Commission for Protection of Competition
President of the Commission Spoke to Newly Appointed USA Embassy’s Head of Economic Affairs Section

usaPresident of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Miloje Obradović, PhD, met with newly appointed Head of Economic Affairs Section of the USA Embassy to Serbia, Ms. Carolina Hidea, and her team.

President Obradović introduced collocutors to current issues from the filed of competition policy and Commission’s activities related to EU accession process.

The topic of conversation also included options for further strengthening of expert and educational support via competition policy related projects, organization of seminars, visiting lecturers, conferences, joint study programs on competition policy, etc.

Present at the meeting were Dragan Penezić, PhD, Secretary General of the Commission for Protetion of Competition, and Ms. Nina Vasić, Adviser at the Department for International and National Cooperation of the Commission for Protection of Competition.

The Commission Participates in the PERFORM Project

icnBeginning October, a presentation titled Market Analysis of Aftersales Service (Aftermarkets) was held at the Commission for Protection of Competition’s premises. Representatives from the Commission for Protection of Competition, Public Policy Secretariat of the RS, PERFORM Project, in addition to research team members of the Institute for Economic Sciences participated in the meeting. The information on this activity was published on the PERFORM Project website as well.

The Commission for Protection of Competition is one of the PREFORM project beneficiaries. The PERFORM project, implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooparation SRB representative office, in cooperation with the Public Policy Secretariat of the Republic of Serbia, is implementing four pilot-projects aimed at straightening of evidence-based policy making.

Apart from that, the basic goal of the review on competition related implications on aftermarkets, including guarantees, customer service, turnover and the use of spare parts for motor vehicles and top selling home appliances, was to determine the structure and relations between main market actors, their market shares and relative power, aimed at detecting possible market deficiencies, i.e. presence of competition infringements conditions. The analysis developed a series of conclusions and recommendations that will be published on the website, following the concluding adoption procedure by the Commission’s Council.

During the meeting, all project partners praised the high quality of established collaboration during all project implementation phases and expressed their satisfaction with project related participation. The Commission’s representatives expressed their pleasure with achieved study’s results that provided answers to basic investigation tasks as defined by the project’s ToR.

The report on performed analysis will be published on the Commission’s webpage, taking into consideration undertakings request for protection of specific data. Apart from the call addressed to undertakings to submit their comments to the Commission, the Report will be forwarded to state institutions, identified as responsible for certain issues in the study (Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, and Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure).

On the basis of analysis results, a regulation on the group exemption of vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector will be drafted, thus transporting the EU Commission Regulation 461/2010 into our legislature. Apart from the said, additional investigation will be placed on observed cases that could limit, prevent or disturb the competition on specific markets. Following investigation of certain cases, it will be decided on the existence of a sufficient basis for initiation of competition infringement processes, or merely on drawing the attention of undertakings to certain rules in the context of competition policy.

PERFORM Program Officer Svetlana Kijevcanin announced a conference that will be held in early December where the operational model of all pilot projects will be presented together with the results of all four research studies.

PERFORM website link for related news published in English:

Enhancement of Knowledge on Cartel Detection

icnThis year as well, the International Competition Network organized its 13th annual workshop dedicated to the enhancement of knowledge on cartel detection, the ICN Cartel Workshop, held in Madrid, Spain.

The host of this year’s four-day workshop, dedicated to the additional training of competition infringements experts, is Spanish competition authority – Comision nacional de los mercados y la competencia.

Experts from the Department for Competition Infringement, Mr. Vladimir Antonijević and Ms. Marija Kovačević, represented the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition at this event.

During the workshop, the discussion is focused on strategies for cartel detection and investigation, introduction to available tools for deterrence, as well as on cooperation between different competition authorities in the domain of cartel detection and prevention.

As in previous years, lecturers are the EU Commission’s cartel detection experts, in addition to experts coming from countries with multiannual experience and practice in detecting numerous types of competition infringements.

In addition to competition authorities, the workshop is intended for participation of NGO experts.

Commission’s Delegation Attending “The Russian Competition Week”

rccoecd The Commission for Protection of Competition’s delegation consisted of the Commission for Protection of Competition’s Council member, Marko Obradović, and Senior adviser in the Department for investigation of concentration, Gordana Lukić, following invitation sent by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, attended “The Russian Competition Week” held in Moscow.

The motto of this manifestation, as well as the plenary session’s topic was “New reality. New challenges. New competition policy”.

On the sidelines of this three-day conference, the Commission’s delegation also had a bilateral meeting with the Vice-President of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, Anatoly Golomolzin, on the improvement of relations and cooperation between the Serbian and Russian competition authorities.

The Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation have signed an Agreement on cooperation in 2012, which was followed by a series of joint activities that have considerably influenced the improvement of the Commission’s operations.

Based on the Agreement, the FAS training center in Kazan held seminars and training events participated by many employees from the Commission’s administrative and professional services, alongside the organization of the last year’s study visit and a visit of Russian colleagues to Serbia.

OECD Regional Center for Competition Seminar Held in Belgrade

rccoecdThe Commission for Protection of Competition hosted traditional, prestigious seminar of the OECD Regional Center for Competition, headquartered in Budapest. The topic of this gathering, as per initiative of the Serbian Commission as a host, was how to enhance competition culture, competition policy advocacy, and estimate on competition policy’s effectiveness in the SEE region.

The conference was opened by the President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Miloje Obradović, PhD, while main panelists were Sabine Zigelski, OECD Senior competition expert, Šarunas Keserauskas, Chairman of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania, and Kay Weidner, Spokesman for Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.

The President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Miloje Obradović, PhD, emphasized that among state institution, business and expert public representatives, the judiciary and consumers themselves, still exists an insufficient level of knowledge on the importance of competition legislation.

“I believe that topic on how to develop a competition culture is in common for all regional bodies in the majority of countries that either went, or are still going through a transition. Famous Cambridge sociologist, Ralf Dahrendorf, explained the situation of countries that had a discontinuity in a market economy with a sentence that is very illustrative of the issues we are facing as well: “Transitional countries can change government in six days, enact laws in six months, build institutions in six years, but for a change in the manners of citizens’ thinking and acting – it will take sixty years”.

President Obradovic said that he believes there is a significant room for improvement in this segment of protection of competition bodies’ operations, but that he is not dissatisfied with the results, especially having in mind the fact that this topic has not always been set as a priority.

During the first and second day of the seminar, methods implemented by competition authorities aimed at improvement of competition culture were presented, hypothetical case of presenting to the media competition protection measures imposed on cartel participants was analyzed, as well as effects of the campaigns directed toward enhancing general public’ knowledge of the competition protection policy implemented by institutions for protection of competition of countries participating in the seminar.

The third day of the seminar was dedicated to the instruments for market monitoring (sectoral analysis, studies, hypothetical cases, reports, researches, etc.) with the aim of identifying possible weaknesses in the market and/or the existence of conditions of competition infringements. Representatives of Lithuania, Germany, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia presented their experiences.

By giving their presentations, representatives of the Commission for Protection of Competition passed a particular contribution to the seminar. Dragan Penezeć, PhD, Secretary General, reviewed Commission for Protection of Competition’s activities, Gordana Bulatović, Chief of Staff, presented the implementation of existing advocacy competition tools in cooperation with the media used for enhancing competition culture, as well as Jelena Popović Markopulos, Senior Advisor in the Department for Economic Analysis, who spoke on the Serbian authority experiences in preparing sectoral analysis.

More than 30 participants from 21 authorities for the protection of competition coming from regional countries, European Union and Euro-Asian region participated in the seminar.