The Competition Authority recently launched several competition law infringement investigations, including:

  • a merger control case;
  • three restrictive agreements; and
  • an abuse of dominance case.

The authority is investigating a concentration between Agriser Ltd and Aleksa Santic ad. Neither party had notified the authority of their intention and the concentration had not been approved. Agriser Ltd Belgrade acquired control over part of Aleksa's assets, composed of agricultural land and associated facilities. Agriser's 100% shareholder is Ferrero Trading Lux SA – part of the Ferrero Group and producer of worldwide brands Nutella, Kinder, Ferrero and Tic Tac.

The authority is also investigating the cooperation of Victoria Oil ad and Vital ad – both companies produce edible sunflower oil in Serbia. Allegedly, Victoria Oil and Vital concluded an agreement concerning the manufacture of Victoria Oil's refined sunflower oil under the brand name 'Vital'. Both parties are direct competitors in the market. Bearing in mind their agreement and market position, the authority assumed competition infringement due to:

  • coordination of the pricing policy;
  • restriction of the scope and quality of production;
  • market sharing; and
  • exchange of market-sensitive information.

In order to investigate the existence of restrictive practices, the authority has initiated proceedings against Umbrella Corporation Ltd and New Great Vision Ltd. Both companies are involved in the sale of electrical cigarettes and liquids. The authority has alleged that Umbrella and New Great Vision signed a contract regarding resale price.

In October 2015 the authority opened an investigation against Belgrade's public utility company Infostan, which services more than 650,000 flats around the city. Without having consulted the service receivers, Infostan included costs for insurance in September's monthly invoice. Accordingly, the authority began an investigation, alleging that Infostan had abused its dominant position.

All these proceedings are in their initial phases and decisions are expected imminently.

For further information on this topic please contact Srdjana Petronijevic at Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr by telephone (+381 11 320 26 00) or email (s.petronijevic@schoenherr.rs). The Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.rs.

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