EU & Competition

Ellex Klavins has longstanding experience in handling competition issues at both the EU and national levels. Our firm operates in many industries that are regulated or have been deregulated in recent decades. We regularly advise clients on antitrust issues, help companies manage the competition risks associated with doing business in the EU and provide representation across the main regulatory fields governed by EU law as well as in a number of regulatory areas.
Key projects in the field

Key contacts

Liga Merwin

Managing Partner

Head of EU & Competition Practice
+371 6781 4848
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Mārtiņš Gailis

Associate Partner

IP and Competition
Head of Intellectual Property Practice
+371 67814848
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Liga Merwin among 100 of the most remarkable female competition experts in the world according to GCR
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Key projects in the field

We successfully represented JCDecaux Latvia about placement of outdoor advertising on public transportation stops of Rīgas Satiksme
During the course of proceedings, the Competition Council concluded that Rīgas Satiksme (the main provider of public transport services in Riga) had leased public transport stops to the company “Pilsētas Līnijas”, on 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, 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; automatic renewal of the contract.
 
After evaluating JCD's investment in the construction of the public transport stops, CC concluded them to be 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 CC's concerns about a breach of the Competition Law.
 
JCDecaux Latvia in this case was represented by Ellex Klavins partner Liga Merwin and senior associates Maris Brizgo and Martins Gailis.
Ellex Klavins successfully represents Maxima Latvija in a dispute against the Competition Council
On 29 December 2015 the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court revoked the decision of the Administrative Regional Court and assigned the dispute between SIA Maxima Latvija and the Competition Council for new adjudication.
 
The case reached the Supreme Court upon the cassation complaint of Maxima Latvija about the judgment of the Administrative Regional Court, by which the company’s application for revocation of the Competition Council’s decision was dismissed. The dispute between Maxima Latvija and the Competition Council is about correctness of application of sub-paragraph 7 of paragraph one of Article 11 of the Competition Law by the Competition Council, when the latter recognized provisions of the lease agreement limiting rights of the lessor of the shopping centre to unilaterally decide on lease of other spaces at the shopping centre to be a prohibited agreement “by object”. In its judgment the Supreme Court has referred to the responses provided by the Court of Justice of the European Union to a request for preliminary ruling filed by the Supreme Court and acknowledged that the substantiation provided in the judgment of the court of appeal and the decision of the Competition Council is insufficient to draw conclusions about infringement of the Competition Law.
 
In this precedent setting case company Maxima Latvija was successfully represented by Liga Merwin, Partner of Law Firm Ellex Klavins and Senior Attorney Martins Gailis, both in the Latvian courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union. The judgment of the Supreme Court in this case is significant precedent in Latvia, whereas the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union contains valuable instructions to be applied in adjudication of cases of similar nature across the European Union.
Our team represented the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company in a process of the creation of a nationwide joint venture
This highly complex project involved the creation of an operator of a deposit system for handling packaging-waste derived from beverages. It had several competition law issues related to a possible formation of a monopoly. The project involved various stakeholders, including Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC), represented by our team. The other parties were not only a different association of producers of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, but also retailers and the Latvian Ministry of Environment and Regional Development.