Pagrindinės koncentracijų vertinimo taisyklės Europos Bendrijos ir Lietuvos Respublikos konkurencijos teisėje.
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This article analyses whether the EC, US and Lithuanian legal tests for the assessment of market concentration are suitable to evaluate different types of concentrations of undertakings. The analysis of this issue is important, because fairness of the legal assessment depends on the suitability of the legal test used. The textual analysis of the test of “Significant Impediment to Effective Competition” (“SIEC”), the test of “Dominance” of the EC and the test of “Substantial Lessening of Competition” (“SLC”) of the US, and comparative analysis of their application in practice leads to a conclusion that the SIEC test is more appropriate to assess the level of market concentration than the “Dominance” test. Like the SLC test, the SIEC test can be applied to assess all kinds of harms to competition, without losing the advantages of the “Dominance” test. The introduction of the SIEC test resulted in variations of concentration assessment in the EU member states. The SLC test is applied in the UK; the majority of member states apply the “Dominance” test, whereas the SIEC test is applied by the EC. This variation hardly facilitates harmonization of the competition law in the EU; therefore, the Commission expects that the member states will adjust their national law accordingly. It seems that the Lithuanian rule has also been amended with the intention to adjust national regulation to that of the EC. It is regrettable though that this has not been done properly. There are clear differences between the SIEL test and that of the amended rule of the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania. Under the first part of the test, any concentration would be precluded, if it leads to the establishment or strengthening of the dominant position. The impact of the dominant position on competition is not important. The result of the application of this part of the test would depend only on the market power of the undertaking which would be determined on the basis of product or geographic market, the market share of the undertaking, its actual or potential competitors, and other factors. Yet the determination of the positions of the undertakings in the market is one of the weakest links of the assessment conducted by the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania. If the assessment were done only under the second part of the test, the decision would be similar to the one under the SIEL test of the EC. Because of the test differences, concentrations of undertakings with equal turnover are more likely to be precluded in Lithuania than in the EC, because the establishment of dominant position is enough to prohibit a merger in Lithuania. This could lead to the discriminatory treatment of the undertakings.
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