On November 20 2013 the Competition Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a decision fining Serbian beer producer Apatinska pivara doo KM430,000 (approximately €215,000) for abuse of dominance.

Since 2012 Apatinska pivara has been part of Molson Coors Group, one of the global leaders in the beer industry. Molson Coors' parent company is seated in the United States and Canada, from where it controls and operates more than 100 worldwide brands (directly or on a partnership basis). Heineken, Staropramen and Pilsner are just some of the famous brands in its global portofolio. Besides Apatinska pivara, Molson Coors holds shares in two big beer producers located in the region – Zagrebacka pivovarna in Croatia and Trebjesa in Montenegro.

Proceedings were launched pursuant to a request filed by a company located and registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Dejan Komerc doo, one of Apatinska pivara' distributors in the region. Dejan Komerc claimed that Apatinska pivara violated competition rules by applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with different distributors on the market for the distribution and sale of beer in the Republic of Srpska – in particular, unjustified termination of a distribution agreement with the intent to restrict or foreclose the market for Dejan Komerc. The council conducted an indepth investigation, held hearings and collected documentation from both parties and other undertakings active on the market.

The council concluded that Apatinska pivara had abused its dominant position and committed infringement by limiting the number of distributors on the market. This led to a distortion of competition, as some distributors faced more stringent conditions for market entry or even complete foreclosure. In addition to the fine, the council obliged Apatinska pivara to modify several provisions of its standardised distribution agreements in order to harmonise them with the Competition Act.

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). The Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.rs.