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THE COMPETITION COUNCIL INITIATED AN INVESTIGATION CONCERNING ACTIONS OF THE LITHUANIAN POST OFFICE AB LIETUVOS PAŠTAS

09 02 2006

The meeting of the Competition Council passed a decision to initiate an investigation with a view to establishing the compliance of actions of AB Lietuvos paštas with the requirements of Art. 9 of the Law on Competition prohibiting the abuse of a dominant position. The investigation was initiated in view of suspicions of a possible infringement of the Law on Competition through the refusal by AB Lietuvos paštas to conclude agreements with the utility services providers in individual offices of country post following the increase by AB Lietuvos paštas of rates of fees for collecting payments of residents for utility services.

The investigation was initiated on the basis of requests received from utility companies UAB Vilniaus vandenys, AB Rytų skirstomieji tinklai, AB Lietuvos dujos and UAB Auštaitijos vandenys. The applicants claimed that following the establishment of a fixed commission fee for each payment collected from residents as of 1 January 2006, AB Lietuvos paštas was offering to conclude new contracts and refusing to conclude such contracts in individual country post offices where such contracts are not concluded in major cities, therefore it was allegedly abusing its dominant position. According to the claimants, given that in minor towns and rural settlements residents have no other possibility to make payments for the utility services than in post offices, the terms imposed upon the utility services providers by AB Lietuvos paštas, namely, its refusal to conclude contracts in individual country post offices where such contracts are not concluded in major cities, is likely to infringe the interests of both other undertakings, and the consumers.

The investigation may last up to 5 months.

This January the Competition Council acknowledged the infringements of the Law on Competition by AB Lietuvos paštas through the abuse of the dominant position in the market for reserved post services, and imposed upon the violator a fine in the amount of LTL 80 000.

Competition Council Spokesperson