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The Commission takes part in the International Conference on Competition and Consumer Protection in Georgia

kzkAn international conference on the implementation of competition policy and consumer protection was held in Georgia on November 16 and 17, 2022, in which the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia participated.

The two-day event was jointly organized by the Georgian National Competition Agency, the National Bank of Georgia, the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission, the National Communications Commission, and the Insurance State Supervision Service of Georgia.

The conference was attended by more than 15 delegations of competition protection bodies from different countries, domestic and international experts, representatives of public agencies, the academic community, international organizations and the business sector. The meeting discussed competition law mechanisms, consumer rights protection, cases and activities carried out by competition protection bodies and regulatory agencies.

The parallel session topic also covered: Competition policy and sustainable development; Competition policy on regulated markets/interagency cooperation; Indirect mechanisms of application of the Law on Protection of Competition (Advocacy); Refusal of business as a form of abuse (Essential Facility); etc.

The Commission’s delegation consisted of: Council member Miroslava Đošić, Head of the Sector for Determination of Competition Infringements Marina Joksimović and Head of the Sector for Normative – Legal, Personnel and General Affairs Milica Stanković.

Presentation of the Guidelines for the development of business compliance programs with competition regulations has been continued in Novi Sad

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC) presented to market participants new Guidelines for the development of business compliance programs with regulations on competition protection in all major cities in Serbia.

Presentation in the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the South Banat administrative region in Novi Sad, third in a row, was held as a thematic meeting of the Parliament of the businessmen in an extended attendance related to the topic “Business compliance programs with rules on competition protection”.

Čedomir Radojčić, member of the council of the Commission for Protection of Competition and Maja Dobrić, independent advisor, presented the attendees with the rules from the area of protection of competition and Guidelines for the development of business compliance programs.

In order to assist market participants in the process of adopting a compliance compliance program, the Commission briefly describes and clarifies these “steps” in these workshops and guidelines in the adoption of such programs as well as competition rules.
The next presentation of Guidelines shall be held on 15 December in Kragujevac, in the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Šumadijski and Pomoravski administrative region.

The Commission initiates proceedings against Glovoapp Tecchnology (Glovo) for abuse of a dominant position

kzkCommission for the protection of competition initiated the procedure of examination of competition infringements, ex officio, in order to determine the existence of abuse of a dominant position, in the sense of Article 16 of the Law on the Protection of Competition against the company Glovoapp Tecchnology doo Beograd (Glovo) and carried out dawn raids in its premises.

During the analysis of the conditions of competition in the field of digital platforms for mediating the sale and delivery of mainly restaurant food and other products, the Commission observed contractual provisions in the contracts concluded by Glovo with its partners, which could result in the exclusion or difficulty of the expansion of other competitive platforms, as well as provisions that may result in discrimination of partners through the application of unequal business conditions, all of which constitutes an abuse of a dominant position.

Namely, certain contracts and general conditions of business with partners contain a prescribed fee that the partner is obliged to pay if it enters into similar partnerships with other platforms, i.e. high amounts are offered in the form of investment for marketing, with the obligation to return the amount if cooperation with another platform is established.

The application of unequal business conditions to the same agreements with different market participants is primarily reflected in the form of different commissions to different partners, and depending on whether they cooperate only with Glovo or with competing platforms.

Including such exclusivity clauses in contracts with partners or various forms of incentives or pressures to maintain exclusivity, could exclude competitors from the market or reduce their ability to compete, which could ultimately lead to higher prices, less choice and lower quality offers, all to the detriment of consumers.

After taking over the Donesi platform in 2021, the company Glovo significantly expanded its business network and drastically increased its market share and gained a dominant position, which also changed the structure of this market. As such, it has a special responsibility in relation to the actions it undertakes in the market.

The Commission hereby invites all persons who have data, documents or other relevant information that can contribute to establishing the factual situation in this procedure to submit them to the address of the Commission for the Protection of Competition, 25/IV Savska Street, Belgrade.

The commission initiated proceedings against the company Ananas E-Commerce due to an undeclared concentration

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition ex officio initiated proceedings against the company ANANAS E-COMMERCE doo Beograd, for the purpose of investigating the concentration that was carried out even though it was not approved in accordance with the Law on the Protection of Competition, and which, according to the well-founded assumption, resulted from the acquisition of control by company ANANAS E-COMMERCE over the company VEBSPOT DOOEL Skopje.

In the examination procedure, the Commission will evaluate the criteria prescribed by the Law (Art. 19 of the Law on Protection of Competition) which determines the permissibility of the concentration, and in particular, the circumstance that it is an implemented and unreported concentration, which was the obligation of market participants. The law stipulates that concentrations of market participants are allowed, unless they would significantly limit, impair or prevent competition on the market of the Republic of Serbia, and especially if that limitation, impairment or prevention would be the result of creating or strengthening a dominant position.

The Commission will determine the important facts, evidence and other elements on which it will base its decision regarding the possible determination of a measure to protect competition, that is, a measure of deconcentration.

With the conclusion that initiated the procedure, all persons who have data, documents or other relevant information that can contribute to the establishment of the correct factual situation in this procedure are invited to submit them without delay to the Commission for the Protection of Competition at the address 25/IV Savska Street, Belgrade.

A workshop was held on the preparation of a business compliance program with competition protection regulations in Niš.

kzkCPC Commission for the protection of competition in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (PKS) held the third presentation of the Guidelines for the development of a program of business compliance with regulations on the protection of competition in Niš.

In order to help market participants in the process of adopting a compliance program, the Commission, through these workshops and guidelines, briefly describes and explains certain “steps” in adopting such programs as well as competition protection rules.

The next workshop will be held on November 15 at the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the South Bačka administrative district in Novi Sad.

Initiated proceedings due to undeclared concentrations against the company Dobergard

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition ex officio initiated proceedings against the company Dobergard DOO Beograd, for the purpose of investigating the concentration that was carried out even though it was not approved in accordance with the Law on the Protection of Competition, and which, according to the well-founded assumption, resulted from the acquisition of control by company Dobergard over the company Sparta Security DOO and over the company Protecta Group DOO Beograd.

In the examination procedure, the Commission will evaluate the criteria prescribed by the Law (Art. 19 of the Law on Protection of Competition) which determines the permissibility of the concentration, and in particular, the circumstance that it is an implemented and unreported concentration, which was the obligation of market participants. The law stipulates that concentrations of market participants are allowed, unless they would significantly limit, impair or prevent competition on the market of the Republic of Serbia, and especially if that limitation, impairment or prevention would be the result of creating or strengthening a dominant position.

The Commission will determine the important facts, evidence and other elements on which it will base its decision regarding the possible determination of a measure to protect competition, that is, a measure of deconcentration.

With the conclusion that initiated the procedure, all persons who have data, documents or other relevant information that can contribute to the establishment of the correct factual situation in this procedure are invited to submit them without delay to the Commission for the Protection of Competition at the address 25/IV Savska Street, Belgrade.

Guidelines for the development of a business compliance program with regulations on competition protection in the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Moravica and Raška Districts presented

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS) held a one-day presentation of the Guidelines for the development of a business compliance program with regulations on the protection of competition in the Regional Chamber of Commerce of Moravica and Raška District – office in Čačak.

The presentation was the second in a series that will be held throughout Serbia with the aim of familiarizing market participants with the rules in the field of competition protection and guidelines for the development of the Business Compliance Program with regulations on competition protection that the Commission published in December last year.

The current practice of the Commission for Protection of Competition shows that violations of competition often occur due to lack or insufficient knowledge of market participants. On such basis, the need to raise the level of awareness of market participants about the need and ways to comply with regulations in the field of competition was recognized.

In order to assist market participants in the process of adopting a compliance program, the Commission briefly describes and clarifies these “steps” in these workshops and guidelines in the adoption of such programs as well as competition rules.

The presentation in Čačak was attended by more than 30 representatives of market participants and the expert public. The next workshop will be held on November 1 at the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Nišav, Pirot and Toplic administrative districts in Niš.

Proceedings Initiated Against Apple Products Distributer

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition initiated proceedings of investigating violation of competition ex officio against related companies Apcom from Hungary and Apcom Distribution from Belgrade due to reasonable doubt that stated companies set Apple product prices in resale in the Republic of Serbia and performed unannounced raids on four locations.

The Commission for the Protection of Competition analyzed competition status on the market of (1) mobile telephones and tablets, (2) smart watches, (3) accessories (headphones and wireless headphones), (4) smart TV boxes and (5) peripherals (keyboards and mouses), among others, for Apple products in the Republic of Serbia. On this occasion, through insight into publicly available data, it has been concluded that the prices of certain Apple products in the Republic of Serbia are unified with observed retailers of this brand, regardless of whether retailers have certain status of Apple authorized dealer or not, and regardless of sales channel, that is, whether it is classic sales in bricks and mortar stores or online sales.

Also, it has been detected that, in addition to being unified, the prices of Apple products on the market of the Republic of Serbia are higher compared to the prices in the neighboring countries, which is why Commission presumed existence of violation of competition in the form of setting resale prices in the sense of Article 10 of the Law on Protection of Competition, that is, that companies Apcom Distribution and Apcom from Hungary set the prices of Apple products in resale.

All persons having data, documents or other relevant information that can contribute to establishing the factual situation in this procedure are hereby invited to submit them at the address of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Savska 25 / IV, Belgrade.

Report on the conducted sectoral analysis of the state of competition on the market of other postal services (courier services) in the period from 2019-2021

kzkPursuant to Article 47 of the Law on the Protection of Competition and the Decision of the Council, the Commission conducted a sectoral analysis of the state of competition on the market of other postal services.

The subject of the analysis was the determination of the relationship between the main market competitor of other postal services, courier services, which entailed the assessment of their market shares and relative strength, as well as the analysis of contractual relations between users and service providers, the commercial policy of service providers and the relevant regulatory framework.

The development of electronic commerce in the Republic of Serbia resulted in an increase in the volume (number) of postal shipments, especially in the parcel delivery segment, as well as express shipments. The development of the sector of other postal services significantly affects the operations of all economic entities. Large business entities aim to separate secondary activities from the main ones, leaving a large part of them to postal operators. Small and medium-sized enterprises are given the opportunity to develop their own value chains through cooperation with postal operators. However, by limiting competition between postal operators, bottlenecks can be created in the distribution channels of the retail sector.

The main objective of the sectoral analysis was to look at the state and dynamics of competition on the market in question, as well as to identify the possible problems in terms of potential limitations that affect the level of competition.
The Commission would like to thank all market participants who provided the requested information in the course of the analysis.

Sectoral analysis of the state of competition on the textbook market for primary education conducted

kzkPursuant to Article 47 of the Law on Protection of Competition, the Commission for Protection of Competition conducted a sectoral analysis of the state of competition on the market of textbooks for primary education in the Republic of Serbia in the period from 2018-2020.

The commission identified the need to analyze the state of competition on the textbook market, in the light of the frequent changes in the relevant legal framework, as well as certain specificities of this market, which allow schools to opt for textbooks from certain publishing houses in an insufficiently transparent manner.

In the analysis, special attention was paid to the process of issuing and selling textbooks and textbook sets for primary education, as well as the conditions under which textbooks were sold on the market of the Republic of Serbia in the observed three-year period. The research included the analysis of the market structure and market shares of textbook publishers, the analysis of (contractual) relations between textbook publishers on the one hand and their customers, distributors, bookstores and schools, as well as the effects these relations can have on the state of competition on the market. The subject analysis includes the method of forming the price of textbooks, as well as the analysis of the structure of the textbook sales price.

For the purposes of the analysis, the data on 16 publishers of textbooks for primary education and their 10 largest customers, distributors, who further sell the textbooks to schools and bookstores, were collected and processed.

The Commission would like to thank all market participants who duly submitted the requested data in the course of the sector analysis.