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Talks on cooperation of the Commission and the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade

ekof-kzkPresident of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Mr. Miloje Obradovic, Ph.D. with his associates, on November 24, 2015 met with representatives of the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade – Vice Dean Associate Professor Mr. Dragan Lončar, Ph.D. and Director of the Scientific Research Centre of the Faculty of Economics, Assistant Professor Mr. Dragan Stojkovic, Ph.D.

Topics discussed were the establishment of professional and educational cooperation between the two institutions in the field of competition policy, through organization of seminars, lectures delivered by visiting experts from Commission, conferences, joint study programs on competition policy, international projects, summer schools and the like.

It was also agreed to consider the idea to allow students of Faculty of Economics professional practice in Commission in order to acquire practical knowledge and skills in the field of competition law.

President of the Commission expressed his expectations that cooperation with the Faculty of Economics shall contribute to greater understanding of competition policy and that graduates shall possess necessary skills and knowledge for its implementation in the market.

The Supreme Court of Cassation upheld the legality of decision of Commission on abuse of dominant position in the market for purchase of raw milk

The Supreme Court of Cassation, by its judgement of 09.10.2015, dismissed the request for review of judgment of the Administrative Court submitted by ”Imlek a.d. Beograd and a.d. ”Mlekara Subotica”, by which, finaly, the Supreme Court of Cassation also confirmed that the decision of the Commission for Protection of Competition on abuse of dominant position by these dairies in the market of purchase of raw milk intended for further industrial processing in dairies in the teritorry of the Republic of Serbia, was lawful.

For the first time in this case, Commission made its decision on 25.01.2008, however, four years later, after the annulment of several decisions, on 09.08.2012 it issued a decision in revised procedure, which the Administrative Court assessed as lawful by its ruling of 05.01.2015. The Supreme Court of Cassation upheld the legality of this ruling by its judgement, thus also confirming the decision of the Commission.

This judgement is important too from the perspective of transferring the legal frame to the level of individual cases, i.e. to situations of certain behavior of market participants, the conditions and consequences of such actions in a particular market environment, thus confirming the predictability of practice of Commission and courts and the legal certainty of participants in the procedures for protection of competition.

The Commission has been positively assessed in European Commission Report on the process of Serbia’s accession to EU for 2015

On 10.11.2015, European Commission published its Annual Report on the Serbia progress in the process of European integration, in which it examined the compatibility of regulations and the manner of their implementation to EU acquis.

When it comes to Chapter 8 – competition policy, European Commission assessed that Serbia is ”moderately” prepared to assume the obligations in this field. The greatest progress under this Chapter has been made in the area of competition protection, more specifically, narrowed down to infringement of competition and merger control.

European Commission said that in the field of competition infringements and merger control, the legal framework has been largely harmonised with EU acquis. Commission for Protection of Competition has maintained its level of activities from 2014, making decisions on abuse of dominant position and merger control. Conduct of two dawn raids in July 2015, is a positive development towards a more efficient fight against cartels.

The Report says that in 2015, administrative capacity of the Commission has been significantly strengthened. On the other hand, according to estimates in the Report, the capacity of judiciary to decide on complex cases in the field of competition must be further improved.

Press Release

Commission for Protection of Competition has initiated an investigation procedure for infringement of competition ex officio, against the company ”Infostan”, Public Utility Company from Belgrade, in order to investigate infringement of competition as in Article 16 of the Law on Protection of Competition.

Abuse of dominant position on the market is prohibited, especially in case of applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a disadvantage in relation to competitors.

Commission reasonably assumes that company Infostan posseses business sensative information on the number of customers, who do not have a household insurance, listed through unified billing system. By using its knowledge and position, company Infostan allowed joint stock insurance company ”Generali Insurance Serbia”, an insight into the market, and provided information on potential customers who do not use insurance services, whereby it applied dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other market participants, placing at the disadvantage particular market participants in relation to their competitors, thereby abusing its dominant position.

Commision shall, within investigation procedure, undertake evidentiary actions in order to determine decisive facts, which are important for assessing the existence of infringement of competition.

We invite all persons who have data, documents or other relevant information which may contribute to determining the factual situation in this procedure to submit them to Commission for Protection of Competition at Savska 25, Belgrade.

Commission made a significant progress in its work, in the opinion of Foreign Investors Council

Foreign Investors Council (FIC), at its annual presentation of business climate and recommendations for its improvement – ”White Book 2015”, notes visible progress in the work of Commission for Protection of Competition.

According to Foreign Investors Council, the improvements are obvious regarding the clarification of existing competition rules governing commitments, but also relations between competitors in public procurement procedures. As stated in the ”White Book” particularly noteworthy is the fact that in November 2014, Commission for the first time applied ”commitment decision” introduced by the amendments to the Law on Protection of Competition of 2013.

Extremely positive progress is, in the opinion of Foreign Investors Council, a public invitation which the Commission sent to all relevant stakeholders, to submit comments to the draft Regulation on Notification of Concentration. Commission clearly demonstrated, during a public debate on the draft Regulation, that it is willing and ready to transparently and openly discuss with the business community new laws and supporting sub-legal acts and consequently, to consider and accept comments to its own draft legislations. In addition, although periodically published opinions and decisions of Commission generally improve the existing legal framework and provide a better understanding of competition rules, an additional effort should be made in publishing updated (and comprehensive) quidelines and recommendations of the Commission, said FIC Report.

Foreign Investors Council has been issuing this publication since 2013 and it is promoted in the forth quarter every year at the prestigious event. ”White Book” is a representation of business climate in Serbia by private sector and in transparent way represents a platform for dialogue with the government authorities and a practical set of recommendations. Its aim is to allow the removal of unnecessary barriers to doing business in Serbia, which makes easier the inflow of investments.

Representatives of the Commission participated at the Conference „Innovations in the Regulations and Practice in Competition“

President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Mr. Miloje Obradovic, Ph.D., on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, in Metropol Hotel delivered a keynote address at the Conference organized by the law office Karanovic & Nikolic and the German foundation Friedrich Naumann.

The occassion for holding the Confernce was the marking of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the first modern Law on Protection of Competition in the Republic of Serbia. Presentations and discussions were focused on innovations in the field of competition law, with particular emphasis on dawn raids, actions for damages caused by infringement of competition and competition law in digital age.

One of the panelists at the Conference was Mr.Cedomir Radojcic, Head of Restrictive Practices Division in the Commission for Protection of Competition, who gave an overview of the first decade of implementation of Law on Protection of Competition in Serbia, as well as the establishment of Commission’s practice in dawn raids.

The public at the Conference positively assessed the predictability of proceedings by Commission for Protection of Competition, which is, as pointed out by speakers, very important for certainty of market participants and their business decisions.

The Conference provided also an opportunity for competion advocacy in the professional community, as well as exchange, through dialogue, of experience and views on the situation in this field.

Delegation of the Commission on the 14th session of the OECD Annual Conference

Delegation of the Commission for Protection of Competition attended the 14th session of the OECD Annual Conference, entitled ”Global Forum on Competition” at the invitation of OECD Secretariat.

Annual meeting was held in the head-office of OECD, on October 29 and 30, 2015, having as primary topics ”Connection and Interdependence of Competition Policy and Employment” (does competition contribute to job distruction or job creation ?) and ”Cartels – Series Offenders (discussion on the issue of systematic repetition of cartel agreements in certain sectors of economy)”.

The first day of Conference was dominated by topic which engaged the representatives of both competition authorities and representatives of governments, trade unions and academia. The session focused on theoretical and practical examples which explored several models according to which active competition policy in certain areas contributes to creation of new jobs, but in some cases it also leads to loss of jobs.

On the second day of Conference, our delegation participated in the session on the subject of systematic repetition of cartel agreements in certain sectors of economy. Delegation conducted also a series of bilateral discussions with representatives of competition authorities from Austria, United States, Romania, Czech Republic, Sweden, countries in the region and other, on the subject of continuing further cooperation in the forthcoming period.

Conference was attended by over 90 delegations of competition authorities from all over the world, as well as representatives of international institutions, academia and business associations.