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Bosnian banks fined €1.2 million for abuse of dominance - International Law Office

International Law Office

Competition & Antitrust - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian banks fined €1.2 million for abuse of dominance

January 31 2013

On November 6 2012 the Competition Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina fined UniCredit Bank dd Mostar, Raiffeisen Bank dd Sarajevo, Turkish Ziraat Bank Bosnia dd Sarajevo and Tenfore doo Banja Luka (a representative of Western Union Network (France) SAS) for abuse of a dominant market position.

This decision was rendered as a result of proceedings initiated on April 26 2012. The Competition Council determined that between 2005 and 2012, UniCredit Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Turkish Ziraat Bank Bosnia and Tenfore had abused their dominant market position when effecting international money transfers between natural persons without a bank account in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The abuse of market position occurred when the banks entered into restrictive exclusivity clauses in agreements with Western Union Network (France) SAS.

Under these agreements UniCredit Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Turkish Ziraat Bank Bosnia and Tenforewere designated as representatives of Western Union in the provision of money transfer services for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Competition Council determined that Western Union had a dominant market position through its representatives for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as these banks directly, or through a network of sub-representatives, applied aligned corporate policy imposed by Western Union.

The banks were fined over €1.2 million in total - €345,000 to UniCredit Bank, €750,000 to Raiffeisen Bank, €100,000 to Turkish Ziraat Bank Bosnia and €30,000 to Tenfore. The Competition Council pointed out that, in particular, it took into account as a mitigating factor that three of the representatives (UniCreditBank, Turkish Ziraat Bank Bosnia and Raiffeisen Bank BiH) had concluded annexes to the principal representation agreements amending or even removing the disputed exclusivity clause.

For further information on this topic please contact Srdjana Petronijević at Moravčević Vojnović i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr by telephone (+381 11 320 26 00), fax (+381 11 320 26 10) or email (s.petronijevic@schoenherr.rs).

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