EPS DISTRIBUCIJAOn 23 December the Council of the Commission for Protection of Competition adopted a decision finding that the national electricity distribution system operator EPS Distribution LLC Belgrade abused its dominant position as the sole operator on the market for electricity distribution in Serbia. A pecuniary measure for protection of competition in the amount of approximately RSD 330 million (equal to approximately EUR 2.67 million) was imposed on this undertaking, to be paid into the budget of the Republic of Serbia. This is in addition to behavioral measures aimed at providing equal business conditions on the relevant market.

During the course of the proceedings, the Commission determined that the aforesaid undertaking abused its dominant position by placing certain commercial electricity suppliers and, in particular, its sister company EPS Supply, in a more favorable position vis-à-vis their competitors. Such behaviour was, among other things, a consequence of the non-transparent business policy of EPS Distribution.

While contracting access to the electricity distribution system, EPS Distribution imposed a commitment to deposit security instruments on all commercial suppliers except its sister-company, EPS Supply. At the same time, EPS Distribution discriminated between different suppliers in terms of the amount of the deposited security instruments, by setting the amount for some suppliers based on the monthly value of services provided, while for others the amount was based on a trimonthly value. In addition, almost all commercial suppliers of electricity were obliged to deposit their security instruments in just one commercial bank, chosen by EPS Distribution. During a brief period, EPS Supply also enjoyed a much longer grace period for settling its liabilities towards EPS Distribution, compared to all other commercial suppliers.

The abovementioned conduct resulted in increased costs for competing commercial electricity suppliers.

In setting the level of the pecuniary measure for protection of competition, the Commission took into account the cooperation and overall conduct of EPS Distribution during the proceedings. This included, in particular, the amendment of the disputed acts and a demonstration of intent to fully eliminate the harmful effects of the prohibited market behavior.