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Commission Imposed a Measure for Protection of Competition to Companies Vital and Victoriaoil JSC

kzk-ekofCouncil of the Commission for Protection of Competition enacted a decision establishing the infringement of competition and imposing the measure for protection of competition to companies Vital from Vrbas and Victoriaoil JSC from Šid, on the basis of concluded restrictive agreement that limits and controls production and market of edible sunflower oil.

It is established that the above-mentioned companies as competing parties on the markets of production and sale of edible sunflower oil, have concluded the Contract on business cooperation, wherewith have created a framework for harmonizing behavior of undertakings, resulting in a restrictive nature of the said Contact pursuant to the Law on Protection of Competition.

The measure for protection of competition is imposed in the form of commitment payment of a monetary sum to companies Victoriaoil and Vital, in the amount of RSD 23m and 8.6m, respectively.

Commission Council Member at the Multidisciplinary Team Meeting

kzk-ekofMember of the Council of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Mr. Čedomir Radojčić, participated at the Third workshop and coordination meeting of the Multidisciplinary team on the topic: Fraud in public procurement procedures / Financial frauds and public corruptions. Mr. Radojčić held a lecture on the occasion: “Competition policy and public procurements: The role of the Commission for Protection of Competition”.

Multidisciplinary team (MDT) as its objective sets to mutually introduce representatives of various public institutions, as well as governmental organizations and authorities, to educate members on the possibilities and fields of expertise of other organizations, along with bolstering communication and coordination between those organizations – with the ultimate objective of identifying and running more successful investigation and criminal prosecution of frauds in public procurement procedures and other cases of public corruption.

The workshop and operating activities of the MDT are organized in the form of meetings, in cooperation with representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – Mission to Serbia (OSCE) and US Justice Department at the US Embassy in Belgrade.

Beside representatives of the Commission, meeting was attended by representatives of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Prosecutor’s Office, State Audit Institution, Public Procurement Office, Administration for Fighting Organized Crime of the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, as well as reps of other institutions.

Cooperation with Belarus formalized via the Memorandum

kzk-ekofPresident of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr. Miloje Obradović, and Mr. Vladimir Koltovič, Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, have signed the Memorandum on Mutual Understanding and Cooperation in the Competition Policy Area between these two institutions.

Implementation of this agreement opens the possibility for more intensive cooperation in the competition policy area, along with the development of bilateral relations in addition to securing conditions for efficient functioning of product and service markets between institutions in charge of implementation of competition policy in Serbia and Belarus.

The two parties have agreed on their mutual interest to assist one another in implementing antimonopoly, i.e. competition related legislation and in the development of competition policy by exchanging experiences and opinions.
Also, the Memorandum envisages the exchange of staff, organization of seminars, forums, training courses and other similar manifestations, as well as exchanging publications and other documents.

The Commission for Protection of Competition is very active in cooperating with other competition authorities, both from the EU member states and other non-EU countries. The Memorandum on cooperation with Belarus is the 12th agreement that the Commission has signed with competition governing authorities or institutions of other countries.

The Memorandum is signed during the session of the Belarusian-Serbian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, held in Belgrade on April 18-19.

Council of the Commission Enacted a Decision on the Implementation of Retail Market Sector Inquiry

kzk-ekofOn April 12, 2017, Council of the Commission for Protection of Competition enacted a decision on the implementation of retail market sector inquiry.

According to the European Commission’s reports, the role of retail sector is of key importance for the European economic development, and in this regard individual EU countries (Germany, Great Britain, Finland…) continuously monitor competition related fluctuations in the context of observed sector developments.

The sector inquiry will contribute to the establishment of relations between retail market competing parties at the local, regional and national level. Also, this sector inquiry will encompass the wholesale market. This implies the estimate of market share and relative power of undertakings, analysis of contractual relations between suppliers and trade chains, in addition to analyzing effects of those relations on the market competition.
The issue of particular importance will be the relation between retailers and their suppliers in terms of establishing differences in the degree of negotiating power between small and large trade chains, as well as between those operating at the national, regional and local level. The second important aspect is the issue of suppliers positioning that can also be perceived via the likelihood and manner of exerting the influence on shelving display size in retail stores, or imposing potential obligation to pay compensations (slotting fee, risk of de-slotting when suppliers refuse to reduce prices or change other important terms and conditions of payment, and ‘pay-to-stay’ fees). The issue of rebates policy will be analyzed in detail, and particularly in regard to setting the types of approved rebates, amounts and criteria for their approval.

Keeping in mind that the development of private-label products is a trend that can be identified on the retail market, influence of product brands on consumer selection will be also analyzed, along with the profitability and negotiating power of trade chains and suppliers positioning.

And last but not less important, results of this sector inquiry will enable implementation of ex-post analysis of substantial concentrations previously executed in this sector.

Competition Day 2017

kzk-ekofOn the occasion of Competition Day, the Commission for Protection of Competition organized the International Conference “Challenges in the Implementation of Competition Policy on the Path towards the EU”.

The conference consisted of two panels designed for the exchange of experiences on relations between national competition authorities with the European Commission, degree of their functional and financial independence, importance of raising capacities, in addition to forms of cooperation in handling cases with increasingly featured regional and even international character.

Opening speeches are given by Dr. Miloje Obradović, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Ms. Snežana B. Petrović, President of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Steffen Hudolin from the EU Delegation and Mr. Bogdan Chiritoiu, President of the Romanian Competition Council.

For the first time in its history, this conference introduced the honorable “guest-host” format, welcoming on the occasion the Competition Council of Romania.

In its introductory address, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr. Miloje Obradović announced the new competition law’s enactment enabling more efficient work of the Commission and facilitating competition policy enforcement in Serbia.

„Practical implementation of the current Law on Protection of Competition demonstrated room for normative improvements. In that sense, the Commission is already active in designing particular concepts toward formulating and regulatory introducing individual institutes as soon as practicable, which have not been sufficiently regulated or in some instances even remained unregulated by the current Law.”

President Obradović said he believes there is a considerable room for enhancement of the Commission’s institutional capacities, particularly in the light of the new EC Directive. „The Commission has exercised due diligence by analyzing the proposal for a new Directive of the European Parliament drafted by the European Commission, envisaging new rules and tools designed to increase efficiency of national competition authorities operating within the European Union.“

President of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Ms. Snežana B. Petrović said that the Serbian Commission is on a good path to reach the level of respectability of competition authorities in the EU, which were built and system-incorporated for decades. This is also confirmed through positive assessments already given for the second year in a row by the EC in its annual report on Serbia’s progress during the accession into the European Union, and during meetings of the Subcommittee on Internal Market and Competition held in Brussels, said Ms. Petrović.

Representative of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Mr. Steffen Hudolin assessed that Serbia has achieved a good progress in the competition area with the supported provided by the EU and added that Serbian competition regulations are considerably compliant with the EU acquis.
Mr. Bogdan Chiritoiu, President of the Romanian Competition Council presented experiences of this institution in a year marking their 20th anniversary of operations, and announced intensified cooperation with the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition.

The conference’s panel discussions gathered more than 150 guests, facilitated by Mr. Nicholas Banasevic, Head of Unit in DG Competition of the European Commission, Mr. Mladen Cerovac, President of the Croatian Competition Council, Dr. Dragan Lončar, Professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, Mr. Gianluca Sepe, Head of Sector – EU legislation, Italian Competition Authority, and Mr. Čedomir Radojčić and Dr. Veljko Milutinović, CPC Council members.

The conference was attended by numerous officials of all public institutions, regulatory authorities and scientific institutes, in addition to representatives from chambers of commerce and industry, law offices and business associations, as well as representatives of all regional competition authorities.

Signed Memorandum of Cooperation with the Belgrade Faculty of Law

kzk-ekofPresident of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia, Dr. Miloje Obradović and Dean of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, Professor Dr. Sima Avramović, have signed the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Commission for Protection of Competition and Belgrade Faculty of Law.

The Memorandum of Cooperation defines founding of the professional and educational cooperation between these two institutions in the area of competition policy via organizing seminars, hosting lectures of the Commission’s experts, joint thematic workshops, developing student internship program, joint publishing activities from the competition area, etc.

The Memorandum of Cooperation signed with the Belgrade Faculty of Law is a third agreement of this kind the Commission has signed with the university community members.

The signed document shall enable investing joint efforts in promoting and advocating for competition policy and raising knowledge levels in the area of competition law, in addition to achieving more qualitative education of students toward attaining the set objectives.

Commission Representatives Participated in the National Convention on the EU

kzk-ekofWorking group session of the National Convention on the EU, monitoring negotiations on Chapter 8-Competition policy, is held in the organization of NALED.

During the session, representatives of the Commission for Protection of Competition – Čedomir Radojčić, Council member, and Ljiljana Pavlović, Head of the Department for legal affairs, held a lecture reflecting the topic of “Competition regulations – need for further advancements in the legal framework”, while Dr. Siniša Milošević, Head of the Department for economic inquiries, addressed the topic of “Role and importance of economic inquiries and relevant data in the competition policy implementation”.

NCEU Working group session was an opportunity to present the role and practice to date of the Commission for Protection of Competition, as well as to draw attention to challenges in implementing competition policy during the accession of Serbia into the European Union.

Working group session participants concluded on the necessity to continue with monitoring activities concerning competition policy. The importance of such meetings, as well as mutual informing and acting was particularly mentioned, achieved toward more qualitative fulfillment of agreed issues and forthwith opening of Chapter 8.

This session represented a unique opportunity to gather representatives of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Commission for State Aid Control, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, as well as civil society representatives. Prof. Dr. Sanja Danković, Head of the Chapter 8 Negotiation Team, also held a lecture during the session.

National Convention on the EU is a permanent body for thematically structured debate on Serbian accession into the European Union, between representatives of the governmental bodies, political parties, NGOs, experts, syndicates and representatives of professional organizations.

Commission Selected for Honorable Mention by the International Competition Network (ICN) and the World Bank Group

kzk-ekofCommission for Protection of Competition is this year’s Honorable Mention recipient to the 2016-2017 Competition Advocacy Contest – Elevating Competition Policies in Economic Policy Agendas: “Innovative Advocacy Strategies to Address Market Challenges”, launched by the International Competition Network (ICN) and the World Bank Group (WBG).

Submitted story, written by Ms. Gordana Bulatović, Chief of Staff to the Office of the Commission President and Coordinator of International Cooperation of the Commission, was entered into one of categories presented – “Implementing advocacy strategies at multiple levels (regional, national, subnational, economic wide and sector specific)”.

The Commission’s story presented with this prestige award, relates to implementing competition advocacy with the state authorities, where objective of the Commission activities is directed towards amending legal provisions favoring public enterprises and limiting other undertakings’ access to utility services market.

The selection panel emphasized that the awarded story undoubtedly showcased the important role that competition authority can play in promoting competitive neutrality vis-à-vis all market participants.

The recognition is awarded by the Advocacy Contest selection panel, comprising of reputable experts for competition issues of the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Competition Network (ICN). The award ceremony will take place during the ICN Annual Conference in Portugal, on May 11. The Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia is one of more than 140 members of the International Competition Network (ICN).

This already traditional annual contest aims to highlight the key role competition agencies play in promoting competition by showcasing their advocacy success stories.

The list of all awarded stories per categories is available on the World Bank Group website—2017-competition-advocacy-contest#4

Commission Conditionally Approved Implementation of Concentration between Serbia Broadband – Srpske kablovske mreže LLC and Interaktivne kablovske objedinjene mreže – I.KOM LLC

kzk-ekofCommission for Protection of Competition conditionally approved implementation of concentration created by acquisition of control on the part of Serbia Broadband – Srpske kablovske mreže LLC over Interaktivne kablovske objedinjene mreže – I.KOM LLC.

Based on the established facts, the Commission Decision recognized that the straightening of dominant position on the part of SBB company will occur only on the retail market of media content distribution services. For that reason, implementation of this concentration is approved, subject to the determined conditions.

SBB company will conduct a disinvestment within the set deadline, that is, sell parallel secondary network infrastructure on the territory of the City of Belgrade, where exist horizontal overlaps between related concentration parties.

The decision also sets conditions relating to the mandatory regular reporting on potential changes in retail prices of media content services provided via SBB basic package, as well as on the causes and intensity of related changes, in the duration of two years effective from the validity day of the decision.

SBB company is also ordered to offer current IKOM company service users the alternative possibilities when concluding new contracts, as per their choice, namely: Contract for an indefinite period offered by SBB to current or potential new users in line with the valid regular terms and conditions, or Contract for a fixed term offered to current or potential new users in line with the valid promotional terms and conditions.

During investigation proceeding, the Commission collected all necessary data, information and opinions on the concentration effects from competing parties to the concentration participants, in addition to the emitters and independent regulatory authorities competent for data considered relevant to this proceeding.

18th International Conference on Competition in Berlin

kzk-ekofFrom March 15-17, the German competition authority Bundeskartellamt organized its 18th International Conference on Competition in Berlin, a traditional biennially held event that is one of the most renowned events on competition policy.

The topic of this year’s conference related to various aspects and challenges in competition policy implementation deriving from market digitalization and globalization. The keynote speakers opening the conference were Mr. Andreas Mundt (see the picture), President of Bundeskartellamt, Ms. Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Ms. Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, and Dr Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post JSC. The conference was attended by numerous international competition authorities’ senior representatives, EU courts judges, anti-trust jurists, professors, politicians, international companies’ representatives, etc. Ms. Gordana Lukić (see the picture), Special Advisor, represented the Serbian Commission on the occasion.

The conference also presented an opportunity to discuss on the possibilities and directions for further development of current successful cooperation between the Commission and Bundeskartellamt.

Several panels were held during the conference covering the topics: Size or competition – What drives innovation and investment?; Platforms, networks, big data – Do competition authorities get it right?; Economic theory – Ready for the digital world?, and Modern cartel enforcement – Yesterday’s success stories – tomorrow’s failures?. The Commission representative also participated in the workshop foremost dedicated to the young competition authorities, covering issues of the successful advocacy program strategies, as well as priorities, aims and procedures relating to market analysis and sector inquiries.