Commission for 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.

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.