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Commission Participated on International Competition Conferences in Berlin

kzkRepresentatives of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia participated on the 21st ICN Annual Conference and 21st International Conference on Competition in Berlin, hosted by the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt).

The Bundeskartellamt is bringing together two of the most renowned international events dealing with competition policy and competition law enforcement, the International Conference on Competition (ICC) and the Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN). In 1982 the International Conference on Competition was launched by the Bundeskartellamt in Berlin, where the Bundeskartellamt was based at the time, and has since then been held every two years. This year the Bundeskartellamt was also hosted the annual conference of the ICN, the International Competition Network founded in 2001, which today counts 140 member agencies from 130 jurisdictions.

The main topics were the issue of relationship between competition law and policy with other areas, primarily consumer protection and access and use of confidential data, regulatory and other measures necessary to establish and strengthen competition on digital platform markets, as well as other current issues from the areas of anti-trust, concentration assessment, competition protection advocacy, etc.

Approximately 450 participants from over 80 countries attended the conferences, highest representatives of competition authorities, judges, university professors, anti-trust lawyers, representatives of German ministries and other governmental bodies, international companies, etc.

Closing conference of the Twinning project “Further Development of Protection of Competition in Serbia”

kzkThe closing online conference has completed the EU Twinning project “Further Development of Protection of Competition in Serbia”, jointly implemented by the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia and the Italian Competition Authority as Twinning partners.

The purpose of the project was to contribute to the further harmonization of national competition legislation with the EU acquis, its efficient enforcement and raising awareness on competition law and policy among all relevant actors.

Among the most important project results are the drafting of recommendations for further harmonization of national legislation, improvement of capacities of the Commission for Protection of Competition, judiciary, government officials, and market operators and regulators in the more practical application of competition law and raising awareness of the public on competition policy, and the implementation of sustainable competition advocacy programs.

The project “Further Development of Protection of Competition in Serbia” was realized under the Twinning initiative launched by the European Commission to assist candidate countries in their efforts to strengthen their administrative and judicial capacity for the implementation of the EU acquis. The project budget is about one million euros and is implemented from January 2019 to July 2021. The contracting authority is the Ministry of Finance, Department for Contracting and Financing of EU funded programmes (CFCU).

CPC Case Presentation to EU economists

FICThe organizers of this year’s annual international conference hosted by ACE, Association of Competition Economics, have selected the case conducted by the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia concerning the edible sunflower oil production and sales market as a representative competition case to be presented to participants of this renowned event.

The conference gathering competition economists from around Europe will take place in Bologna (Italy), mid-November this year. The CPC case was selected among dozens of nominated antitrust cases. One of the selection criteria was that the case illustrates certain advances in the use of economics in competition enforcement or to be of particular interest to competition economists.

The Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia sees the news on the selection of this competition case as additional acknowledgment for results achieved in advancing economic expertise during the last couple of years, reflecting on the quality of its decisions.

Since its creation in 2003, ACE’s main activity has been an annual conference bringing together competition economists. This year’s conference is expected to bring together numerous representatives of European competition authorities, reputable consulting companies and academia, working to exchange related experiences in assessing the effects of operational activities of competition authorities.

Israeli Ambassador Visits Commission

AFTERMARKETSPresident of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr. Miloje Obradović, received a visit of the Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Alona Fisher Kamm.

Dr. Obradović introduced Ambassador Fisher Kamm with competences of the Commission for Protection of Competition and presented activities implemented to date, along with plans aimed at advancing and advocating competition policy in Serbia.

President of the Commission also expressed a desire for the Embassy of Israel in Belgrade to convey a substantial interest of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia to intensify cooperation with the Israeli competition authority, as one of the most developed and organized in the world.

Israeli Ambassador thanked for the invitation and emphasized that the role of the Embassy of Israel in Belgrade is foremost, to facilitate position of the current and attract new Israeli investments in Serbia. Also, Her Excellency expressed a pleasure concerning instituted initiative of the Commission for Protection of Competition that might result in a more intensive cooperation and exchange of experiences between two authorities, with the objective of advancing economic environment in Serbia.

18th International Conference on Competition in Berlin

kzk-ekofFrom March 15-17, the German competition authority Bundeskartellamt organized its 18th International Conference on Competition in Berlin, a traditional biennially held event that is one of the most renowned events on competition policy.

The topic of this year’s conference related to various aspects and challenges in competition policy implementation deriving from market digitalization and globalization. The keynote speakers opening the conference were Mr. Andreas Mundt (see the picture), President of Bundeskartellamt, Ms. Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Ms. Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, and Dr Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post JSC. The conference was attended by numerous international competition authorities’ senior representatives, EU courts judges, anti-trust jurists, professors, politicians, international companies’ representatives, etc. Ms. Gordana Lukić (see the picture), Special Advisor, represented the Serbian Commission on the occasion.

The conference also presented an opportunity to discuss on the possibilities and directions for further development of current successful cooperation between the Commission and Bundeskartellamt.

Several panels were held during the conference covering the topics: Size or competition – What drives innovation and investment?; Platforms, networks, big data – Do competition authorities get it right?; Economic theory – Ready for the digital world?, and Modern cartel enforcement – Yesterday’s success stories – tomorrow’s failures?. The Commission representative also participated in the workshop foremost dedicated to the young competition authorities, covering issues of the successful advocacy program strategies, as well as priorities, aims and procedures relating to market analysis and sector inquiries.

Commission at the RCC Seminar in Budapest

kzk-ekofSeminar on Market Definition, held in Budapest, Hungary, organized by the Regional Center for Competition (RCC), as a joint venture between the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal, GVH), presented an additional opportunity for professional education of the Commission for Protection of Competition representatives.

The event was dedicated to defining the relevant market, considered as a mandatory phase in nearly all competition proceedings, particularly in concentration control related proceedings. Seminar participants were panelists of the Regional Center for Competition, European Commission, French Competition Administration (Autorité de la concurrence), American Federal Trade Commission and Hungarian Competition Authority, in addition to representatives of participating national competition authorities. Case studies of particular participating countries were presented during the seminar, as well as theoretical cases addressed by working in small groups.

The Commission for Protection of Competition was represented by Ivana Rakić, Department for Investigation of Concentration, and Aleksandra Ravić, Department for Economic Inquiries. Ms. Rakić represented the CPC case study in regards defining the relevant product market in outdoor advertising.

Member of the Commission Council at the 15th OECD Annual Conference

oecdMember of the Council of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Veljko Milutinović, PhD, participated at the 15th OECD annual conference – “Global Forum on Competition“.

Traditionally, the annual symposium took place at the headquarters of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

The main topics of this year’s Forum were: “Promoting competition, protecting human rights”, “The role of market studies as a tool to promote competition”, “Independence of competition authorities – from design to practice”, and “Sanctions in antitrust cases”.
The Commission for Protection of Competition provided written features for the sessions “Sanctions in antitrust cases” and “Independence of competition authorities – from design to practice”.

During the sessions, particularly those related to the independence of competition authorities and sanctions in antitrust cases, dr Milutinović notified colleagues from other national competition authorities, international organizations and academic community representatives that took part in the symposium, of the operating manner of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia, and conveyed working experiences gained so far. During the conference, dr Milutinović also had a series of bilateral meetings with competition authorities representatives aimed at improving further cooperation, and also with renowned international experts from the competition field whose know-hows might additionally contribute to the opeartive quality of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia.

The conference was attended by more than 90 competition authorities delegations worldwide and other representatives of international organizations, academic community and business associations.

Commission Representatives at the Association of Competition Economists’ Conference in Amsterdam

SBB IKOMRepresentatives of the Department for Economic Inquiries of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Siniša Milošević, PhD, Department Head, and Jelena Markopoulos, MA, Senior Advisor, attended the 14th annual conference of the Association of Competition Economics – ACE, held in Amsterdam.

The two-day conference is organized into three plenary sessions and multiple parallel sessions, during which the numerous current cases from the European competition authorities’ practice were discussed, from concentrations (Celesio/Sainsbury, Ahold/Delhaize, British Telecom/EE, etc.), abuse of a dominant position (Deutsche Post), and harmonized practice (Container Shipping), to the energy market inquiries conducted in Great Britain.

During the stay in the Netherlands, the Commission representatives also attended the conference organized by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets – ACM, honoring the tenth year operating anniversary of the Department for Economic Inquiries.

Numerous representatives of the European competition authorities, reputable consulting firms and academics attended the conference, exchanging their experiences regarding the review of competition and consumer protection authorities’ operating efficiency.

Straightening of Cooperation with the Austrian Federal Competition Authority

bwb-kzkFollowing the invitation of the Director General of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, Theodor Tanner, PhD, the President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Miloje Obradović, PhD, and the Commission’s Secretary General, Dragan Penezić, visited Vienna.

During the bilateral meeting organized on the basis of previously signed Memorandum of Cooperation between the two authorities, plans for the continuation of cooperation between two institutions were discussed, in addition to regional initiatives concerning expansion of knowledge and harmonization of practices regarding competition law and policy in the European Union, as well as current issues in which Austrian and Serbian competition authorities are currently involved.

During the talks on the modalities of improvement of relations and manners of joint operations, it has been agreed that in the following period and before the end of 2016, the Serbian Commission’s team in charge of dawn raids is to hold a training and inspection simulation with Austrian colleagues which will enable acquiring new skills as to on using this very important tool for data and information collection, utilized by all developed competition protection authorities in the world.

The visit is used so that management and employees of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority can be familiarized with the Serbian authority’s activities and plans concerning the further advancement of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia.

The Commission Attending Sofia Competition Forum

SophiaForum_300x104The 8th Sofia Competition Forum held beginning June in the Bulgarian capital city, traditionally gathered representatives of the national competition authorities from the Balkans.

Forum participants coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and other regional countries, but also competition authorities’ representatives from Germany, Japan, France, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Russia, Turkey, alongside speakers from organizations such are the UNCTAD and OECD, European Union Court of Justice, European Commission, reputable international experts for competition policy, as well as legislators and representatives of the academic community, exchanged experiences related to the competition law and policy implementation. The Forum seeks to encourage cooperation and development of regional relations, thus ensuring uniform application of competition-related rules.

At the Forum, Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition was represented by the Head of the Restrictive Practices Division, Mr. Čedomir Radojčić, one of the most prominent forum panelists. Attached is the representative’s presentation from the Sofia Competition Forum.