Commission for Protection of Competition
New Leniency Video Released

The Commission for Protection of Competition uploaded on its YouTube channel a video clip, produced to inform undertakings on the possible use of the Leniency Programme.

The Law on Protection of Competition provides for the Leniency Program for undertakings that report restrictive agreements, which envisages the full or partial immunity from fines in return for the cooperation with the Commission necessary for their disclosure and gathering evidence, in particular, in respect of the cartels.
Under the project “Increasing economic growth through support to promotion of competition policy” implemented in cooperation with the Kingdom of Norway and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, the Commission produced this video material in an effort to incite and inform undertakings in the Republic of Serbia that have participated in restrictive agreements, of the benefits of the Leniency Programme.

Instituted Proceedings on Car Sales Market

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition instituted antitrust proceedings ex officio against companies Porsche SCG Beograd, subjected to a dawn raid, Autokomerc Beograd, Autocentar Manik – ACM Preljina, and Bros Auto Niš, to investigate the existence of restrictive agreements referred to in Article 10 of the Law on Protection of Competition, which restrict competition on the car sales market in the Republic of Serbia.

When analyzing competitive conditions on the markets for automotive sales and aftersales services in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Commission has established the existence of a contractual provision in the provided agreements for products/Audi-branded vehicles, enabling the importer to set resale prices of motor vehicles. Such provisions can disturb and even eliminate price competition in retail, that is, price competition that could have existed between car dealers of this particular brand if they had been able to set their resale prices independently.

For the reasons outlined above, the Commission will, in particular, investigate whether the companies against which the proceedings had been brought, have set the resale prices of products/Audi-branded vehicles, which would represent an infringement of competition referred to in Article 10 of the Law.

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

Commission Institutes Proceedings Against Apoteka Janković

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition instituted ex officio proceedings against company Zdravstvena ustanova Apoteka Janković to investigate a merger implemented before obtaining clearance under the Law on Protection of Competition, which, based on reasonable grounds to believe, is created by the acquisition of control on the part of Zdravstvena ustanova Apoteka Janković over pharmaceutical operations of Zdravstvena ustanova Apoteka Zrenjanin.

In the investigation procedure, the Commission will assess the criteria provided by the Law (Article 19 of the LPC) on the permissibility of mergers, and in particular, the fact that the case concerns a non-notified merger implemented without authorization and noncompliance by said undertakings with their obligations under the national merger control regime.

The Commission will establish all the relevant facts, evidence, and other elements on which to base its decision on potential actions, that is, deconcentration measures.
The Law provides that concentrations of undertakings are permitted, unless they significantly restrict, distort, or prevent competition on the market of the Republic of Serbia or its part, and especially if that restriction, distortion, or prevention is the result of creating or strengthening of a dominant position.

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

Commission Institutes Another Proceedings on the Consumer Electronics Market

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition instituted antitrust proceedings ex officio and carried out a dawn raid at business premises of company SF1 Coffee d.o.o., a Nespresso importer and distributor, 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 and wholesale market for consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia.

Based on the Eurostat data for 2019, the Commission established that the prices of consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia are by 13 percent higher than the EU average. In light of the findings above, the Commission has 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 in retail outlets, as well as in online sales of the retailer concerned, Nespresso coffee machines are sold at identical or nearly identical prices on the market of the Republic of Serbia.

The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe the existence of resale price maintenance practices carried out by company SF1 Coffee as an importer and distributor of the products concerned, which represent a form of restrictive arrangement, i.e., an act of infringement of competition referred to in Article 10 of the 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 submit said evidence to the Commission for Protection of Competition, 25 Savska St., 4th Floor, Belgrade.

Commission Instituted Proceedings Against Undertakings on the Consumer Electronics Market

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition instituted ex officio proceedings to investigate infringements of competition, and carried out dawn raids at business premises of companies Roaming Electronics d.o.o., Tehnomanija d.o.o., and Comtrade Distribution 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 and wholesale market for consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia.

Based on the Eurostat data for 2019, the Commission established that the prices of consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia were by 13 percent higher than the EU average. For example, the prices of certain product categories in the Republic of Serbia were by 33-39 percent higher than the prices in Hungary, where the current value-added tax (VAT) rate is set at 27 percent, while the VAT rate in the Republic of Serbia currently stands at 20 percent. Furthermore, the prices of consumer electronics in Hungary were below the EU average by 2.5 percent.

In light of the findings above and noting the importance of this particular market for consumers, 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 in retail outlets, as well as in online sales of related retailers, consumer electronics are sold at identical or nearly identical prices.

The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe the existence of obligations (contractual) imposed by said undertakings acting in concert, establishing the prices and conditions of trade in resale, which represents a form of restrictive agreement and an infringement of competition referred to in Article 10 of the 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 submit said evidence to the Commission for Protection of Competition, 25 Savska St., 4th Floor, Belgrade.