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Report on Sector Inquiry into the Retail Market Completed

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has completed the sector inquiry into the retail sale in non-specialized stores with food, beverages or tobacco predominating, covering a three-year period (2014-2016). The subject of the inquiry was to establish relations between market competitors in terms of assessing their market share and relative power, as well as to analyze relations between suppliers and trade chains, and possible effects of those relations on the state of market competition, and to conduct an analysis of the role and importance of private label branding.

The comprehensive results of the inquiry and related conclusions presented in the Report may provide a good starting point for future research of not only the Commission for Protection of Competition but also other competent authorities of the Republic of Serbia, as well as undertakings themselves.

The integral part of the report also includes recommendations in which the Commission has underlined the need to establish a public trade register that would considerably facilitate the monitoring of this trade segment in the coming period, but also the importance of cooperation established with other state authorities in terms of submitting all relevant legislation and regulations for the provision of opinions.

Considering the exceptional importance of this trade segment, as of March 1, 2019, the Commission will launch a sector inquiry into competitive conditions prevailing on this market for 2017-2018.

The Commission hereby expresses its gratitude to all undertakings that have regularly submitted the requested data during the inquiry drafting process, and also calls all undertakings and other members of the expert public to send their commentaries to the report, as well as recommendations and suggestions for the follow-up inquiry, no later than February 28, 2019, to the following email address: office.kzk@kzk.gov.rs, with annotation: The commentary to the sector inquiry into the retail market.

Discussions with Entrepreneurs of Vojvodina on Advancing Competition Policy Framework

Debata Novi SadThe Commission for Protection of Competition has organized a public debate in Novi Sad dedicated to discussing potential solutions towards advancing competition policy and law in the Republic of Serbia.

This is otherwise the third public debate organized by the Commission for Protection of Competition on the topic of new legal solutions governing competition policy. The previous two were organized late in the year in Kragujevac and Niš. Experts on competition law and policy, representatives of the Commission and members of the Working group for drafting new competition act have participated in the debate as panelists.

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Commission and Customs Administration Sign Cooperation Agreement

FICThe goal of the Agreement on Cooperation between the Commission for Protection of Competition and the Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia, signed by CPC President Dr Miloje Obradović and Director General of the Customs Administration Miloš Tomić, is to improve cooperation towards achieving more efficient exercise of legally entrusted competences of the two institutions.

The Agreement stipulates the continuous exchange of information and data between the two institutions, cooperation in improving the skills and knowledge base and coordination of positions on issues of mutual interest.

Sector Inquiry into Oil Derivatives Retail Market for 2017

FICThe Commission for Protection of Competition conducted a sector inquiry into the oil derivatives retail market in the Republic of Serbia in 2017. The subject of the inquiry was to determine the relationships between main competitors in the defined market segments towards making a comparative trend analysis by particular categories and identifying potential market weaknesses.

The integral part of the report consists of derived conclusions that allow for, inter alia, an overall perception of trends both on the oil production and refining market and on the oil derivatives retail market, in addition to the structure and trends in retail pricing of selected oil derivatives.

The Commission has assessed the degree of compliance with recommendations provided in previous reports and reiterated the significance of creating detailed statistical records on oil and oil derivatives and the importance of cooperation with other competent authorities towards creating a legal and business environment which will improve free competition in markets.

Considering the importance of oil sector for the energy industry and overall industrial development, as of March 1, 2019, the Commission will begin to conduct an inquiry into competitive conditions on this market for 2018.

The Commission hereby expresses its gratitude to all undertakings that have regularly submitted the requested data during the inquiry drafting process, and also calls all undertakings and other members of the expert public to send their commentaries to the report, as well as recommendations and suggestions for the follow-up inquiry, to the following email address: office.kzk@kzk.gov.rs, with annotation: The commentary to the sector inquiry into the oil and oil derivatives market, no later than February 28, 2019.

Competition Infringement Found in Defence Procurement

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has found that companies „B2M” d.o.o. Beograd, „Trgodunav” d.o.o. Beograd, “Grafo Trade” d.o.o. Beograd, and „Master Clean Express” d.o.o. Subotica, have infringed competition by colluding in a public procurement implemented in 2016 by the Ministry of Defence. In the proceedings ex officio is established that said companies have colluded over the essential bidding components (price and other conditions of trade) relating to the public procurement concerned, resulting in the imposition of measures for protection of competition.

Sector Inquiry into Baby Equipment Market Completed

FICThe Commission for Protection of Competition conducted a sector inquiry into the baby equipment wholesale and retail market. The Commission noted the need to analyze competitive conditions on said market considering the lack of prior knowledge of its structure, in addition to the fact that this sector is very often a topic of discussion in the media.
For the inquiry related needs, the Commission identified eight product categories within the broader baby equipment market, among them the products subject to VAT refunds, namely: baby milk, baby diapers, strollers, cribs, car seats, feeding chairs, clothes and footwear (for up to 3-year-olds).

The primary objective of the inquiry was to assess the size and volume of defined markets and identify major undertakings. The goal of the inquiry was also to detect particular tendencies and trends through a comparative analysis of turnover indicators and to draw concrete conclusions on market mechanisms.

The Commission hereby expresses its gratitude to all undertakings that have regularly submitted the requested data during the inquiry drafting process, and also calls all undertakings and other members of the expert public to send their commentaries to the report, to the following email address: office.kzk@kzk.gov.rs, with annotation: The commentary to the baby equipment market inquiry, no later than January 31, 2019.

Considering the significance of the market concerned, against the background of free market access and free price system, and also the existing market structure, the Commission will continue to monitor the behavior of undertakings on the market concerned with due care and analyze circumstances potentially indicating the infringement of the Law on Protection of Competition.

Commission Organized Successful Public Debate on Competition Policy in Niš

FIC

The Commission for Protection of Competition has organized a public debate in Niš, dedicated to examining potential solutions towards the improvement of competition policy and law in the Republic of Serbia.

The public debate is organized as part of the project “Increasing economic growth through support to the promotion of competition policy”, supported by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Instituted Proceedings for Alleged Price Collusion in Roadworthiness Testing

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has instituted proceedings against 11 companies providing roadworthiness testing and vehicle classification services in the territory of the City of Čačak. The Commission reasonably assumed that respective undertakings have colluded over the prices of their services, which may represent an infringement of competition in the form of entering into restrictive agreements from Article 10 of the Law.

All persons in possession of data, documents or other relevant information which could contribute to the accurate fact-finding in the proceedings are called upon to submit said to the Commission for Protection of Competition, 25/IV Savska St., Belgrade.

Discussions on Key Development Trends of Future Legal Framework Governing Competition Policy

FICImprovements to the competition law and policy in the Republic of Serbia in the context of the preparation of a new legal framework governing this specific area was the topic of discussion at the meeting between the Commission for Protection of Competition and companies, members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia.

On the occasion, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr Miloje Obradović, together with Čedomir Radojčić, CPC Council member, and Gordana Lukić, Head of the Merger Investigation Division, who are otherwise members of the Working Group for drafting new competition act, has presented to the audience details on the motivation and key directions of development of future legal solutions.

It is established that a new legal framework governing competition policy is necessary against the background of continued harmonization with the EU Acquis, but also for the strengthening of current institutional capacities of the Commission for Protection of Competition and efficiency of enforcement mechanisms in light of securing a level playing field and further enhancement of legal certainty of undertakings. It is underlined that this is the first time that all relevant stakeholders are taking part in the drafting of a new regulation.

Commission Conducted Inquiry into Competitive Conditions on the Cement Production and Sales Market

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has conducted an inquiry into competitive conditions on the cement production and sales market in the territory of the Republic of Serbia for the period 2014-2017. For the inquiry-related purposes, the Gray (Portland) cement market is identified as the relevant product market. The primary objective of this inquiry was to look into the structure and dynamics of competition on the market concerned.

Within the Gray (Portland) cement market, the Commission has specifically analyzed the production, import, export, and wholesale segments.

The inquiry used data provided by the Ministry of Finance-Customs Administration on the cement import and export, publicly available data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia on the Grey cement production and sales, as well as data provided by undertakings, cement manufacturers and importers, namely: CRH (Srbija) d.o.o. from Popovac, Lafarge beočinska fabrika cementa d.o.o. from Beočin, “TITAN” d.o.o. from Kosjerić, CEMEX SRB DOO from Niš, and NEXE BETON DOO NOVI SAD from Veternik.

The Commission hereby expresses its gratitude to all undertakings that have regularly submitted the requested data during the inquiry drafting process, and also calls all undertakings and other members of the expert public to send their commentaries to the report, to the following email address: office.kzk@kzk.gov.rs, with annotation: The commentary to the cement market inquiry.

Considering the cement industry significance for the development of civil engineering and overall industrial development, as well as conclusions of this inquiry, the Commission will continue to monitor the behavior of this market’s undertakings with due care, and circumstances potentially indicating the infringement of the Law on Protection of Competition.