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Latvian competition authority fines Lithuanian company UAB Vaizga for unnotified merger



On April, 2018, the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) cleared the proposed acquisition of Latvian company SIA Petrol Property by UAB Vaizga. As the Lithuanian UAB Vaizga failed to submit merger notification before closing the transaction, the CC initiated a formal case investigation. The competition authority fined the Lithuanian company 57 419 EUR for unnotified merger.

UAB Vaizga exercises an indirect decisive influence over AS VIADA Baltija, which is a fuel retailer in Latvia. Both AS VIADA Baltija and newly acquired SIA Petrol Property operates in vertically related markets that are gasoline and diesel (fuel) retail and real estate rental.

Considering the fact, that UAB Vaizga submitted notification ten months after implementing the merger transaction, the CC additionally to the decision of merger clearance initiated a case investigation for unnotified merger.

According to the Latvian Competition Law, the CC is entitled to impose fine of up to 3% of the net turnover for failure to submit merger notification timely. UAB Vaizga pleaded guilty and prompted to conclude an administrative agreement. The Lithuanian undertaking has paid fine 57 419 EUR into the Latvian state budget.

In Latvia, a merger notification prior its implementation is required if a) the total turnover of merger participants in the previous financial year in Latvia has constituted at least 30 million euros and b) turnover of at least two merger participants in the previous financial year in Latvia has constituted at least 1.5 million euros each.