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The New Merger Control Regulation, governing the content and the manner of submitting merger filings to the Serbian Competition Commission, entered into force today, 2 February 2016. The new Regulation represents a modern legal document, fully aligned with the relevant EU acquis, and will significantly facilitate the merger filing process to the benefit of the applicants, as well as the overall efficiency of the Competition Commission.
The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition did not seem to relax much during the summer months, actually intensifying efforts to enforce competition law by launching several investigations.
On 20 November 2013, the Bosnian Competition Council issued a decision establishing that the Serbian brewery "Apatinska" abused its dominant position on the relevant market of beer distribution in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council imposed a fine on the brewery in the amount of BAM 430,000 (EUR 215,000).
This is the second time in a little over a year that the Bosnian competition authority has handed Apatinska a fine for infringement of competition rules. On 4 September 2012, the Council rendered a decision fining the brewery with BAM 265,000 (EUR 135,000).
Amendments to the Serbian Law on Protection of Competition were published in the Official Gazette on 31 October 2013 and will come into force on 8 November 2013. The adopted amendments to a large extent follow solutions from the draft which the Government submitted to the Parliament back in July this year. We devoted two earlier blog posts to various drafts of the amendments (apart from the Government's July draft, we also analyzed the initial draft published in April). Now that the amendments have ripened into law, it is worth providing an overview of the most important changes to the competition legislation.
The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition has published its Annual Report for 2012. Because the Commission publishes its decisions and opinions randomly, the report offers an informative scan of the authority’s activities in the course of the previous year.
Since the commencement of transition process in Serbia and inflow of foreign investments, labor law has been characterized by the foreign investors as one of the main obstacles for such investments, together with the inefficient state administration, unsettled ownership status of real estate, political instability and related risks of investment etc.
Five years after enacting EU-like Competition Law, the Serbian Goverment has enacted block exemption regulations for vertical and horizontal agreements. The regulations became effective on 13 March 2010 and companies have been given theree months to comply.
Serbian Parliament passed the new Competition Law earlier this month but voted to put it into effect as of 1 November. Most notably, for procedures commencingas of November, the Commission will impose fines and other sanctions directly, up to 10% of the parties’ revenues. The new law completely remodels all procedures before the Commission. The revision did little to change the substantive approach to competition rules thus keeping the law essentially compliant with EU rules.