In its latest Annual Report, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) has compiled the most significant achievements of the authority and topicalities of application of the competition law in Latvia in 2020.
Chairman of the CC Juris Gaiķis: "The year 2020 has been a year of changes, which has challenged almost every person and authority in every corner of the world. Despite the challenges faced in 2020, it has been a successful year of work, and we have achieved significant results in every direction of operation.
The year 2020 was the first year of implementation of the 3-year (2020-2022) operational strategy of the Competition Council. Starting from this year, we have supplemented the previously defined three key values of the Competition Council – legality, professionalism, and independence – with development, which proves that we are ready to work on the growth of the Authority, modernization of supervision methods and focusing on achievement of results. The first cornerstones for the institution's development have been laid – at the end of the last year, the CC obtained support from the government in providing additional funding to the institution to strengthen IT investigation capacity and develop staff competencies."
The last year was the first year when the CC was able to use its newly obtained powers to address competition distortions caused by public administrative bodies. In the first year of supervision, we received approximately 200 different applications on the conduct of public administrative bodies, the majority of which were complaints on restrictive competition conditions set by public administrative bodies in procurements. Considering that the Competition Council obtained the powers to address competition distortions caused by public administrative bodies only on 1 January 2020, the first year was spent under the sign of “Consult at first” principle, educating and consulting the state, local governments, and their capital companies.
Last year, the CC detected three violations and applied 5.7 million euros in fines, but in addition to that, it also used the “Consult first” principle in its activities. In 2020, six warnings were issued to seven persons for possible coordination of actions in various procurements. In 2020, six companies were inspected to obtain evidence of possible cartels.