Dispute with the National Competition Authority

Motieka & Audzevičius has successfully represented a leading security service provider in a dispute with the National Competition Authority in Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.

Three major banks and a leading security services provider had previously been issued with the largest fine in the history of the Republic of Lithuania so far for alleged anticompetitive single service purchasing agreements. The agreements allegedly had a restrictive effect on the competitive environment in the market (market foreclosure). Our firm has defended the security service provider from these allegations.

In 2014, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania dismissed the appeal of the Competition Council and satisfied the appeal of our client. The Supreme Administrative Court ordered the Competition Council to assess the commitments proposed by the client and to consider closing the case without monetary fines. After the Competition Council’s ruling was annulled, the amount that had been paid for the imposed fine, amounting to several million euros, was returned to our client. The same year, the Competition Council repeatedly imposed the same amount of the fine, amounting to several million euros. The client appealed the Competition Council’s ruling.

Subsequently, in 2015, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court annulled the Competition Council’s ruling and returned the case to the Competition Council for an additional investigation in order to supplement the investigation with new evidence. This decision was appealed both by the Client and the Competition Council. In 2016, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania annulled Vilnius Regional Administrative Court’s 2015 decision and returned the case for a new hearing in the Court of first instance.

In 2016, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, after hearing the case for the third time, annulled the Competition Council’s ruling and returned the case to the Competition Council for an additional investigation with a strict obligation to accept commitments proposed by the Client. The Court was convinced that the Competition Council had failed to provide evidence on existence of “essential damage” to the interests protected by the Competition Law.

Experience