Commission for Protection of Competition
CPC Response to Pištaljka Portal

kzkTo keep the public accurately informed about the Commission’s operations, a response was provided to the Pištaljka.rs web portal on the article “Commission for Protection of Competition in Business Dealings with a Company That It Has Charged for Bid Rigging”, published on 5 May 2021.

1. The Commission for Protection of Competition did not conduct a public procurement procedure or selected bidders for the procurement of an official agency’s vehicle of the Škoda brand, carried out in 2018. Since the Commission is one of the contracting authorities from the List of Contracting Authorities specified by the Government of the Republic of Serbia, on behalf of which the Administration for Joint Services of the Republic Bodies conducts centralized public procurements and signs framework agreements with suppliers, it has no rights or possibility to independently conduct a public procurement procedure or select suppliers. Following a centralized public procurement carried out by the authorized authority, the Commission as a user under the framework agreement signs an individual agreement with the selected supplier.

2. The Commission for Protection of Competition imposed a measure for protection of competition against undertakings – Auto kuća Čačak and others, for standard contracts signed with its dealers/repairers that contain the provisions on resale price maintenance (RPM), which is recognized as a restrictive agreement and an infringement of competition referred to in Article 10(2/1) of the Law on Protection of Competition, as indicated in the enacting terms of the CPC Decision (http://www.kzk.gov.rs/kzk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Resenje-Auto-Cacak-i-dr.-converted.pdf), and not as a bid-rigging in public procurements.

Lectures on Competition

kzkRepresentatives of the Commission for Protection of Competition and the Italian competition authority held a two-day seminar on competition protection for students of economics and law at the Faculty of Law, University of Kragujevac.

The lectures are implemented to promote the competition culture among the academia under the two-year EU-funded Twinning Project “Further Development of Protection of Competition in Serbia”, jointly implemented by competition authorities of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Italy. The Project activities also envisage holding seminars for students of the Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš Universities.

The purpose of the Project is to contribute to further harmonization of national legislation governing antitrust with the Acquis Communautaire, its efficient enforcement, and raising awareness on competition law and policy among all relevant actors in the Republic of Serbia.

Press Release of the Commission

kzkThe Council of the Commission for Protection of Competition exempted the agreements from prohibition subject to conditions, concluded by companies Telekom Srbija a.d. Beograd and Telenor d.o.o. Beograd, on the use of optic infrastructure, and imposed measures and deadlines thereof.

Due to the public interest in the case, as well as inaccurate and misleading information presented during the procedure, to inform the public accordingly, the Commission will publish the full version of the decision with expositions not containing provisions applicable to the protection of information once the procedural conditions are met, that is, once it decides on the requests of the companies for data protection (Article 45 of the Law on Protection of Competition).

Extension of Proceedings to Cover New Undertakings on the Consumer Electronics Market

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has extended the scope of an antitrust proceedings beyond the original parties, companies Comtrade Distribution d.o.o, Roaming Electronics d.o.o., and Tehnomanija d.o.o., by instituting proceedings against companies Gigatron eksport-import, Tehnomedia centar d.o.o., Emmezeta Srbija d.o.o., XLS d.o.o., and Tehnomanija d.o.o., to investigate the existence of restrictive agreements referred to in Article 10 of the Law on Protection of Competition, which restrict competition on the retail markets for consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia.

In 2020, the Commission analyzed the conditions of competition on the wholesale and retail market for consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia. Accordingly, and upon consulting the public data on prices, it is established that consumer electronics offered in retail outlets and online sales of the retailers concerned are sold at identical or nearly identical prices. Based on the information and data currently at its disposal, the Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that said undertakings as retailers of consumer electronics have not set their retail prices independently, but have fixed them in cooperation with importers and distributors Comtrade Distribution d.o.o., Roaming Electronics d.o.o., and Tehnomalnija d.o.o..

Resale price maintenance as a particular type of anticompetitive behavior may be committed by a supplier, as well as at the wholesale and retail levels, in which case the retailer is held jointly responsible with the supplier for this type of violation of competition law.

All persons in possession of data, documents or other relevant information that could contribute to the accurate fact-finding in this proceedings are invited to present said evidence to the Commission for Protection of Competition, at 25 Savska St., 4th Floor, Belgrade.

Commission Communication

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition was approached by companies Telekom Srbija a.d. and Telenor Srbija with a request for individual exemption (Art. 12). In proceedings on requests of this kind, the Commission first establishes its competence and then decides on the fulfillment of conditions for exemption of an agreement provided, in conformity with the requirements prescribed by the law (Arts. 11, 12, 13, and 14 of the Law on Protection of Competition), which is a procedure that will be followed in the case of this particular request as well.

To avoid any further public misinformation, we underline that the case does not concern a concentration (merger) between two or more undertakings, but an exemption from the prohibition of an agreement on limited and defined business cooperation in a particular business segment.

We also note that the Commission in its current practice (Exempt agreements) had already acted on requests for individual exemption of agreements concluded between undertakings active on the market for electronic communications, Telenor – VIP mobile, Telenor – SBB, etc.

Considering this specific market, whose development and functioning are also within the competence of sectoral regulatory bodies, the Commission will continue to act on this request for individual exemption, in cooperation with those authorities.
Under the Law on Protection of Competition and in the interest in bringing proceedings, as well as to protect the rights of parties in such proceedings, the Commission currently cannot provide more detail on this matter, nor prejudice on the deadlines or its actions.
The Commission continues to inform the public in a timely fashion on its activities, in the manner prescribed by the Law.