Though it does not have the authority issue fines, the Montenegrin competition authority – Agency for Protection of Competition – does have the power to conduct market analyses. And it has just concluded three such analyses, one of them leading to the initiation of a cartel investigation.
1. Disposal of municipal waste: All in good order
To start with, the Montenegrin NCA took a look at the conditions on the market for waste disposal across the country. In the first phase of the analysis, the NCA assessed competitive conditions for waste disposal in all municipalities in Montenegro. And, upon receiving the initial input, the NCA narrowed down the number of municipalities in its focus to seven.
During this market investigation, the NCA looked into how waste disposal companies in Montenegro form their prices. And, according to the findings of the NCA, the market investigation did not indicate to any competition infringement.
2. Driving schools in the town of Nikšić: A cartel?
The second market investigation concerned driving schools in the Montenegrin town of Nikšić. Specifically, the NCA was checking reports that driving schools in Nikšić had agreed on the prices for driver training in the town.
The result: the NCA preliminarily established that the driving schools had formally agreed on the prices offered to prospective drivers and launched a formal cartel investigation against the driving schools.
3. Sugar and sunflower oil: Wholesale and retail examined
The Montenegrin NCA also looked at the competitive conditions concerning the trade in sugar and sunflower oil in Montenegro. Through the analysis, the NCA wanted to establish the relationships between the main competitors on these markets, as well as the vertical relationships between producers, wholesalers, and retailers.
During the market investigation, the NCA had turned to undertakings active in the wholesale and retail trade of sugar and sunflower oil, requesting copies of commercial agreements as well as other relevant information. In the process, the NCA did not find any foul play – so far, at least.