Rīga trash dispute settled; municipality to pay half a million in penalty

The Competition Council (KP) has signed a settlement with Riga City Municipality and the company “Getlini EKO” in the two-year-old waste management dispute regarding the distortion of competition, KP said July 16.

In September 2019, in Rīga, it was planned to change the waste manager – in place of four companies, the waste would be managed by Tīrīga, to which the Riga City Council had planned to entrust the work for 20 years. However, the Competition Council objected to such a monopoly and, less than a week before the change of waste manager, prohibited Tīrīga from starting work in Riga. At the same time, competition monitors ordered the continuation of the agreement with past four waste managers.

The Cabinet announced an emergency in waste management in Rīga, which allowed work to continue unchanged until the dispute would be settled.

The July 16 settlement provides that the parties concerned will not abuse their dominance in the future and the municipality will present the future waste management organization plans in Rīga to the KP, while Rīga municipality will pay a fine of EUR 500 000 in the state budget, while Getlini EKO – EUR 385 000 in the state budget. Currently, it is unclear how exactly the waste management will function in the future, as the plans are yet to be developed, reviewed by economy analysts and the competition council.

The settlement means that the party accepts responsibility for the infringement, undertaking the obligation to pay the penalty and the legal obligations imposed, and providing all the information necessary for the adoption of the KP decision. 

“The aim of the settlement is not only to prevent distortions of competition but mainly to reach a consensus with the parties involved that Riga and its residents deserve a more successful and efficient waste management system in the future,” said Juris Gaiķis, president of KP.

He also praised the positive attitude of the municipality, pointing out that the purpose of the sentence is to prevent a recurrence of similar offenses in the future.

 

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