On 25 May, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia imposed a fine in the amount of 4026.53 EUR and legal obligation on SIA Rēzeknes autoosta, which is an operator of a regional bus terminal in Rēzekne. The CC found that the infringer has abused its dominant position and has charged excessive fees from bus carriers for the entrance of the terminal.
The CC initiated an investigation against SIA Rēzeknes autoosta after receiving a submission from a bus carrier SIA Norma-A. The carrier claimed that an entrance fee for Rēzekne regional bus station determined by SIA Rēzeknes autoosta is higher than fees of other bus terminals in the regions nearby, thus indicating to a possible abuse of dominance.
The CC during investigation found that SIA Rēzeknes autoosta, after becoming an operator of the Rēzekne regional bus terminal in 2013, in entrance fee calculations included costs that increased entrance fees without objective justification in years 2014 and 2015.
I.e. SIA Rēzeknes autoosta included in the entrance fee calculations unreasonably high lease payment determined by the owner of the bus terminal (undertaking linked to SIA Rēzeknes autoosta), knowing that it will be compensated by bus carriers financial resources. Furthermore, the infringer in calculations also included other unjustified costs, such as, expenses for the reconstruction of the bus terminal building even before commencing repairs, attributing these expenses in full to one following year not to a longer period of time that would be considered a reasonable business practice.
The CC established that SIA Rēzeknes autoosta fully relied on the fact that all expenses, including unreasonable ones, would be covered by bus carriers, while further their losses would be compensated by the State budget funds. Thus, it is reasonable to assert that due to the abuse of its market power, SIA Rēzeknes autoosta has promoted inefficient use of public resources.
SIA Rēzeknes autoosta is the only operator of the Rēzekne regional bus terminal and therefore is an inevitable partner for bus carries which provide public transport services within routes concerning this terminal. Thus, the CC concluded that the undertaking has abused its dominant position by demanding unreasonably high fees for the entrance to the bus terminal.
The CC imposed a fine on SIA Rēzeknes autoosta in the amount of 4026.53 EUR which is 1.9% of the net turnover of its previous financial year.
Furthermore, the CC imposed legal obligation on SIA Rēzeknes autoosta to assess justification of costs included in the calculation and to refrain from inclusion of unjustified and excessive costs while calculating entrance fees for bus carriers for the entrance of the Rēzekne regional bus terminal in future.
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Competition Council of Latvia
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