Our team has represented an infrastructure company in a dispute with an international bank regarding a long-term credit agreement. According to the provisions of a credit agreement the credit had to be repaid by 2017. The debtor has appealed to Vilnius District Court and asked the Court of First Instance to declare the credit agreement and other related agreements (contracts) void and apply restitution. According to the position of the debtor, the signing of the credit agreement has created a concentration as defined in the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania.
According to the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania, the parties participating in a concentration should obtain authorization from the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania. Since the Lithuanian Competition authority had not given such authorization, the credit agreement should be considered void. The case reached the highest court instances. In the cassation appeal, the infrastructure company requested that the Supreme Court of Lithuania apply to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling regarding the interpretation of certain norms. Despite this request, the Court refused to apply for a preliminary ruling without providing any detail arguments in order to justify such decision.
Accordingly, the infrastructure company has filed a complaint to the European Commission that such unmotivated refusal to apply to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling may also be regarded as a flagrant violation of EU law. The complaint of is currently being analysed at the European Commission.