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The Commission to the National Competition Authority of Paraguay presents its working method

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition and the National Competition Commission of Paraguay (CONACOM – Comisión Nacional de la Competencia) held a joint online session where representatives of the Commission presented the working method related to the independent detection of cartels without relying on the leniency program,notifications or cooperation with other authorities.

Officials and representatives of the Paraguayan authorities were explained the cartel detection method developed by the Commission and were familiarized with its practice regarding the detection and proof of concerted practices as a type of restrictive agreement.

The collaboration took place during the 22nd annual conference “Global Competition Forum” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held in Paris, where CONACOM officials expressed interest in the method presented by the Commission for the Protection of Competition.

A member of the Council of the National Competition Commission of Paraguay, Eduardo Barros, expressed his gratitude to the Commission for the presentation held to CONACOM employees.

The Commission Imposed a Competition Protection Measure With the Application of the “Leniency Program”

kzkCommission for Protection of Competition determined that companies KTG Solucije and Eco Sense Subotica with seat in Subotica agreed on the terms of participating in several public procurements procedures that were related to the procurement of cleaning products, thus concluding a restrictive agreement.

The Commission, through the Public Procurement Office, learned that KTG Solucije, as the bidder in certain public procurement procedures withdrew from the bids, thereby the contracting parties concluded the agreements with second-ranked bidder, Eco Sense, but, with higher prices compared to the ones offered by KTG Solucije. The subject of disputable public disputes were materials and products for cleaning buildings.

In addition to information on withdrawal from bids, the Commission, through the analysis of IP addresses (Internet Protocol Address) from which KTG Solucije d.o.o. and Eco Sense d.o.o. accessed the Public Procurement Portal in the said public procurement procedures, whether to download tender documents or submit bids, concluded that both companies almost always accessed from identical IP addresses. Results of IP address analysis point to the fact that both companies accessed the Public Procurement Portal almost always from devices that were connected on the same internet network, possibly from the same device.

Protection competition measures were imposed to the participants in a restrictive agreement, which was reduced for KTG Solucije due to the fact it used the “leniency program”, in line with Article 69 of the Law. The significance of this case is that this is the first case in which the Commission determined fulfilment of conditions to reduce the obligation of monetary amount payment related to competition protection measure based on the notification of the participant in restrictive agreement submitted during the procedure, that is, after it has been initiated.

The Commission’s Guidelines have been nominated for the Antitrust Writing Awards

kzkThe Commission for Protection of Competition’s Guidelines for Drafting Competition Compliance Programs, with the Template Competition Compliance Program accompanying the Guidelines and two Competition Checklists for assessing exposure of undertakings to risks of competition infringements, have been nominated this year for the Antitrust Writing Awards, organized by Concurrences and George Washington University. The aim of the Antitrust Writing Awards is to promote competition scholarship and contribute to competition advocacy in the legal and economic fields.

The publication in English is nominated in the section of the best Soft Laws & Studies of competition authorities in the subcategory “Europe”. The Commission is in the same category with the European Commission and competition authorities of the UK, France, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Turkey.

The “Best Soft Laws & Studies” selection aims to contribute to developing antitrust culture and awareness. It seeks to support international antitrust advocacy by drawing attention to the most meaningful non-enforcement documents published by competition agencies such as guidelines, market studies, etc. It aims at singling out some of the most interesting administration practices that could be usefully applied more generally.

As in previous years, the nominations are evaluated by a jury composed of leading antitrust enforcers, academics, and counsel and at the same time there is an audience vote.

Students of the Faculty of Law visiting the Commission

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition in cooperation with the Student Association for International Cooperation (SAIC) of the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade organized a student visit to the Commission.

The academics had the opportunity to be acquainted with the basic principles of competition protection policy and to gain direct insight into the work and functioning of the Commission.

By organizing such student visits, the Commission aims to raise interest and motivate students to engage in competition protection throughout their academic work, as well as to find interest in this field for a potential professional career.

With eleven years of existence, over 2,000 members and with over 1,000 projects implemented, SAIC has helped students in pursue of their further professional path.

The Commission presented its work method at the 22nd annual conference of the OECD called “Global Forum on Competition”

kzk The Commission for the Protection of Competition participated in the 22nd annual conference “Global Forum on Competition”, which is traditionally organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), at its headquarters in Paris.

Upon a special invitation of the OECD, within the panel “Alternatives to the Leniency Programmes”, the Commission’s work method was presented, which refers to the proactive independent detection of cartels without relying on the leniency program, reports or cooperation with other authorities. The presentation attracted considerable attention from the representatives of the competition protection authorities present and was accompanied by questions, discussion and positive evaluations.

To this year’s conference, which took place from December 7 to 8, 2023, guests from around 110 competition protection authorities and international organizations were invited, and the topics were: “From globalization to regionalization”, “Alternatives to the leniency programmes”, “Using economic evidence in cartel cases” and “Ex-post evaluation of measures imposed in merger investigation procedures”

The conference represented a good way of connecting the Commission with representatives of competition protection authorities from all over the world and directly presenting the work of the Commission in an international framework.

Investigation procedure initiated under notification of concentration of Atlantic Grand – Strauss Adriatic

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition ex officio continued the procedure initiated by the notification of the concentration resulting from the acquisition of individual control by the commercial company Atlantic Grand doo Beograd, over the commercial company Strauss Adriatic doo Šimanovci, by the purchase of shares, in order to examine whether the reported concentration meets the conditions of permissibility from Article 19 of the Law on the Protection of Competition, i.e. whether the implementation of this concentration would significantly restrict, distort or prevent competition on the market of the Republic of Serbia or part thereof, and especially if such restriction, distortion or prevention would be the result of the creation or strengthening of a dominant position.

In the investigation procedure, the commission will carry out all the necessary actions and establish all the facts and present evidence in order to assess the criteria prescribed by the Law (Article 19 of LPC) which determines the permissibility of the concentration.

By virtue of the conclusion by which the procedure was continued ex officio, all persons having data, documents or other relevant information that can contribute to establishing the correct factual situation in this procedure are invited to submit them without delay to the Commission for the Protection of Competition at the address 25/IV Savska Street, Belgrade.

The Commission took part in the II International Conference on Competition Protection and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the National Competition Agency of Georgia

kzkThe Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of application of competition law with the Georgian National Competition Agency during the II International Conference on Competition and Consumer Protection held in Tbilisi.

This Memorandum, signed by Commission Council member Čedomir Radojčić and President of the National Competition Agency of Georgia Irakli Lekvinadze, is aimed at improving the cooperation in the field of competition protection as well as further development of bilateral relations.

Also within the panel “Restrictive agreements, effective mechanisms for detection and prevention”, member of the Council of the Commission Čedomir Radojčić held a presentation of the Business Compliance Program Model with regulations on competition protection with Guidelines and lists for compliance control and risk identification which was developed by the Commission.
The heads of state authorities of Georgia, representatives of regulatory bodies, experts from relevant fields and agencies of other countries, representatives of international organizations (UNCTAD, OECD, etc.), media and others participated in the conference as well.

The objective of this meeting, organized by the Georgian National Competition Agency, the National Bank of Georgia, the Georgian National Regulatory Commission for Energy and Water Supply, the National Communications Commission and the State Oversight Service of Georgia, was to exchange experiences and best international practices, improve joint action and establish cooperation between participants.

A meeting was held with the representatives of the OECD and the Public Policy Secretariat of the Republic of Serbia as part of the continuation of activities on the project “Fair market conditions for competitiveness”.

kzkRepresentatives of the Commission for the Protection of Competition met with the representatives of the OECD from the OECD Department for Southeast Europe and the OECD Department for Competition, as well as with a representative of the Republic Secretariat for Public Policies.

The meeting was held as part of the continuation of activities on the project “Fair Market Conditions for Competitiveness”, which the OECD has been implementing since 2019.

The objective of the meeting was to organize a joint workshop on the topic of assessing the impact of regulations on competition in the market, intended primarily for civil servants who work on the drafting of regulations at ministries and other organizations that exercise public authority.

Guidelines for Drafting Competition Compliance Programs available in English as well

kzkIn order to help undertakings in the process of adopting competition compliance programs, the Commission for Protection of Competition has prepared in hardcopy in English, the Guidelines for Drafting Competition Compliance Programs, a Template Competition Compliance Program accompanying the Guidelines and two Competition Checklists for assessing exposure of undertakings to risks of competition infringements.

The aim of these materials is to guide undertakings, both large and SMEs (small and medium-sized companies), when drafting internal acts and regulations to ensure that their business operations are in line with competition rules and to raise awareness among a wider circle of undertakings of the need for competition compliance.

The Guidelines with the accompanying documents are available on the Commission’s website and can be taken in hardcopy, both in Serbian and English, every business day at the Commission for the Protection of Competition, 25 Savska Street, Belgrade.

The Commission took part in the annual conference of the International Competition Network (ICN) in Barcelona

kzkRepresentatives of the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia – Čedomir Radojčić, member of the Council and senior advisors Nina Vasić and Maja Dobrić, took part in the 22nd ICN annual conference that took place in Barcelona from October 18 to 20, hosted by the Spanish competition authority, the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC).

The conference was attended by hundreds of participants from around 100 countries, namely the highest representatives of competition authorities, judges, university professors, lawyers, economists and consultants from the field of competition protection, etc.
The topics of this year’s conference reflected the activities of working groups within the International Competition Network (ICN) and related to the role of courts, digital concentrations, lawyers, challenges in cases of abuse of a dominant position, the relationship between privacy protection and competition protection, selection of priorities, further steps in cartel detection and other topics as well.

During the conference, representatives of the Commission had a notable participation, Nina Vasić was the moderator of the panel within the International Competition Network for the Effectiveness of Competition Authorities (ICN AEWG) on the topic of Measuring effectiveness: ex-post and ex-ante impact assessment of competition authorities’ activities and Maja Dobrić, within the same working group, presented the Commission’s experiences in an agency-only session on the topic of Innovative detection tools and their effective usage.

At the conference, experience was exchanged with other competition authorities and international organizations, and interest was expressed in ways of detecting competition violations that the Commission had in its practice.