On September 14, 2022, the Regional Administrative Court of the Republic of Latvia decided to suspend the ongoing proceedings since 2014 between KIA Auto AS, Tallinna Kaubamaja Grupp AS and the Latvian Competition Council regarding the alleged competition law conflict of warranty conditions of KIA Auto AS which were valid in the period 2004-2009 and the legality of the penalty in the amount of 135 thousand euros. The proceedings were suspended following the request of the Latvian Competition Council to further assess the factual circumstances of the case and to put questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The average time to obtain a preliminary ruling is around one and a half years. After receipt of the preliminary decision, the proceedings will resume before the Regional Court of Latvia.
On December 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia returned the case to the Regional Court, indicating that a full examination of the alleged anti-competitive behavior, including its impact on the market, should be carried out and that it must be checked whether the assessment conducted by the Latvian Competition Council was thorough and accurate and whether an appropriate market analysis was carried out. In turn, the Latvian Competition Council asked the regional court to refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union to rule for a preliminary ruling on the constituent elements of the re-examination aimed at finding a restriction of competition “by effect” under the warranty conditions of KIA Auto AS which were valid for the period 2004-2009, and the standard of proof required from the competition authority to prove the alleged violation.
Chairman of the Board
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