Competition Update: Serbia

Competition Commission Initiates a Gun-Jumping Investigation

On 17 September, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Serbian NCA”) initiated official proceedings against a local pharmacy chain (“Janković Pharmacy”), in order to investigate whether it failed to file a mandatory merger notification prior to a reportable acquisition.

The Serbian NCA’s concerns were triggered by finding out that in March 2019, the city of Zrenjanin and Zdravstvena ustanova Apoteka Zrenjanin (“AZ”) entered into a Concession Agreement for Financing, Revitalization, Management and Performance of Pharmaceutical Activity in the City of Zrenjanin with Janković Pharmacy. This agreement was concluded in order to improve the service provided by the pharmacies managed by ZUA in the city of Zrenjanin, and allowed Janković Pharmacy, as a concessionaire, to acquire control over parts of AZ’s business. If the national financial thresholds for mandatory notification were triggered, failure to obtain the prior merger clearance could expose the acquirer to significant fines imposed by the authority, including potentially even a demerger, if the transaction had negative effects on competition.

 

The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.