacionalinis bilietų platintojas provides ticket distribution services in Lithuania.
After the amendments to the Law on Competition entered into force on 1 January 2018, 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.
Konkurencijos taryba may apply the merger control procedure on its own initiative and impose an obligation on undertakings to submit a merger notification although the merger notification thresholds are not exceeded 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.