July 20, 2017 / 2:30 PM / 2 years ago

Swedbank's Lithuanian business offers concessions in anti-trust probe - watchdog

VILNIUS, July 20 (Reuters) - Lithuania’s competition watchdog said on Thursday that the local arm of Swedbank had agreed to make concessions aimed at resolving an investigation into whether the bank had abused its dominant position in the Baltic country.

The Lithuanian Competition Council opened an inquiry in January into whether Swedbank, the country’s largest retail bank, had engaged in anti-competitive behaviour.

The watchdog said a local competitor had complained its contract to use Swedbank’s electronic payment collection system prevented it from offering a competing product.

Swedbank had now offered to remove the offending clauses in its contracts, the watchdog said.

“If, following consultation with market participants, the Competition Council decides Swedbank’s offer is acceptable, it will drop the inquiry and Swedbank will no longer risk a fine,” a spokeswoman said.

A Swedbank spokesperson in Lithuania said it would not comment on on-going antitrust investigations. It faces a fine of up to 10 percent of its annual revenue if found in violation of anti-trust rules. (Reporting By Andrius Sytas; editing by Niklas Pollard and Jane Merriman)

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