Competition and Antitrust News: Serbia

Dawn Raids: Serbian Competition Commission Investigates Distributors of Childcare Products

On 24 April 2018, the Serbian Competition Commission (the “Commission“) conducted dawn raids against local distributors of baby and infant products, Yuglob and Keprom. The dawn raids happened on three locations in Belgrade, during which the Commission collected the documentation it considered necessary for further investigation.

Dawn raids are a special investigation tool. During raids, the Commission “storms” the business premises of the companies to inspect their compliance with the Competition Law. In Serbia, they have become a widely utilised mechanism for the detection of potential competition infringements, especially when combined with targeted sector inquiries.

This time, the Commission stated that it had acted upon a reasonable assumption that the agreements concluded by the distributors could contain restrictive provisions on resale price maintenance, which could potentially represent a prohibited restrictive agreement. The market for childcare products is an especially sensitive one for Serbian consumers, as there have been public outcries about the perceived high margins in this sector in the past.