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01 July 2010
In the first half of 2010 the Commission for Protection of Competition assessed five merger control filings. Of those, four were cleared in summary proceedings and one transaction was classified as an intra-group deal and therefore declared to be non-notifiable.
In clearing the concentrations in 2010, the commission reinforced its position that foreign-to-foreign mergers were subject to Macedonian merger control rules, provided that the jurisdictional thresholds were met. The commission failed to take the opportunity to shape its practice by recognizing the so-called 'domestic effect' doctrine. Despite the placeholder provision of Article 3 of the Law on Protection of Competition (Official Gazette 4/05, 70/06 and 22/07) which stipulates that the law applies to all forms of prevention, restriction or distortion of competition which affect the territory of Macedonia, case law in the area remains underdeveloped.
The commission also plays a central role in state aid control. In 2010 the commission rendered three opinions on state aid, declaring one government intervention to be permissible. On February 26 2010 the commission approved the state aid plan in accordance with the Programme for Improvement of the Competitiveness of Macedonian Products and Services in 2010, which was adopted by the Ministry of Economy of Macedonia. Aid in the amount of Md5,196,000 (about €84,480) to improve the Macedonian products and services in 2010. Also, the commission was approached three times for its opinion on the various state aid aspects of certain programmes (eg, the Programme for the Development of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Competitiveness of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) and on the draft Law on Agriculture and Rural Development. The commission's role was limited to giving its opinion on certain aspects and recommending certain changes.
In 2010 the commission was also active in raising awareness relating to competition and state aid. On March 17 2010 it organized a seminar on enforcement of competition and state aid matters. The main purpose of the seminar was to provide legal training to Macedonian judges and prosecutors to improve their understanding of various competition and state aid issues with the aim of securing the efficient enforcement of competition and state aid legislation.
For further information on this topic please contact Srdjana Petronijević at Schönherr Rechtsanwälte GmbH by telephone (+381 11 320 26 00), fax (+381 11 320 26 10) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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