Economic Competition in Kosovo: An Empirical Analysis
Purpose: With this article we aim to lay out the results of an investigation on the development and protection of economic competition in Kosovo, focusing specifically on the analysis of the level of competition in the Gjilan region. We deal with the legislative aspects of the competition in the sensitive sectors (banks, insurance, gas stations and pharmacies) where the competition is damaged and present the measures for improvement based on the EU practices. Design/Methodology/Approach: The used method is to lay out a realistic picture of (1) the level of competition development, (2) the areas where competition is undermined, (3) the general business knowledge about the functioning and enforcement of the law on competition protection, and (4) the concrete measures to be taken in order for competition to function based on the rules of the market economy. Findings: Results show that on average, respondents believe that their sector is relatively well-regulated and competitive, although there are clear areas of improvement, notably with regards to the difficulties encountered when doing business, the effectiveness of Kosovo’s existing legislative framework and the existence of monopoly power within most sectors. Practical Implications: The role of competition authorities in curbing anti-competitive practices needs strengthening, as attested by the results obtained, and more needs to be done when it comes to tackling collusive business practices, particularly among pharmacies and banks. Originality/Value: The most vulnerable areas where competition is violated are telecommunications, transport, insurance, energy, procurement, petroleum products, banking and financial services and pharmacies sectors. Therefore, there is a need for inter-institutional cooperation, especially cooperation with and empowerment of, economic regulators.