A Vilnius court has decided that the Competition Council of Lithuania (KT) must decide again whether or not to give the green light for Estonian media group Eesti Media to implement a deal in the classifieds market that was concluded in 2014.
The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court on Thursday partially upheld Eesti Meedia's appeal and ordered the competition watchdog to carry out an additional investigation of the deal and adopt a new decision based on the results of the probe. KT had previously decided that the media group's Lithuanian subsidiary should not have bought the classifieds portal Diginet.
"This decision was expected," Eesti Meedia CEO Sven Nuutmann told BNS. "We were convinced from the start that we had done things accurately and followed all Lithuanian laws." He added that one likely reason behind initiating the proceeding was the fact that Eesti Meedia's competitors had worked hard to create a negative image of the media group.
The dispute concerns a transaction in which Eesti Meedia's Lithuanian subsidiary acquired the company Allegro Baltics, which owned Estonian real estate classifieds portal kv.ee and Lithuanian portal Diginet, from the South African company Naspers.
KT decided last May that the Diginet purchase deal should not have taken place and it must be reverted. Eesti Meedia did not agree with the competition watchdog's decision and stated that it would be impossible to reverse the deal.
Eesti Meedia said that in order to reduce concentration, it sold Vertikali Medija, a Lithuanian company administering car classifieds site Autogidas and real estate classifieds site Domo Plius, ten days before KT announced its decision.
In Lithuania, Eesti Meedia owns internet websites 15min.lt, Scanpix.lt, Skelbiu.lt, Aruodas.lt, Ntzemelapis.lt, Cvbankas.lt, Autoplius.lt and Kainos.lt as well as provides online advertising services.
Eesti Meedia Group also owns the Baltic News Service.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla