The Croatian Competition Agency (the "Agency") initiated proceedings against Grand Auto – an authorised dealer of Land Rover and Jaguar cars for Croatia, after an initiative by the Auto Dealership "Karlo", a former authorised repairer of the said cars for Croatia. The proceedings were initiated in order to establish whether an abuse of a dominant position, in the provision of repair and maintenance services for the car-makes Land Rover and Jaguar, occurred on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In March 2017, the Agency closed the proceedings by reaching a non-infringement decision.
Namely, the Auto Dealership "Karlo" made a complaint to the Agency that it ceased to be an authorised repairer for Land Rover and Jaguar after Grand Auto became an authorised dealer for those automobile companies in Croatia. During the proceedings, it was established that Grand Auto was restricting market access to its competitors by solely providing the motor vehicle servicing. However, during the course of the investigation, the Agency determined that more than 90 percent of the profit, realised from servicing Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles in Croatia, related to the repairs carried out after the warranty period expired. Therefore, since the repairs under warranty constituted only a minor segment in the relevant market, the restriction of access to the authorised repairers' network could not be considered as a significant restriction of competition.
In addition, the Agency found that competition rules were not distorted with regard to the distribution of spare parts for Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles. The results of the analysis proved the findings of the Agency that the Auto Dealership "Karlo" was not placed at a disadvantage in comparison with other authorised repairers, as Grand Auto was the only authorised representative at that time. Furthermore, Auto Dealership "Karlo" purchased the original spare parts for Land Rover from Grand Auto, as well as from one more undertaking, whereas the alternative spare parts have been purchased directly from the suppliers of spare parts.
In conclusion, although the Agency found that the process of applying for the position of an authorised dealer for the stated car-makes in Croatia was not transparent enough, the Agency held that no abuse of dominant position by Grand Auto occurred.