In early September 2020, the Commission for Protection of Competition (the Commission) initiated ex officio investigation proceedings of potential competition infringement and conducted a dawn-raid of Roaming Electronics, Tehnomania and Comtrade Distribution, in order to determine the existence of a restrictive agreement under Article 10 of the Law on the protection of competition, which restrict competition on the markets of retail and wholesale consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia.
Namely, starting from Eurostat data for 2019, the Commission found that the prices of consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia in 2019 were 13% higher than the average prices in the European Union. By analyzing the conditions of competition on the wholesale and retail market of consumer electronics in the Republic of Serbia and insight into publicly available data on prices, the Commission determined that consumer electronics are offered in retail stores, as well as on retailers’ websites at identical or almost identical prices.
The Commission initiated an ex officio investigation proceedings of potential competition infringement because it reasonably assumed the existence of an infringement of competition, i.e. agreements which directly or indirectly fix purchase or selling prices or any other trading conditions.
Less than a year ago, the Commission conditionally approved the concentration of undertakings, namely Roaming Electronics over WinWin Shop, Emmi House and WinWin Retail, by setting special conditions for approving the concentration and deadlines for their execution, which, inter alia, relate to the obligation of Roaming Electronics to disinvest part of the business to competitors related to the retail sale of consumer electronics in certain facilities in the markets of Belgrade, Pancevo, Zrenjanin and Sremska Mitrovica.
The Commission has to determine the existence of a restrictive agreement in these specific proceedings, i.e. the existence of a harmonized practice related to fixing prices and trading conditions between undertakings.
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