Monday, 8 November 2021

Regulator Fines Spar Retailer HRK 1.3m for Unfair Trading Practice

ZAGREB, 8 Nov, 2021 - The Croatian Competition Agency (AZTN) said on Monday it fined the Spar retail chain HRK 1.3 million for an exceptionally serious infringement of the law prohibiting unfair trading practices in the food supply chain in the sale of a food product to end consumers.

After launching an administrative procedure ex officio following a supplier's complaint, the AZTN established that from 9 to 11 November 2018 Spar sold flour at a price below the procurement price, an infringement of the law punishable with up to HRK 5 million.

The AZTN said its fine against Spar was proportionate and that it was confident it would deter Spar as well as others to which the law applied from infringing it.

The AZTN also prohibited Spar from taking any further action concerning the fine.

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Friday, 19 March 2021

Croatian Competition Agency Praised by Both Ruling and Opposition MPs

ZAGREB, 19 March, 2021 - The performance of the Croatian Competition Agency (AZTN) in 2019 was praised on Friday by lawmakers from both the ruling majority and the Opposition.

The report about the agency's activities in 2019 shows that the regulator settled 772 cases that year. The AZTN Council vice-president Vesna Patrlj today informed the parliament that while the agency was receiving more and more cases, it was faced with a decrease in the headcount.

In late 2019, it employed 52 workers and now it has two fewer employees.

"Wages are very low, while the work is very complex, and the training of employees takes some time," Patrlj said in her response to SDP lawmaker Andrea Marić who asked how highly educated people could be motivated to work in this regulator.

In 2019, the regulator issued HRK 4 million in fines and established the existence of two cartels, that is unlawful alliances of rivals, which is considered to be anti-competitive behaviour. The cartels were detrimental to consumers, Patrljsaid without specifying.

In one of the two cases, a user reported this unlawful association and in the other case, the regulator detected it after the participants in the cartel boasted of it in media statements.

Patrlj also called for promotion of the culture of market competition.

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