The Competition Authority approved Lindström OÜ’s proposal to amend client contract terms

14.06.2024 | 14:17

The Competition Authority carried out a supervisory procedure against the private limited company Lindström OÜ in relation to overly long cancellation deadlines for rental services and approved, as a compromise, the company’s proposal to shorten these deadlines.
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According to Elen Jalak, head of the field of special proceedings of competition, it was examined during the proceedings whether Lindström OÜ’s terms of the contracts for workwear and mat rental could be restricting competition. “The question was the length of the deadline for cancellation of a contract – if an undertaking in a dominant position is implementing it, it could be difficult for the consumer to switch service providers. This, in turn, may make it difficult for other companies renting out workwear and mats to enter the Estonian market and provide the service here,” Jalak said.

In its analysis carried out within the procedure, the Competition Authority reached the preliminary position that Lindström OÜ is a dominant undertaking on the market for the provision of workwear and mud mat rental services. An undertaking in a dominant position has an obligation not to abuse its position. Under the current law, abuse of the dominant market position is an offence over which the Competition Authority conducts misdemeanour proceedings and for which the offender can be punished with a fine of up to 400,000 euros.

Lindström OÜ made a proposal to the Estonian Competition Authority, according to which it undertakes to change, as a compromise, the terms of the workwear and mat rental contracts so that the terms of cancellation are shorter than before. The Competition Authority found that the obligation proposed by Lindström OÜ serves to eliminate the competition restriction and the competition issue that has arisen should be resolved. By its decision of 21 May 2024, the Competition Authority obliged Lindström OÜ to fulfil the obligations proposed by the latter and terminated the supervision proceedings initiated against the company. 

“It is encouraging to see that companies themselves do prefer to solve competition issues in administrative proceedings,” Jalak said.

The Competition Authority exercises state supervision over competition, electricity, natural gas, district heating, mail, public water supply and sewerage as well as railways, aviation and ports.

Eike Kingsepp