JSC LNK Industries files appeal against the Competition Council's decision

Having evaluated all the information acquired and having analysed its work over the last years, JSC LNK Industries appeals against the Competition Council's decision in the so-called “construction cartel" case. JSC LNK Industries considers the decision baseless and unlawful as the company has not committed any of the offences listed in the Competition Council's decision or participated in any other illegal activities during its operation.

The analysis of the escalating situation before and after the presentation of the Competition Council’s decision leads to a single conclusion: the large-scale public relations campaign around this case is a deliberate attempt to influence the court that will evaluate whether the Competition Council's decision meets legal requirements for imposing a fine. The public rhetoric of officials and contracting authorities about the decision gives the society an impression that the court's opinion has no value and that the decision will inevitably remain in force, which consequently undermines the role of judiciary in a democratic society.

We ask you to assess critically any news about the possible recovery of losses from the companies listed in the Competition Council's decision. We would like to remind you that any decision or actions in relation to an alleged recovery of losses become legal only after the court has made a resolution regarding the Competition Council's decision. This means that if the court dismisses the Competition Council's decision, any discussions about the cartel or losses it has created have no grounds. Thus, any speculations made before the court's ruling regarding this case are considered a deliberate populism that has already caused damage to our country and its business environment.

The events experienced in the past years in the Latvian construction industry demonstrate that the biggest threat to competition inside the construction market is not the appearance of some mystical construction cartels but the inability or deliberate reluctance of public contracting authorities to organize procurements based on principles of transparency and free competition. Therefore, we ask customers not to count the alleged losses before the court's ruling; instead, we encourage contracting authorities to focus on the performance of direct duties and to create procurement conditions that do not narrow down the list of potential applicants. The first step would be saying no to any discriminating and anti-competitive requirements in public procurement regulations thus avoiding the absurd situation when companies have to fight in the Procurement Monitoring Bureau for the right to participate in tenders.