On April 11 2013 the Competition Authority released a statement on an Administrative Court decision (November 19 2012) which imposed a €3 million fine (ie, 4% of relevant turnover in 2009) on Frikom ad, a producer of frozen goods in Serbia, for abuse of a dominant position in the wholesale ice-cream market in Serbia.

The infringements included:

  • resale price maintenance in supply agreements concluded between Frikom as producer and retailers/customers;
  • tying provisions, which required retailers/customers to purchase exclusively from Frikom and prohibited them from selling competing products (including exclusivity regarding the use of refrigerator space and shelf or shop space);
  • a requirement that retailers/customers purchase from the Frikom product range only;
  • excessive damages in case of breach of any contract clauses by retailers/customers;
  • the unilateral right for Frikom to terminate the supply agreement with an inappropriately short notice period for breach of contract by the retailer/customers; and
  • application of different commercial terms and conditions to the same business relationships with different retailers/customers.

As expected, given the magnitude of the fine, Frikom lodged an appeal before the Administrative Court. The court rejected the appeal and the commission's decision therefore became final and binding. Frikom must also amend the agreements in question and furnish proof that all contentious clauses have been replaced and harmonised with competition law.

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), fax (+381 11 320 26 10) or email (s.petronijevic@schoenherr.rs).

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