Apart from whether to retain the current notification system of individual exemption or switch to self-assessment, another possible dilemma of the drafters of the new Serbian Competition Act is who should have standing to challenge an individual exemption decision of the Competition Commission. Currently, in practice the standing belongs only to the parties which requested the exemption. But isn’t this unfair?
In the process of the drafting of the new Serbian Competition Act, apart from the merger filing thresholds, an issue drawing particular attention is how the individual exemption of restrictive agreements should be set up: whether the system of prior notification should be retained or whether self-assessment should be introduced. Actually, perhaps the best solution would be to have both – and (earlier) EU law offers a basis for that.
Serbia is soon to get a new Competition Act, and while it’s uncertain which parts of the current law will be reformed, it’s unlikely the current low filing thresholds will survive. Here is a proposal on how the new filing thresholds could be set.
The Serbian Competition Commission seems to want to get as many cases off the table as possible before the year’s end – it just published a decision whereby it established abuse of dominance and fined the infringing undertaking for excessive pricing. In doing so, the Commission expressly relied on EU case-law.
Personally, I am not 100% convinced of the effectiveness of State subsidies for direct investments. However, they are a reality and represent one of the main reasons why foreign investors come to Serbia – so it’s good to know the rules which govern them. Especially since such subsidies can also invoke the application of EU law.
On Friday, Serbia got its first competition law association – the Serbian Competition Law Section. It was started by Serbian competition lawyers wishing to establish a platform for the exchange of ideas and common action.
By a decision dated 10 October 2017, the Serbian Competition Commission has launched its first Phase II merger probe of 2017. The examined transaction pertains to the planned acquisition of a Serbian yeast producer (owned by the American Alltech) by the French giant Lesaffre. The in-depth investigation comes due to a market overlap in Serbia.
The Serbian Competition Commission has continued with a high level of enforcement activity, this time by launching an abuse of dominance investigation against the operator of a bus station in northern Serbia. Based on what the Commission published on its website, it appears that the watchdog is qualifying the alleged wrongdoing as illegal discrimination.
A couple of weeks after publishing the drafts of block exemptions for technology transfer and transport agreements, the Serbian Competition Commission has now published a draft block exemption for vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector.
Lease of a Single Store as a Notifiable Concentration? Yes, the Serbian Thresholds Really Catch Everything…Posted on September 29, 2017
Yesterday, I was walking through my former neighborhood Dorćol and saw a grocery I would sometimes go to being renovated. The brand was now different – instead of a local brand ‘Višnjica’ it now read ‘Idea’, which is the brand which Croatian Konzum uses in Serbia. And, as it turned out, that single store was the subject of a merger clearance of the Serbian Competition Commission…