On 1 October, the Administrative Regional Court adopted a decision in favour of the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) and left effective the interim measures adopted by the authority. Interim measures are directed to preservation of competition structure on the household waste management market in Riga.
Skaidrīte Ābrama, the Chairwoman of the CC: “This decision of the Administrative Regional Court serves as another serious signal, that the monopolization of waste management market for 20 years, planned by Riga Municipality, is dangerous. It can not only change the competition fundamentally, but also cause uncontrollable consequences for residents. This is the right moment for the municipality to answer the question – is a 20-year waste management monopoly in Riga indeed the best and the most friendly solution for both residents and competition?”
According to the interim measures, an obligation is imposed on Riga Municipality and its company SIA Getliņi EKO to submit to the CC until 12 November a plan on ensuring compliance with competition rules on the market of collection and transportation of unsorted and separately collected household waste in the capital city.
The interim measures serve as a mechanism, which allows suspending implementation of planned transactions and, respectively, their negative impact on the competition until adoption of the final decision. The CC has to adopt a decision on alleged infringement of the prohibition of abuse of dominant position, which is stated in section 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in activities of Riga Municipality and SIA Getliņi EKO within two years from the date of initiation of the case. The CC initiated the case of alleged infringement on 18 July of this year.
The court decision is not subject to appeal.
On June 14th, 2019, Riga Municipality, SIA Getliņi EKO, and AS Tīrīga entered into a concession agreement regarding the implementation of a waste management system in Riga. By establishing the public-private partnership Riga Municipality aims to entrust waste management services in Riga for a 20 year-period to one market participant – AS Tīrīga. Prior entering into a concession agreement, such services provided four undertakings. Riga is considered as a significant part of the waste management market in Latvia. On July 18th the CC initiated the infringement proceedings against Riga Municipality and SIA Getliņi EKO regarding the possible abuse of a dominant position set forth in Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.