The Commission for Protection of Competition issues Guidelines for Competition Compliance Programs
Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (“Commission”) has recently published their Guidelines for drafting of internal competition compliance program (“Guidelines”).
The guidelines come after the Commission’s intensified and more frequent supervision over the business activities of entities on the territory of Serbia in the last few years. Namely, the Commission conducted several sectoral analyzes, on the basis of which proceedings for examination of violation of prohibition of abuse of a dominant position, as well as prohibition of concluding restrictive agreements had been initiated. These proceedings were largely followed by dawn raids by the Commission, which in practice proved to be the most effective means of identifying violations.
The guidelines are available via the following link.
The general conclusion of the Commission is that commercial entities in Serbia often violate antitrust regulations due to lack of knowledge. The most common violations are resale price maintenance, exclusive supply / distribution, selective distribution and non-compete clauses. In this regard, in the opinion of the Commission, there is a need for companies to invest certain (financial and human) resources in order to adopt and implement internal compliance programs for competition regulations. The necessity of commitment of management and employees in the implementation of internal compliance programs is especially emphasized, as well as the need for training of all employees in the company on the obligations arising from relevant antitrust regulations, on risks of distortion of competition depending on specific activities, and ways to reduce such risks. In practice, it has been shown that commitment to undertake employee training is an integral part of all decisions of the Commission in proceedings in which the Commission accepted the party’s proposal to terminate the proceedings, with the obligation to comply with certain commitments, which is also a way to avoid paying fines, provided that the Commission finds that the proposed commitments may achieve the same purpose.
Although companies with a dominant market position (which is often indicated by the percentage share in the relevant market) are at particular risk, the Commission emphasizes that there are also absolute prohibitions – obligations that apply to all entities, regardless of their market power. Penalties for violations of antitrust regulations are determined in a percentage amount in relation to the total annual income acquired on the territory of Serbia, and may amount to up to 10% of such income.
For additional information regarding drafting of the compliance program, as well as the employee training, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org