Just a few weeks after launching two antitrust investigations against companies active in the retail of consumer electronics, the Serbian national competition authority (NCA) has started another probe in that industry – this time against a distributor of Nespresso machines in Serbia.

Interestingly, in this case as well the Serbian NCA is referring to the prices of consumer electronics in Hungary as a reason for investigating the Serbian market for consumer electronics. Specifically, the Serbian NCA finds it suspicious that the prices of consumer electronics are higher in Serbia than in Hungary, even though the Serbian VAT rate is lower than the Hungarian one.

In the newly initiated probe, the Serbian NCA is alleging that a distributor of Nespresso machines in Serbia had engaged in illegal resale price maintenance concerning the sale of Nespresso machines to retailers. What raised the NCA’s eyebrows was that four models of Nespresso machines had identical prices on the websites of six different retailers in Serbia.

Key takeaway

The Serbian NCA clearly has its sights set on the market for retail of consumer electronics – last year it conditionally cleared a combination in that field and now it has launched three antitrust probes in the same industry. It would not come as a surprise if additional investigations in this sector would follow.