The cooperation between the Competition Council and the non-governmental sector has an essential role in the development of the competition policy and culture. Public involvement is a two-way process – by retaining an active dialogue with Latvian entrepreneurs and their professional associations, the Competition Council not only ensures understanding of the effective laws and promote observing of these laws, but also obtains comprehensive information on the market situation, which, in its turn, allows creating of qualitative competition policy that corresponds to public interests.
- Draft regulatory enactments. Draft regulatory enactments in the area of the competition law, as well as information on involvement possibilities is published on the website of the leading authority in the sector – the Ministry of Economics.
- Social partners. Cooperation with the non-governmental sector enables effective identification of problem issues and looking for their solutions; therefore, the Competition Council itself addresses non-governmental organizations and also willingly responds to cooperation proposals, meeting the potential cooperation partners and discussing topical issues, participating in conferences and seminars, and helping with development of various guidelines and draft regulatory enactments.
- Applications on alleged infringements of the Competition Law
Applications filed by companies, alongside the sector inquiry carried out by the authority, serve as one of the key sources of information on alleged infringements of the Competition Law.
Reports within the framework of the Leniency Programme. This programme allows the companies that are involved in prohibited agreements with competitors to become the first to file evidence to the Competition Council and be fully released from the considerable fine. The release from a fine is granted only to the first provider of information.
- Opinion on mergers or agreements of companies
To give market participants a chance to express a substantiated opinion on merger transactions or agreements of companies, which is assessed by the Competition Council, information on the received merger notifications and received reports on agreements of companies is published on the website of the authority. The information provided by market participants on the impact of the assessed transaction on the competition allows the Competition Council to adopt a substantiated decision.
To strengthen awareness of the competition law, regulatory enactments and their application, and be able to participate in the policy planning and implementation process efficiently, the Competition Council calls to visit seminars on issues of the competition law.
Although a decision adopted by the Competition Council forces to cease an infringement and imposes a fine, it cannot restore the same situation on the market as it was before the infringement. Most frequently, the imposed fines cover only a portion of the profit gained illegally by the infringer, and, if the injured parties do not request compensation of the incurred loss, the infringer is able to keep the profit and continue using it, thus ensuring groundless advantages and better market conditions for itself.
Therefore, it is significant that any person – consumers or market participants –, which have incurred any loss as a result of infringement of the competition law, according to the Competition Law are entitled to claim compensation of such loss from the infringers.
Contact person of the Competition Council in case of suggestions and unclear issuesZane Gorškova
Head of the Communication Division