bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 17.07.2018 | Name days: Aleksejs, Aleksis
LatviaLatvia

Latvian government supports expanding Competition Council’s authority

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Tuesday, 26 June, Latvia’s government supported amendments to the Competition Law. Changes propose expanding the authority of the Competition Council when dealing with dishonest municipal businesses.

Previously, discussion of this matter had been postponed multiple times because Economy Ministry could not reach an agreement with Latvia’s Large Cities Association. Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens admitted seeing no options for reaching an agreement with LLCA about amendments to the law.

On Monday, 25 June, LLCA told the media after meeting with Ašeradens that municipalities have a duty to provide residents with services even in cases when private businessmen see no benefit from getting involved or their service quality is not on a sufficient level. «LLCA invited Competition Council to change its philosophy – increase their involvement in situations, not remain in a supervisory position in Riga alone. Situations differ from region to region – people living there have the right to receive quality services,» says LLCA CEO Viktors Valainis.

At the same time, the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia and Baltic Corporate Management Institute offered Economy Ministry to approve amendments to the law.

In a letter addressed to the government, FICIL head Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska mentioned that amendments to the law will help enhance two major principles – honest competition and good management. FICIL also mentioned that negative consequences from public persons’ actions for competition are already recognized and regulated in multiple EU member states, including Sweden, Italy, Finland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Baltic Corporate Management Institute told the government that Economy Ministry’s offered regulation is compliant with good practice of other countries. This allows for meeting OECD corporate management principles and competition neutrality principle without narrowing municipalities’ rights to become involved in business activities.

«OECD has provided recommendations to ensure introduction of the competition neutrality principle. With that, it is recommended to expand Competition Council’s authority to oppose specific actions of municipalities aimed against fair competition. This includes provision of unjustified advantages to some enterprises or pushing private companies from the market. Baltic Corporate Management Institute believes unjustified involvement of municipalities in business activities in situations when goods and services are already provided by the private sector is unjustified. It is also not allowed for municipalities’ goals to be undefined when becoming involved in business activities or when their presence on the market is not assessed. In multiple cases unsuccessful attempts to oppose the neutrality principle only helped underline the flaws in regulations. The proposed amendments help fix that,» said Grafs.

CC informs that amendments to the law are necessary because non-compliance with competition neutrality principle is one of the biggest problems of Latvia’s business environment. This particular problem often takes the form of unjustified advantages for public capital associations. This is also confirmed by CC’s survey results – 64% of respondents mentioned restrictions on competition imposed by public persons as a topical problem for the entire industry. OECD has also submitted recommendations intended to expand CC’s authority in combating such behaviour from public persons.

Information from CC shows that in five cases – in Aizkraukle, Olaine, Tukums, Dobele and Ventspils – there have been five cases since 2013 when the competition supervisor noticed unjustified and artificially created restrictions for private sector companies to provide water counter installation and replacement services. After lengthy talks, CC managed to ensure those restrictions were lifted.

«Situations when institutions unjustifiably establish restrictions, provide exclusive rights or reserve market space for public enterprises, discriminate against other market participants or create unfair competition conditions are unacceptable from the perspective of competition rights,» notes Economy Ministry.

Amendments to the Competition Law provide a procedure in accordance with which CC would be able to oppose institutions and actions aimed at limiting competition. The legislative draft states that in order to prevent competition restrictions, CC holds talks with each specific institution or commercial association. If it is not possible to lift restrictions through talks, CC becomes authorized to make a decision to order a commercial association to prevent measures that impede competition.

Amendments to the law will apply to public persons’ direct and indirect decisive influence over existing capital associations, including state and municipal ones.

«The aforementioned regulation would allow CC act in situations when municipal capital associations limit their competitors’ freedom to inform consumers about their services, discriminating them and providing their own suppliers with more advantageous conditions, or situations when public persons realize decisive influence in water counter installation market and create restrictions for other market participants or provide advantageous conditions for their own companies,» explains the ministry.


Leave a reply

airBaltic carried record large number of passengers in June

Latvia’s national airBaltic airline carried 1,876,839 passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS countries and the Middle East in the first six months of 2018. This is 20% more when compared to the same period of last year, as BNN was told by the company.

Police to investigate possible MPC fraud at Tukums DH CHP plant

One of the largest CHP plants in Kurzeme – SIA Tukums DH – may have been squandering produced heating energy for a long time, which is a serious breach of mandatory procurement component governing rules, TV3 news reports.

Estonian holidaymakers die in Ukraine, media report

Three Estonian holidaymakers in Ukraine, have been found dead in a hotel in the Black Sea resort town of Odessa last weekend, Estonian media report without identifying the three young men.

Languages «a must-have». An interview with ex-president about political market methods and communist approach

There are two ways a political market is realized during closed presidential elections: one involves approval of candidates in exchange for votes, and the other – for money. If it’s the latter, it is best for no one to know how elections are performed. Harmony, which now stays quiet about open elections, has always been against this proposal, because it does not allow for creating a political market – sale of votes in exchange for influence, which has been done before...

Migration from Baltics, Eastern Europe to UK lowest in years

Migration to the UK from the Baltics and other member states of the European Union has been the lowest it has been for nearly four years in 2017, Britain's official statistics show.

Putin in Helsinki denies U.S. election meddling, Trump doesn't object

At the Russia-U.S. summit Helsinki, a key development has been differences in the attitude by U.S. federal officials to Russian interference in the American election process. Days after Washington charged 12 Russians with hacking the computer systems of U.S. officials, U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted the denial of Russian responsibility expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stock exchange indexes showing varied trends; oil prices decline

Stock exchange indexes in USA and Europe showed varied trends on Monday, 16 July. Bank profit rise was reported for Q2.

Rezekne Council deputies will not be penalized for releasing newspaper in Russian language

The court has lifted fines previously applied by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau on nine deputies of Rezekne City Council for releasing a newspaper produced by the council in Russian language in addition to Latvian.

Volume of imported petrol in Latvia down 2% in five months

The volume of motor fuel imported to Latvia in the first five months has declined 2% in comparison with the same period of 2017. The volume of diesel fuel has declined 14.9%.

Corruption watchdog ends case about Bi-2 concert in Riga

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau ended in May the case regarding possible misuse of administrative resources on pre-election promotion by Riga City Council in the form of a free Bi-2 concert in Lucavsala.

Thailand's rescued boys honour casualty of 17-day rescue operation

In Thailand, a 12 boys trapped in a cave have been rescued in a rescue operation that lasted for 17 days and ended with one casualty, a rescue diver.

Latvian political party Progresīvie to nominate women as candidate list leaders

Latvia political party Progresīvie has revealed its list of candidates for 13th Saeima elections. Five women have been stated as leaders of candidate lists.

Estonia earns 150 000 euros from military evaders annually

Estonian compulsory military service is evaded by about 1 000 young men each year, who have to pay fines that annually exceed the combined total of 150 000 euros.

Chairman: FCMC’s competence should end with termination of licenses if banks are liquidated

In the event of liquidation or insolvency, Finance and Capital Market Commission’s competence should end with revoking affected banks’ license and without the need to appoint an administrator, says FCMC chairman Pēters Putniņš.

Minister: Latvia may terminate MPC system in the next three years

In the next three years or so Latvia could completely terminate the mandatory procurement component system, said Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

In pictures: French victory in World Cup celebrated by tens of thousands in Paris

After the football World Cup was won by the French national team on Sunday, an enormous crowd of people gathered in central Paris to celebrate.

Another case of African swine fever infection recorded for domestic pigs in Latvia

African swine fever infection was recorded for domestic pigs in Tērvete on Monday, 16 July. 16 pigs were liquidated because of the infection, as reported by Food and Veterinary Service.

MEP Artis Pabriks becomes political party «Attīstībai/Par!» prime minister candidate

Latvian political party «Attīstībai/Par!» has picked Daniels Pavļuts, Juris Pūce, Ilze Viņķele, Artis Pabriks and Mārtiņš Bondars as its regional candidate list leaders. Artis Pabriks will also be the party’s prime minister candidate.

Russian-U.S. presidents meet in Helsinki

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting on Monday in Helsinki.

Heat of up to +30° C expected in Latvia this week

Weather in Latvia will be warm and even hot at times this week, as air temperature reaches up to +30° C. At night, air temperature is not expected to go below +20° C. Many regions will likely experience thunderstorms closer to the middle of the week, Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre reports.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania's Tripartite Council fails to reach agreement

Lithuania's Tripartite Council on Tuesday, July 10, failed to reach agreement on raising the minimum wage. Employers are inclined to back the government's proposal to raise the minimum pay to 420 euros. Meanwhile, trade unions want it increased to 450 euros.

BNN summary of the week: NATO to increase and ABLV Bank loses its license

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Future; Deal; Fight; Decline; Decision; Opinion.

SEB Bank to unite life insurance companies working in Baltic States

SEB Bank will unite life insurance companies working in Baltic States, BNN was told by SEB Bank’s representative Agnese Strazda.

Saeima deputy Askolds Kļaviņš becomes suspect in criminal case

Saeima deputy from the Union of Greens and Farmers Askolds Kļaviņš has been made a suspect in the criminal case regarding abuse of official power.

Minister: E-health system has stabilized, but improvements are still needed

Functionality of the E-health portal has stabilized. Disconnection errors have ceased. Nevertheless, we have to continue improving the system further, said Latvian Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša said in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.