The Competition Authority issued 28 merger control clearance decisions in 2016:
- One decision (a merger in the insurance sector) was cleared subject to conditions, and the remaining 27 decisions were unconditionally cleared.
- One decision concerned a joint venture, while the remaining 27 decisions involved acquisition of control.
- Seven decisions were implemented in Montenegro, and the remaining 21 decisions were extraterritorial.
- Seventeen decisions were horizontal, two were vertical and nine were concentrations that involved conglomerates.
- Most mergers took place in the telecoms, media and pharmaceutical sectors.
The authority conducted one dawn raid in 2016.
The authority has announced that, with the help of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, it plans to purchase forensic software and technical equipment in 2018 which will allow it to continue its investigation activities.
The authority imposed no penalties in 2016 (unlike 2015, in which 17 undertakings were fined). The court in charge of imposing fines imposed no other penalties.
One of the weak points elaborated on in the 2016 Annual Report was the judicial review of the authority's decisions and lack of fining practice. The authority believes that judges should be trained, a stricter fining policy be implemented and the Competition Act and the Misdemeanour Act be amended to allow for better enforcement of competition infringement and fining decisions.
This article was first published on www.internationallawoffice.com