THE COMPETITION COUNCIL REASSERTED ITS RESOLUTION: THE LITHUANIAN POST OFFICE HAS INFRINGED THE LAW ON COMPETITION
The Competition Council, for the purpose of executing the court ruling and having supplemented the case material, repeatedly examined the case concerning the actions of the national mailing company AB Lietuvos paštas by setting different prices for the mail delivery services, and resolved that AB Lietuvos paštas had infringed Article 9 of the Law on Competition through abuse of its dominant position in the relevant market. For this infringement the Competition Council imposed upon AB Lietuvos paštas a fine in the amount of LTL 80,000.
To repeatedly consider the case and the findings of the investigation completed by passing the appropriate resolution on 5 January 2006, the Competition Council was obligated by the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania that has considered the appeal of the Lithuanian mailing company AB Lietuvos paštas. The court ruling obligated the Competition Council to supplement the investigation by the assessment of the substitutability of the mail delivery and courier services and reconsider the dispute.
Having supplemented the investigation, and analysed the information and explanations submitted by the Communications Regulatory Authority and UAB Vilniaus energija, and performed the analysis of the related legal acts the Competition Council reasserted its previous resolution. It has been concluded that AB Lietuvos paštas is holding a dominant position in the market for reserved mail services. In this position the company has been abusing its dominant position and was seeking to outmarket its competitors (UAB BMK and UAB NAC) from a closely related market – that of invoice printing, binding and enveloping. The investigation conducted in 2005 aimed to assess the results of the tender announced by UAB Vilniaus energija to procure the combined invoice printing and enveloping and delivering to addressees. The prices of all three competitors for the service of invoice printing, folding and enveloping were to a large extent comparable and the companies could compete price-wise. AB Lietuvos paštas, however, was in a more favourable position to offer more attractive mail delivery prices being aware in advance of the prices offered by competing companies. AB Lietuvos paštas has concluded, with its competitors, agreements on the provision of mail services and have offered the competitors to procure from it the service for a price considerably higher than it could offer itself.Competition Council Spokesperson