Lithuania’s Competition Council on Friday fined Ekspress Grupp, an Estonian media group that operates the Delfi news websites in the Baltic states, slightly more than 140,000 euros for breaking the law when it acquired the Lithuanian news website lrytas.lt.
The Council found that Ekspress Grupp violated the Law on Competition by acquiring Lrytas, the company controlling the lrytas.lt news website, without notifying the institution and obtaining its permission, if the revenue of the businesses involved in the transaction exceeds the legal thresholds.
The ruling can be appealed to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.
The Competition Council launched the probe in this case following a complaint by 15min.
Ekspress Grupp acquired the lrytas.lt news website through a newly-established company in Lithuania for an undisclosed value in December 2022.
Until then, the news website belonged to Lrytas, in which Big Group, controlled by Benas Gudelis, owned 36 percent, 26.5 percent belonged to Gedvydas Vainauskas, 13.2 percent belonged to Vidmantas Strimaitis, and the rest was owned by minority shareholders.
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