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Ellex Klavins Successful for JCDecaux Latvia on Placement of Advertising on Public Transportation Stops

Ellex Klavins Successful for JCDecaux Latvia on Placement of Advertising on Public Transportation Stops

Latvia
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Ellex Klavins has successfully represented JCDecaux Latvia before the Latvian Competition Council in a matter regarding the placement of outdoor advertising on public transportation stops.

According to Ellex, "during the course of proceedings, the Competition Council (CC) concluded that Rigas Satiksme (the main provider of public transport services in Riga) had leased public transport stops to the company Pilsetas Linijas, on the condition that a number of them would be rebuilt. PL transferred this right further to our client JCDecaux, which, after the reconstruction of the transportation stops, was going to return them to RS at no additional charge. After assessing the terms of the contract, the CC identified certain points that they considered to potentially limit competition over a longer period of time: the long term of the contract; the 'reservation' of advertising rights for all future and potential RS transportation stops; [and the] automatic renewal of the contract. After evaluating JCD's investment in the construction of the public transport stops, the CC concluded that they were objectively justified in relation to the specific contract. All three companies involved in the case submitted a written commitment to change certain clauses of the agreement, thereby eliminating the potential negative effects on the market. Consequently, the case has been successfully terminated without the imposition of any fines, and the change in the specific clauses has removed the CC's concerns about a breach of the Competition Law."

JCDecaux Latvia was represented in the matter by Ellex Klavins Partner Liga Merwin and Senior Associates Maris Brizgo and Martins Gailis.

Editor's Note: After this article was published TGS Baltic informed CEE Legal Matters that it had represented Clear Channel Latvia in its application to the Latvian Competition Council "that led to Council’s infringement decision establishing that SIA Rigas Satiksme, SIA Pilsetas linijas, and SIA JCDecaux had committed competition law violation in relation to contracts on rights to place outdoor advertisements."

According to TGS Baltic, "the Council identified several anti-competitive issues limiting competition in the relevant market over a longer period of time, such as: the long term of the contract, the reservation of advertising rights for all future and potential Rigas Satiksme transportation stops, and the automatic renewal of the contract."

Clear Channel was represented by TGS Baltic Partner Agnese Hartpenga and Associate Mara Stabulniece."

Subsequently, BDO Law announced that it had "prepared a written undertaking in which SIA Rigas Satiksme and other companies involved in the case expressed their readiness to change certain clauses of the agreement and to further adhere to other conditions, thus preventing a possible violation. The Competition Council accepted the commitment given by BDO Law as it eliminates the competition restrictions identified by the authority. It is important to point out that the commitment addresses the competition concerns related to the prevention of the risks of cartels."