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Sector Inquiry into the Oil Derivatives Retail Market for 2018

kzkPursuant to Article 47 of the Law on Protection of Competition, the Commission for Protection of Competition conducted the ninth sector inquiry into the oil derivatives retail market. The objective of the sector inquiry was to establish the relations between main competitors operating in the oil derivatives retail market in 2018 and to assess their market shares and relative market power.

The inquiry was based on a representative sample of 19 business entities operating in the oil derivatives retail domain and whose petrol stations account for 58% of the total number of petrol stations in Serbia.

The conclusions derived from such an analysis allowing for, inter alia, an overview of trends both in the oil production and refining market and the oil derivatives retail market, in addition to the structure and retail price trends of selected oil derivatives, are an integral part of the report.

The Commission assessed the degree of compliance with recommendations provided in the previous reports and reiterated the importance of establishing a precise statistical record on the oil and oil derivatives and the importance of cooperation with other competent institutions towards creating a legal and business environment favorable to free competition in the market.

The Commission hereby expresses its gratitude to all undertakings that have regularly submitted the requested data during the inquiry drafting process, and also invites undertakings and other members of the expert public to send their commentaries to the report via e-mail to: office.kzk@kzk.gov.rs, with annotation: Commentary to the Sector inquiry into the oil and oil derivatives market.

New CPC President and Council Members Elected

kzkAt the Fifth Sitting of the Second Regular Session held on November 14, 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Decision on the Election of the President and three Council members of the Commission for Protection of Competition.

The new Commission President is Nebojša Perić, and three Council members are Miroslava Đošić, Danijela Bokan, and dr Siniša Milošević. All candidates are elected at the proposal of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy, for a five-year term.

The Decision on the Appointment is published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 81 of November 15, 2019.

Commission Organizes Competition Policy Seminars for Students in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš

kzk-ekofIn cooperation with the Japan Fair Trade Commission, the Commission for Protection of Competition organized seminars for students enrolled in undergraduate, master, and doctoral academic studies in universities in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Niš.

The keynote addresses during the first seminar are given by H.E. Junichi Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Serbia, and Slobodan Vuksanović, Director of the Museum of Pedagogy, followed by expert presentations provided by Gordana Bulatović, Head of the Division for Competition Advocacy and International Affairs, Nina Vasić, Senior Advisor at the Division for Competition Advocacy and International Affairs, Takujiro Kono, Head of the Strategic Planning Division, JFTC, and Atsushi Nakahata, Head of the International Affairs Division, JFTC.

kzk-ekofThe academics were given an opportunity to learn about fundamental principles of competition policy, in addition to a number of concrete examples drawn from the practice illustrating the fight against cartels and other forms of anti-competitive behaviors.
By organizing such seminars, the Commission for Protection of Competition wishes to reaffirm the interest and commitment of students for competition policy in their scholarly works and to provide support to academics in pursuing their future professional careers in antitrust.

The seminars are held at the Museum of Pedagogy in Belgrade, and Novi Sad and Niš University Rectorates.

The Embassy of Japan in Belgrade and the Japan International Cooperation Agency provided support towards organizing the seminars.


Commission Positively Reviewed by Foreign Investors

kzkThe Foreign Investors Council presented the White Book 2019, a publication published yearly that provides an overview of the business environment, in addition to recommendations for its improvement from the investors’ perspective.

Foreign investors this year also remarked the significant progress achieved in the work of the Commission for Protection of Competition, in addition to the increased scope of the Commission’s activities in various fields of its competence, as well as its readiness to use complex mechanisms provided for by the Law.

The document commended the Commission’s efforts to more intensely use advanced economic analysis in inquiries into competition infringements and complex mergers, as well as its advance use of new econometric software to increase the quality of economic analysis in cases before the Commission.

This year’s White Book also states: “In 2018, the Commission continued making progress in competition advocacy and public relations. The Commission regularly informs the public on its activities and publishes a great majority of its decisions on its official website. However, it is noticeable that the Commission does not publish all the decisions in relevant areas or that it publishes them with significant delays, which does not contribute to either transparency or legal certainty. The Commission published on its website the Guidelines on Rights and Obligations of the Parties during Dawn Raids, as well as the Leniency Policy Leaflet. This positive development concerning competition advocacy is important as it contributes to the overall improvement of the current legal framework and to better understanding on the part of the general public and the media of competition rules and activities and the importance of the Commission’s role.”

The investors’ reiterated recommendations to the Commission are to proceed with the adoption of regulations governing particular categories of key importance for the completion of the competition regulatory framework, issue publications of the relevant definitions of product markets, and produce clear guidelines and instructions containing the manner of application of certain provisions of the Law, aimed at increasing the transparency and legal certainty.

CPC Releases Serbian Translation of the OECD Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement, Recommendation of the OCED Council on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement

kzkIn cooperation with the Italian partners under the Twinning project “Further Development of Protection of Competition in Serbia”, the Commission for Protection of Competition translated into Serbian the OECD Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement.

The Guidelines offer a comprehensive overview of potential strategies employed by contracting authorities to prevent bid rigging by one or more bidders.

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Commission Imposes Fine of RSD 60 million for Bid-Rigging in Public Procurements

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has established that companies Original doo Beograd, Mikops doo Niš, Birolinija doo Beograd, Biro Print Sistemi doo Beograd, Dikti Line doo, Birodeveloping doo Niš, Birotehnika doo, Jagodina, and Konica Minolta Poslovna Rešenja SE doo Beograd have coordinated their participation in public and other procurement procedures. In such manner, it is found that said companies have infringed competition law by entering into a prohibited restrictive agreement that directly or indirectly sets the selling prices or other conditions of trade, which has as its object the restriction and prevention of competition (Article 10(2/1) of the Law on Protection of Competition).

The Commission detected this collusion between competitors with the assistance from one of the participants to the prohibited agreement, providing evidence to the Commission of the concluded agreement, thus securing immunity from fines under the Leniency policy implemented by the Commission.

Given that collusions of this kind are hard to detect, the Commission uses this opportunity to reiterate the invitation to all the parties to such agreements to approach and provide evidence to the Commission and in that manner assist in detecting such agreements, and in return secure the immunity from fines for their anticompetitive behaviors, as defined in the provisions of Article 69 of the Law on Protection of Competition.

„Competition and Public Procurements” Seminar Held

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition and the Italian Competition Authority, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, organized a five-day seminar “Competition and Public Procurements” as partners in implementing the EU-funded Twinning project “Further Development of Protection of Competition in Serbia”.

At the event held at the Palace of Serbia marking the formal opening of the seminar, keynote addresses were given by Aleksandra Tomić, Chair of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Miloje Obradović, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dejan Damnjanović, Deputy Director of the Anticorruption Agency, and Stefan Otašević from the Public Procurement Office.

Chair of the Assembly’s Committee Aleksandra Tomić said that independent institutions, judiciary, and the public must have control over public procurements. “In each country, the state taken individually is the largest purchaser and the biggest economic player, while the public procurements are one of the most important budget expenditure items, and that is why it’s imperative to monitor how the taxpayers’ money is spent”, underlined Chair Tomić, pointing out that public tenders may be suitable for inappropriate spending of public funds by bid-rigging in every country. So it’s important, she added, that all stakeholders participate in adopting legislation regulating the field in order to avoid any “legal loopholes”.

President of the Commission for Protection of Competition Miloje Obradović said that according to the Law on Protection of Competition, rigged or fictitious bids in public procurements are among the most serious violations of competition – the so-called cartel agreements.

“The Commission’s competence relating to public procurement procedures exists only when bidders enter into a prohibited agreement on bid submission or suppression schemes in response to a call for tenders published by the ordering party”, said Obradović and reminded the audience that the dawn raid system and leniency program are launched in Serbia, proving to be the most efficient tools in detecting cartels. As an added value, the Commission President mentioned the need to improve the modalities of association and cooperation between national institutions in Serbia in charge of public procurements and competition.


Instituted Proceedings against Fortenova Grupa from Zagreb

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has instituted proceedings ex officio against company Fortenova Grupa d.d. Zagreb in order to investigate a merger implemented without antitrust clearance. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Fortenova Grupa d.d. Zagreb has acquired control over companies Frikom d.o.o. Beograd, Dijamant a.d. Zrenjanin, Mivela Mg, PIK Vrbovec d.o.o. Beograd, Kikindski mlin and other companies established in the Republic of Serbia, operating within the Agrokor group.

In the proceedings concerned, the Commission will investigate whether the provisions of the Law on Protection of Competition are contravened in the specific circumstances of this case, who exercises the control over company Fortenova Grupa, as well as the permissibility of this concentration within the meaning of Article 19 of the Law. The Commission will also establish material facts, evidence and other elements that will represent the basis for its decision making in terms of potential antitrust measures to be specified, that is, deconcentration measures.

The Law stipulates that concentrations of undertakings are permitted, unless they significantly restrict, distort, or prevent competition in 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 dominance.

The conclusion which initiated the proceedings concerned invites all persons in possession of information, documents or other relevant facts that could contribute to the accurate fact-finding in this proceeding to forthwith submit said evidence to the Commission for Protection of Competition to the address 25/IV Savska St., Belgrade.

Commission Posts New Video Clip

The Commission for Protection of Competition has uploaded a new video clip to its YouTube channel entitled “Our contribution to the protection of competition over the last five years, 2014-2019”.

The aim of the Commission is to present its five-year record and achievements to all undertakings, academia and citizens, whose well-being is the objective of its overall activities focused on the protection of competition, and in that manner to enhance the communication with all stakeholders and improve its operational transparency.

The video clip is produced under the project “Increasing economic growth through support to the promotion of competition policy”, implemented by CPC in collaboration with the Kingdom of Norway and the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.