SACL asks CJEU for preliminary ruling whether Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries made an anti-competitive agreement with notaries
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (SACL) has decided to issue a request to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a preliminary ruling in an administrative case in which the Court is examining an appeal which contests a Decision made by the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania. The Decision states that Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries and it‘s notaries, Presidium of the Chamber of Notaries infringed point 1 of Article 5(1) of Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 101(1)(a) of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
In the contested decision, it was found that Presidium‘s of the Chamber of Notaries clarifications established a notary salary assessment mechanism which fixed the highest possible fees in all cases for notarial acts, the drafting of transactions, consultations and technical services. The Competition Council‘s Decision established that the Chamber of Notaries – acting through its management body, the Presidium – and notaries by accepting the Clarifications, entered into an agreement restricting competition.
SACL has decided to refer to the CJEU to get answers to the raised questions in the case: whether the Lithuanian notaries, operating under the Clarifications, are considered undertakings within the meaning of Article 101 TFEU, whether the Clarifications are the association‘s decision within the meaning of Article 101(1) TFEU, whether the objectives and effects of the Clarifications are anti-competitive in the internal market, whether the Clarifications should be evaluated according to criteria set out in paragraph 97 of the judgment in Wouters, whether the Applicants‘ objectives are legitimate objectives, evaluating by criteria established in paragraph 97 of the judgment in Wouters, whether the restrictions imposed in the Clarifications do not go beyond what is necessary in order to ensure that legitimate objectives are attained, whether the Presidium‘s members can be held liable and be imposed fines because of their involvement, as notaries, in the adoption of the Clarifications.
Administrative case No. eA-25-629/2021.
Case ID C-128/21.
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