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Yet Another Investigation Initiated by the Serbian Competition Commission

Yet Another Investigation Initiated by the Serbian Competition Commission

Serbia
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On 24 March 2023, the Commission for the Protection of the Competition (“Commission”) initiated an investigation against the Hotelsko, Ugostiteljsko i Turisticko preduzece Moskva doo (“Moskva”) for possible gun-jumping.

The commission has determined that Moskva is the owner of both Hotel “Moskva” in Belgrade and Hotel “Club A” in Kopaonik, while the ultimate beneficial owner of Moskva is a natural person, Mr. Mile Dragic, from the Republic of Serbia, also controls few other business enterprises in the Republic of Serbia as well as abroad.

The commission has initiated the case in hand against Moskva regarding the acquisition of the business activities of the Hotel “Tonanti” in Vrnjačka Banja (“Tonanti”). Both Moskva and Tonanti are present in the market for the provision of hotel accommodation services in the Republic of Serbia.

The Commission has determined that the turnovers of the concentration participants (group of companies controlled by Mr. Mile Dragić and Tonanti), both collectively and individually, exceed the thresholds prescribed by the Law on the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia.

It is important to note that the Commission collected information about this acquisition through published printed and television media, LinkedIn accounts, YouTube channels as well as Facebook accounts, which definitely shows a modern and, above all, the Commission’s decisive approach in the fight against gun-jumping cases which occur in the Republic of Serbia. This Commission’s approach also represents continuous enforcement activity from 2022.

Considering this case, as well as all previous cases from 2022, we can certainly assume that this represents a clear sign of the Commission’s intent to investigate and sanction all gun-jumping cases. This also means that all market participants must pay extra attention to all transactions that potentially need to be reported to the Commission for approval. We shall continue to monitor all Commission’s activity in the future.

By Nikola Poznanovic, Partner, and Luka Hajdukovic, Associate, JPM Jakovic Popovic Mitic

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