On 9th of August 2021, SIA Merks, a subsidiary company of AS Merko Ehitus, received the decision of the Latvian Competition Council regarding the company in the administrative proceeding, started in 2019. Group has disclosed the information about the proceedings with 04.09.2019 Stock Exchange announcement, in the annual and interim reports.
According to the 30 July 2021 decision, the Competition Council considers SIA Merks as one of nine companies to be a participant in prohibited cooperation between Latvian construction companies in the period of 2015–2019, which constitutes a violation of Section 11 Subsection 1 of the Latvian Competition Law. To group’s knowledge, SIA Merks is not considered to be a participant in price agreements.
With the decision the Competition Council imposes a fine on SIA Merks of 5.4% from SIA Merks’s revenue of the financial year of 2020, i.e. 2.688.950,79 euros. According to the decision, AS Merko Ehitus as the parent company of SIA Merks is jointly liable in case SIA Merks does not or cannot itself fulfil its obligations.
SIA Merks and AS Merko Ehitus do not agree with the decision of the Competition Council and plan to appeal the decision to the Latvian administrative court within 30 days. AS Merko Ehitus will give notice of the decision to appeal through the stock exchange. The fine imposed by the Competition Council shall not become due and other possible consequences under Latvian law shall not take effect until the court decision enters into force.
AS Merko Ehitus finds it disappointing that the Latvian Competition Council has reached such a decision. Any possible infringement of fair competition is in violation of the operating principles and values of the group. In all of its home markets, the group follows the law and ethical business rules adopted in the group and continues to implement, in cooperation with the management of its subsidiaries, the necessary measures to reduce regulatory risks in the future.