The Serbian national competition authority (NCA) has opened a Phase II investigation of a planned concentration in the baking industry.

The transaction concerns intended acquisition of control over a bakery production plant, mill and flour silo in the Serbian town of Zaječar by Slovenian Don Don. The planned acquisition is structured as an asset deal, with Don Don intending to purchase the target business in an enforcement proceeding against the company which currently owns the assets.

This is already a third Phase II started by the Serbian NCA this year, which is an unusually high number compared to previous years. For instance, in each of 2018 and 2017, the Serbian competition watchdog rendered only one Phase II decision apiece.

According to Serbian competition law, concentrations between undertakings are allowed unless they would significantly restrict, distort or prevent competition on the relevant market, in particular if this would lead to the creation or strengthening of a dominant position.

Following the opening of a Phase II probe, the Serbian NCA has four months to conclude the proceedings. This means we can expect a decision in this case by the end of September.