Why do we need competition
Lower prices, more choice, better solutions.
If there is a competition, companies constantly have to think about how to attract buyers. Therefore, entrepreneurs search for ways to work more efficiently or resourcefully to offer lower prices, to ensure better quality than a competitor, to introduce new products or services to overtake rivals.
An increasingly powerful economy, an increasingly wealthy country.
Competition is the driving force of development for each individual company and also for the economy as a whole. By competing fiercely in the Latvian market, companies learn and grow, thus rising each own and Latvia's total export capacity.
What damage is caused by infringements of competition law
Infringements of competition law each in its own way aim at eliminating fair competition and thus deprive consumers of the opportunity to benefit from competition.
Prohibited agreements may be various, but they aim to eliminate or reduce competition so that higher prices can be set without hindrance, or at least price reductions or the need to think about improving the offer can be avoided. This can be done both by directly agreeing on the price, by “allocating the market”, and by agreeing on certain specific actions (for example, participation or non-participation in a procurement). Thus, a prohibited agreement is, in essence, comparable to theft from the public.
The abuse of a dominant position, similar to a prohibited agreement, is aimed at benefiting from the absence of competition: the dominant company, by abusing its market power and realizing that its customers and partners do not have full or sufficient opportunities to turn elsewhere, may impose prices that are inappropriate for the market, may impose purchasing its goods or services “in sets” (in order to obtain what it needs, the customer must purchase something in addition), and may, without objective justification, demand a different payment for an equivalent product or service to different buyers. Similarly, market power can be abused in order not to let new competitors into the market or to displace existing ones from it, thereby constantly reducing consumers' choices.
However, it is important to remember that dominant position itself is not a violation – an abuse of this state is a violation.
The harmed parties may require the violator to compensate for the damage caused
In accordance with the Competition Law, both consumers and companies that have suffered losses as a result of a violation of competition law are entitled to demand compensation from the violators.
Should you report violations? How to report?
Although, on a daily basis, the Competition Council reviews the submissions of companies drawn up in accordance with the requirements of the Competition Law, consumers can also provide information if there is a suspicion of a possible violation of competition law – reasonable and well-considered reports will be taken into account and examined.
Indicate information that complies as far as possible with the requirements laid down in the Competition Law and report violations of competition law electronically to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the address Brīvības iela 55, Rīga, LV-1010.
Before referring to the Competition Council, please, assess whether you have information that indicates a prohibited agreement or abuse of a dominant position.
In most cases, when entrepreneurs act contrary to the interests of consumers, the rights of consumers rather than competition rights are violated. In such cases, consumers should turn to the Consumer Rights Protection Centre. Its competence includes assisting consumers in resolving conflicts with manufacturers, sellers or service providers; requesting the fulfilment of consumer's legitimate requirements; monitoring compliance with the procedures for applying for a consumer claim for a product or service that is not in conformity with the terms of the contract and organising the expertise of the product or service, and deciding on the fulfilment of consumers' legitimate requirements; establishing, maintaining and updating a database of experts; and, providing legal assistance to consumers in matters of their rights.
Often consumers are not satisfied with the price of goods or services. In such cases it is important to remember that prices are not regulated by the state.