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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“Meet to Compete Competition Law and Policy Conference – Tools for the New Rules” “held in Opatija, 9-10 May 2024

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Croatia and the Croatian Chamber of the Economy, supported by the Croatian Competition Agency and the Croatian Employers’ Association, organized the “Meet to Compete Competition Law and Policy Conference – Tools for the New Rules” in Opatija, from 9-10 May 2024.

The first day of the conference began with the opening addresses from the minister of justice and administration, Ivan Malenica, the president of the ICC Croatia Competition Commission, Dunja Šimunić Mehdin, the secretary general of the Croatian Chamber of the Economy (HGK) and ICC Croatia, Marina Rožić, and the president of the Competition Council of the Croatian Competition Agency (CCA), Mirta Kapural, PhD.

“The CCA strongly supports conferences that represent a unique opportunity for exchanging current developments in this field among the leading experts, sharing ideas, and gaining insights into the practices of other countries. All of this is crucial for the promotion of competition law and raising awareness about competition, which the CCA continuously strives for. The selected topics of the conference are exceptionally relevant, all of them are implemented and endorsed by the CCA”, said the CCA president of the Council.

The expert panels included the members of the European Commission-DG Comp, competition authorities, OECD, university professors, attorneys, in-house lawyers, and other legal practitioners.

The second day of the conference continued with three discussion panels. First two focused on concentrations and the Foreign Subsidies Regulation and the “effects-based approach” in abuse of dominance.

In the third panel, which was dedicated to reviewing recent regional activities, the vice-president of the Council, Branimira Kovačević, MA participated along with the heads of the competent authorities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Italy, North Macedonia, and Slovenia. The topics of this panel included updates in the practices of the mentioned countries over the past two years, covering areas such as legislation, enforcement records, sanctions, new tools and powers, and the description of one key case handled by the relevant authority, as well as the discussion on inflationary trends and the role that competition authorities can play during the periods of rising prices, such as market monitoring and sector inquiries.

The second day of the conference comprised a set of competition compliance workshops held by recognized the Croatian legal practitioners. The workshops were divided into four slots each covering specific important topics from the competition law attorneys’ practice, like exclusionary practices, horizontal agreements, the resale price maintenance and other vertical restraints. These workshops were primarily intended for business owners, managers, corporate lawyers and other employees, to help them understand and avoid anti-competitive practices, with the goal of increasing the overall competition law awareness and the importance of compliance.