Serbia

Niš-Ekspres Fined for Abuse of Dominance

On 24 May, the Serbian Competition Commission fined the bus company Niš-Ekspres from Niš (“Niš-Ekspres”) for the abuse of dominant position in the amount of RSD 40,726,439 (app. EUR 345,000), which is 1.3% of the total turnover generated by Niš-ekspres in 2016.

Niš-Ekspres applied dissimilar conditions with regards to persons purchasing platform tickets. The passengers were charged with a platform entrance fee at a higher price than when that service is secured by paying for it jointly with the bus ticket. Also, Niš-ekspres charged different prices for bus station services with various bus tickets, depending on the trip distance in km. Since Niš has only one bus station, there were no alternatives for passengers wanting to use the intercity/international bus transport from Niš. Hence, the passengers were forced to purchase tickets at increased prices.

This case represents another step in the Serbian watchdog’s practice of battling dominance abuses from the companies managing bus stations. The Competition Commission previously fined companies in Aranđelovac and Belgrade, while the procedure against a company in Sremska Mitrovica was terminated based on a commitments decision.