In July 2023 the Lithuanian Competition Council ('LCC') published the results of the monitoring of Lithuanian online marketplaces. During the monitoring the LCC assessed the relation between the marketplaces and marketplaces traders. LCC surveyed 16 online marketplaces and responses were obtained from 90 online marketplaces traders.
Monitoring results showed the following aspects of the activities of the marketplaces:
- Some online marketplaces impose price parity obligations on traders in their operations as they set conditions under which traders can distribute goods and services through other channels.
- Some online marketplaces establish maximum resale prices.
- It was determined that five online marketplaces have a dual role, i.e. the marketplace acts not only as a platform but also sells directly to consumers and competes with the traders using the platform.
- Some insights were made regarding unilateral actions of the marketplaces. For example, one marketplace applied more favourable visibility conditions to its distributed goods; two marketplaces used non-public information of its traders and, based on that information, changed the goods sold directly to consumers by the marketplace itself.
Although the monitoring results are limited to general insights into the trends of the sector and competition restrictions, LCC will decide separately on the investigation of possible violations (competition supervisory authorities only investigate possible violations in relation to individual companies, not in the whole sector).
LCC noted that the relevance of competition rules in the activities of marketplaces will only increase in the future and plans to prepare new guidelines related to e-commerce.