VILNIUS - The Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries and eight members of its presidium have been slapped with fines worth thousands of euros for price-fixing, marking the first time in the country that notaries have been punished for a cartel agreement.
The Lithuanian Competition Council imposed a fine of 88,400 euros on the chamber and fines ranging between 100 to 20,800 euros on its eight presidium members, depending on their income.
The Chamber of Notaries and the notaries sitting on the presidium adopted fee-fixing resolutions, thus leaving all notaries with no leeway to choose their rates, Sarunas Keserauskas, head of the competition authority, said in a press release on Friday.
This restricted competition among notaries and led to higher fees for their clients, he added.
Fees for notarial services in Lithuania are regulated by the justice minister, but notaries are allowed to compete in fees within a certain range.