In the course of the past week, Commission initiated procedure for establishment of existence of infringement of competition relating to distribution of electronic cigarettes and liquid for electronic cigarettes, and on the strength of its legal powers carried out dawn raids of the premises of the parties on several locations in the territory of the city of Beograde. Procedures were initiated on the ground of suspicion that the undertakings concluded agreements on setting minimum prices in retail trade.
Dawn raid is an unannounced search of premises, i.e.data, documents and effects found in that place, of which a party i.e. holder of premises and property is informed on the spot, at the time of carrying out the search. This instrument is exceptionally efficient in uncovering cartel collusions and other forms of infringements of competition. During dawn raid, Commission had a full cooperation of parties to procedure.
The result of efficient implementation of policy preventing competition infringements is, above all, consumers welfare, through better selection, quality and lower prices of goods and services. Efficient competition policy provides also benefits for competitors, since by preventing cartels and abuse of dominant position, equal conditions for all undertakings are created.
At this instant, Commission is not in position to deliver any additional information, as not to endanger further investigation procedures.
Commission for Protection of Competition, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, seeks to promote competition policy in Serbia. With regard to that, representatives of Commission for Protection of Competition participated, as lecturers, at the seminar held in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce organized in cooperation with that institution within the Project for Strengthening the Competition in Serbia financed by EU, which is a part of program for enhancement of competition policy in the Republic of Serbia, and implemented by German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). Mr. Milan Kostic spoke about methodology of determining the relevant market, while the role and practice of the Commission for Protection of Competition was presented by Mr.Nebojsa Milenkovic. Mr.Andrej Plahutnik discussed the assessment of effective competition and restrictions, prohibited constraints and importance of determining relevant market.
Representatives of Commission for Protection of Competition participated, as speakers, in the seminar dedicated to the field of competition, with a focus on challenges in energy sector.
Seminar participants were informed about sector inquiries of the market of petroleum products, as well as all illicit clauses imposed on long-term contracts on gas supply. The topic at the seminar was also the issue of price calculation, as well as the problems of vertical integration in production and distribution of electricity. Too, among topics discussed at seminar were basic provisions stemming from the EU Stabilization and Association Agrement regarding the separation of functions of production from supply and further distribution of energy to end consumers.
In cooperation with Serbian Chamber of Commerce and experts involved in project supported by EU intended to promote protection of competition in Serbia, Commission for Protection of Competition provides business community with opportunity to become familiar, through lectures, workshops and seminars, with basic rules in competition policy and competition protection.
Speakers at the seminar were Ms. Jelena Grahovac, from Commission for Protection of Competition, and experts involved in project, Mr. Andrej Plahutnik and Mr.Aleksandar Djelic, lawyer.
Serbian Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Commission for Protection of Competition, organized this seminar within the Project for Strengthening the Competition in Serbia financed by EU, and implemented by German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia and Agency for Protection of Competition of Montenegro signed today in Podgorica, Memorandum on Mutual Understanding and Cooperation in the field of Competition. This Memorandum, signed by Mr. Miloje Obradovic, President of the Commission and Mr.Miodrag Vujovic, Director of the Agency, represents a continuation of promotion of successful cooperation and development of bilateral relations by ensuring conditions for efficient functioning of market products and services.
Serbian and Montenegrin institutions for protection of competition will thus be even closer to European values in the field of competition law and policy, which constitutes an important segment of the negotiation process for accession to full membership in the European Union.
With this document, Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia completed formal cooperation with all countries in the region, which will significantly facilitate the future work and monitoring and sanctioning of irregularities in the market.