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Competition Commission Initiates a Gun-Jumping Investigation

Competition Commission Initiates a Gun-Jumping Investigation

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On 17 September, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Serbian NCA”) initiated official proceedings against a local pharmacy chain (“Jankovic 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 Jankovic 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 Jankovic 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.

By Stefan Savic, Associate, independent Attorney at Law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners, and Jovana Marinkovic, Trainee, Karanovic & Partners

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