April « 2015 « Commission for Protection of Competition
Home » 2015 » April
Competition is an act of competing where the most agile and the most innovative, lead and determine direction and pace of development of the whole society



Today, in the Serbia Palace, on the occassion of the nine years of work of Commission for Protection of Competition, a conference was hosted on competition policy in Serbia addressing the possibilities for exemption from measures for protection of competition, (application of immunity program – leniency), which was attended by Mr. Zeljko Sertic, Minister of Economy, Mr. Michael Davenport, Head of EU Delegation in Serbia, Ms.Aleksandra Tomic, Ph.D., President of the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy, Ms. Vesna Kovac, State Secretary, Mr.Miloje Obradovic, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, officials of the Administrative Court, regulatory authorities, academic institutions, as well as law firms and business associations.

The aim of the conference was exchange of experience on the specifics and effects of legal rules on protection of competition, in order for equal market conditions to be created, strengthening the efficiency and development of domestic economy, as well as improving the process of Serbia’s accession to European Union.

Participants agreed that competition is an act of competing where the most agile and the most innovative, lead and determine direction and pace of development of the whole society. That is why the progress, especially economic development, is inseparably tied to competition. For this reason the Commission for Protection of Competition, as a professional and independent government institution, has a key role in protection of competition, or plainly said – its task is to keep the rules of the game in the field of competition, so that each participant has equal conditions for performing its activities, and thus be aware that only from its effectiveness depends the success in production or providing services, to the benefit of all consumers, as was pointed out at the conference.

The conference also served as a framework for the exchange of knowledge in order to promote competition policy in Serbia, as one of the most important policies for the functioning of free market. Once again, it was stressed that its implementation reduces uncertainty faced by market participants, prevents prohibited acts, leading to strengthening of competition in the market or to increase of economic efficiency, economic growth and higher quality of goods and services.

The conference was organized within and with the support of the Project ”Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia”, funded by European Union.

The case ”Politika”: Commission for Protection of Competition imposed a measure of procedural penalty in the amount of 143.500 euros to company East Media Group and referred the case to the State Attorney’s Office

Council of the Commission for Protection of Competition (hereinafter:Commission) issued on March 25, 2015, two decisions in procedure initiated ex officio against company East Media Group from Moscow, Russian Federation (hereinafter:East Media), because of the reasonable assumption that when purchasing the share of 50% in the company ”Politika Newspapers and Magazines” from Beograd, a concentration was implemented, which did not obtain approval from the Commission in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Protection of Competition.

Decision of the Commission determined procedural penalties to company East Media due to its failure to act according to the resolution of the Commission of January 29, 2015, by which it was ordered to deliver data and documents for the purpose of procedure. The level of procedural penalty amounts to a total of 143.500,00 euros, which currently stands at around 17.286,000 dinars and this amount is to be paid to the budget of the Republic of Serbia. With this resolution, the Commission makes it clear to all market participants that the non-fulfillment of obligations prescribed by the Law for delivery of data necessary for the proper determination of factual situation, will be sanctioned according to the Law.

With other instrument, Commission’s resolution, the procedure against company East Media was suspended, due to the need for previous legal issue in this case to be resolved.
Underlying issue that has to be decided, is whether the contract of share between previous owner of share in company ”Politika Newspapers and Magazines”, company Ost Holding GmbH from Vienna, Republic of Austria – affiliated legal entity of German Media Group Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung Mediengruppe (WAZ) and company East Media, is valid. Based on the collected material evidence and witness statements, the Commission noted that the established facts reasonably indicate the possibility that, when selling share of 50% in the company ”Politika Newspapers and Magazines”, company Ost Holding GmbH did not act in accordance with the obligations stipulated by the Corporate Charter of the company ”Politika Newspapers and Magazines. Namely, collected evidence and witness statements point to a reasonable assumption that the offer for the purchase of share (pre-emption right), was not delivered to other member of the company, which is majority owned by the Republic of Serbia, in the manner and under conditions provided by the company’s by-laws. Given the potential harm to the property rights and interests of the Republic of Serbia, the Commission, bearing in mind the importance of this issue, decided to refer the matter to the State Attorney’s Office, in order to examin the validity of the agreement and decide on the possible initiation of dispute.

Given the importance and complexity of this case, Commision continues active cooperation with the competent authorities in the Republic of Serbia and abroad.