24 May 2018

Bar Association of Vojvodina Discusses Current Serbian Competition Law Issues

On May 23, 2018, the Bar Association of Vojvodina (“AKV”) held a panel in Novi Sad on the topic “Overview of Proceedings before the Serbian National Competition Authority in Light of the Existing Practice and Implications of the New Administrative Procedure Act”.  The speakers on this ever-evolving, complex yet news-worthy topic were Milica Subotić, attorney specializing in competition law matters, Isidora Nikolić Savin,  attorney and specialist for civil and EU business law, and Bogdan Gecić, partner at Gecić Law, specialized in competition/State aid and European law.

Moderated by Isidora Nikolić Savin, the panel elaborated on variety of topics such as: overview of proceedings before the national competition authority (“NCA”), wide set of powers given to the NCA which combine the role of an investigator and a decision-maker, potential outcomes and consequences of such framework for the local marketplace and implications in light of the application of the new Administrative Procedure Act (“Act”).

The major part of the panel referred to the NCA’s ambit of powers granted under the Competition Act, with special  emphasis on dawn-raids and requests for (even self-incriminating) information.  The panelists managed to raise awareness about this important issue and emphasized the fact that better protection of parties’ rights, during the proceedings before the NCA, is crucial.

Additionally, panelists touched upon the NCA probe against the Bar Association of Serbia and possible implications to all attorneys in Serbia.  In relation thereof, after 4-year investigation, on May 24, 2018, the NCA has terminated the case against the national bar association as the conditions for further proceedings were not met (link).

Finally, according to the panel attendees, panelists managed to raise awareness and elaborate on these complex issues pertaining to competition law in a straight-forward manner so that attorneys and associates who don’t practice the competition law were able to expand their knowledge and learn the particulars of this field.