The aim of the protection of market competition is primarily to create benefits for consumers and equal conditions for all entrepreneurs on the market, who, acting in accordance with the existing rules and competing on the market with the quality, price and innovation of their products and services, contribute to the overall development of the economy.

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CCA opens infringement proceeding against EUROPAPIER ADRIA d.o.o.

On 20 July 2023 the Croatian Competition Agency started ex-officio proceeding against the undertaking Europapier Adria d.o.o., Sesvete, based on received complaints alleging distortion of competition by conclusion of a prohibited agreement within the meaning of Article 8 and/or abuse of a dominant position within the meaning of Article 13 of the Croatian Competition Act.

 The CCA conducted a preliminary market investigation in the sale of printing (copier) paper market based on the initiative submitted by three undertakings: Birodom d.o.o. Zagreb-Lučko, Zvibor d.o.o., Zagreb and Tip – Zagreb d.o.o. Sveta Nedelja.

The complainants basically stated that the undertaking Europapier Adria, that as a distributor of printing paper a year ago used to sell only to economic entities that resold it to end consumers, started selling copier paper to end consumers independently and refused to give the complainants concerned an offer for the purchase of copier paper for further distribution, while at the same time continued to supply their direct competitors with copier paper. They also stated that Europapier Adria offered them copier paper at prices that have been unacceptably high, whereas, on the other hand, has conditioned their purchase of copier paper by imposing an obligation of purchase of certain quantities and only from a specified undertaking.

The indices showed that Europapier Adria held a dominant market position in the copier paper distribution market in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and that it applied unclear, non-transparent and unequal criteria to the copier paper distributors.

Therefore, in this concrete case the CCA will assess whether Europapier Adria, as the exclusive importer and distributor of IQ brand paper on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, refused the complainants and/or other interested undertakings the supply of the product in question and the delivery of its technical documentation that is necessary for the participation in public bidding, as well as imposed an obligation of exclusive purchase of the products in question from a specified undertaking that is a member of its distribution network, as well as the purchase of the full quantity of paper that is requested in tenders from itself or from another undertaking chosen by it, which could potentially constitute an infringement of Articles 8 and 13 of the Croatian Competition Act.

The mere initiation of the proceeding does not prejudice the decision of the CCA, since the decision will be based on the finally established facts of the case.