SUPREME COURT UPHELD COMPETITION COUNCIL‘S DECISION TO SANCTION LUKOIL BALTIJA FOR NON-NOTIFIED MERGERS
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (the Court) upheld the Competition Council‘s (KT) decision as of April 18, 2013 to impose a fine of 341 057 EUR on JSC Lukoil Baltija for implementing non-notified mergers.
The Court ruled that a merger must be notified to and cleared by the KT prior to its implementation. The Court considered groundless JSC Lukoil Baltija arguments that the control was gained over a single real estate entity rather than a business within a market. According to the Court, KT rightly concluded that JSC Lukoil Baltija having acquired the right to exploit petrol stations could in no time start using them to sell petrol. All the facts proved that JSC Lukoil Baltija had implemented non-notified mergers.
The Court also stated that all the above mentioned shall be treated as serious infringements of the Law on Competition. Having received no merger notification, the KT was deprived of an opportunity to establish whether or not the merger would restrict competition.
The ruling of Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania is final and not subject to appeal.