Our team has represented OAO Gazprom before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court. In this case the client has contested an infringement decision adopted by the National Competition Authority. A record-braking €35,7 million fine has been imposed on the client, the largest ever fine imposed in one case by the Lithuanian competition regulator.
According to the National Competition Authority, the client had allegedly breached a merger clearance condition that demanded the client not to obstruct alternative gas supply to Lithuania by allegedly refusing to negotiate a “gas swap agreement” with AB Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba, the national electricity producer, and an “alternative gas supplier” allegedly found by the AB Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba.
This case is precedential due to the Court’s interpretation of concentration clearance conditions and rights of defense of a foreign company. Also, the case raises fundamental questions related to extraterritorial application of the competition law.
The case is highly related to the much highlighted Lithuanian political controversy on “energy supply independence” and investigation led by the Directorate-General for Competition of European Commission.