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The Competition Commission is Investigating Another RPM

The Competition Commission is Investigating Another RPM

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On the 19th of January, there has been yet another competition infringement investigation (ex officio) by the Serbian Commission for the Protection of the Competition, this time against VAILLANT doo Beograd (Vaillant) regarding the market of gas boilers!

The Commission analysed the available data on the prices of gas boilers of the “Vaillant” and “Protherm” brands in Serbia. After conducted analyses and a dawn raid carried out, the Commission discovered that the retail prices on retailers’ websites (authorized distributors) were identical both among all the analysed retailers and against the prices from the price list for January 2023 available on the website of the Vaillant (with the difference of less than RSD 1).

Namely, as Vaillant is a wholesaler, which is not present in a retail market in which the analysed retailers are present and as the retailers of the brand “Vaillant” are also retailers of the brand “Protherm”, the Commission has subsequently concluded that these actions represent restrictive agreements i.e., that the Vaillant imposed resale prices over products of the brands “Vaillant” and “Protherm” to its retailers.

By analysing and collecting publicly available data on retail prices of products and services of market participants, the Commission continues with its Q4 2022 practice in 2023, this time on the gas boilers market. Following up on the proceeding against Apcom CE and APCOM D.O.O. BEOGRAD, which we covered in a recent JPM article the practice shows that the Commission continues to gravely focus on RPM and that the Commission will not be reluctant to pursue more cases.

Ultimately, we can conclude that it is extremely important for businesses to be familiar with the basic competition rules i.e., they should be able to recognize situations that could put them and the company at risk and take all precautionary measures to minimize the possibility of breach of competition regulations. We will continue to monitor the practice of the Commission in the future.

By Nikola Poznanovic, Partner, and Zivko Simijonovic, Senior Associate, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic

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We are a full service commercial law firm in Serbia, with over 30 years of successful practice in SEE region and true and lasting partnerships with our clients.

Our diverse teams of lawyers are focused on practice in specific legal areas, handling some of the most high-profile multijurisdictional matters in energy, project development, mining, foreign investments, corporate and commercial. We are highly sought-after for legal advice in creative industries, environmental law and white-collar crime, as well as intellectual property, international arbitration, labor and data protection

As an exclusive member of Lex Mundi – the world’s premiere network of leading independent law firms, we interconnect and reach globally. Regionally, we advise clients in Montenegro directly, through well established partnership with ‘JPM Montenegro Partner Vukmirovic Misic law firm’ and close working relationships with selected first-rate firms in the region. Working together with our domestic and international clients on their most significant transactions and around entry to Serbian market, allows us to operate as the perfect hub for SEE and other cross-border transactions.

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