kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition has instituted antitrust proceedings ex officio against companies Atlantic Grupa – Zagreb, Atlantic Brands – Beograd, and Strauss Adriatic – Šimanovci to investigate the existence of restrictive agreements referred to in Article 10 of the Law on Protection of Competition, which restrict competition on the coffee market in the Republic of Serbia, and has conducted dawn raids.

In May and June 2021, the Commission launched an inquiry into competitive conditions in retail sale in non-specialized stores with selected food items in the Republic of Serbia. The inquiry, inter alia, covered the retail pricing trends regarding individual coffee brands and their interrelation during the observed period, 2015-2020.

The inquiry pointed out that the wholesale coffee market is a market with few undertakings, concentrated and stable, and with two large undertakings whose market share from 2013-2020 has not dropped below 80%. It is assessed that the market has a structure that is conducive to facilitating agreements between competitors.

The Commission found grounds to believe that companies Atlantic Grupa and Strauss Adriatic, as the two largest undertakings on the wholesale market for grounded coffee in the Republic of Serbia, as well as the two largest competitors, have concerted mutual business strategies on the prices of grounded coffee in the Republic of Serbia.

In this manner, the companies concerned would replace the mutual competition with cooperation, while the said behavior as its purpose or effect has a significant restriction, distortion or prevention of competition in the territory of the Republic of Serbia within the meaning of Article 10 of the Law, which stipulates that restrictive agreements may be contracts, certain contract provisions, express or tacit agreements, concerted practices, as well as decisions of associations of undertakings, which in particular, directly or indirectly, set the purchase or selling prices or other conditions of trade.

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 forthwith notify the Commission for Protection of Competition accordingly, by presenting said evidence at 25 Savska St., 4th Floor, Belgrade.