EUR 2 million fine imposed on public transport cartel

The Competition Council (KP) has imposed a total fine of €1.975 million on three regional passenger carriers - JSC “Liepājas autobusu parks” (RAP), JSC “Nordeka” and “Latvijas sabiedriskais autobuss” Ltd – for an illegal agreement, KP said on January 18.

A fine of EUR 862,700 was imposed on the RAP, EUR 637,600 on“Nordeka” and EUR 474,600 on “Latvijas sabiedriskais autobuss”.

The fine has been applied to companies regarding an agreement in the procurement of public transport services with buses on regional routes for 10 years organized by the Road Transport Directorate (ATD).

KP has concluded that the three companies exchanged commercially sensitive information, not only on the distribution of the goods, but also on the conditions of participation in the procurement, on participation or non-participation in the procurement, in order to obtain the right to provide services on routes up to a maximum of 15 million kilometers per year, as well as in terms of the form of participation in procurement, either individually or by means of associations.

The turnover of the RAP in 2021 was EUR 15,406 million, which is 41% more than a year earlier, while the company's profit increased several times, reaching EUR 3.603 million.

Following KP's decision of March 29 2022 on identifying a violation of the Competition Law in the activities of the RAP, the minority shareholder of the company (34.85%) is the municipality of Liepāja, while 59.83% of the shares belong to the SIA “LAP1R”, which, according to “” data, is partly owned by the families of Andris Šķēle (67%) and Ainars Šlesers (33%).

At the same time, Nordeka's turnover was €9.9 million in 2021, 21.8% less than a year earlier, and it worked on a loss of €220,000 in contrast to profits a year earlier. Nordeka was registered in 1991 and has a fixed capital of EUR 2,669 million. The true beneficiary of the company is Juris Savickis.

Meanwhile, “Latvijas sabiedriskais autobuss” worked on a turnover of €8.474 million in 2021, nearly 4.4 times the year before, while the company's profit rose 2.7 times - to €49 767. The company was registered in 1996 and has a fixed capital of EUR 445 797. “Latvian public bus” is owned by B-Bus, which in turn belongs to PTC Consulting, a company registered in Ireland. The company's true beneficiary is Vitālijs Komars.

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