New EU Data Protection Rules – Should Serbian Companies Be Worried?

The new EU data protection framework, set to come into force on May 24, 2018 in the form of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is directly binding in all Member States, however its scope goes beyond the boundaries of the EU – affecting foreign companies that deal with personal data of EU citizens.  National Data Protection authorities of EU member states already have certain powers over foreign enterprises, as seen in the landmark Costeja case (C‑131/12) where Google Inc., an American company, was forced to protect a Spanish national’s right to the respect of his private life.  The GDPR […]

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19 Jun, 2017

The Dawn of Dawn Raids or the Twilight of Due Process in Serbia?

In the last 10 days of May 2017, the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter: the Commission) has decided to roll up its sleeves and put a number of companies suspected of committing competition violations on its conveyor belt.  Unusually high number of unannounced inspections – conducted at the premises of B2M d.o.o., Grafo Trade d.o.o., Trgodunav d.o.o., Master Clean Express d.o.o., AD HI Panonija and Frikom d.o.o. – begs a question, why now?  By way of comparison, the Commission has used its powers to carry out dawn raids on business premises only six times […]

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13 Jun, 2017

Quarterly Review of Decisions Taken by Serbia’s Commission for Protection of Competition

During the first quarter of 2017, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia handed down a number of decisions in different areas of competition protection and recognized the necessity of conducting analyses of vital sectors such as telecoms, oil products and oil-derivatives: Restrictive agreements.  The Commission decided to investigate a close collaboration between two large players on the oil products market in Serbia.  On March 13, 2017, the Commission fined two direct competitors – Victoriaoil and Vital – for entering into a mutual cooperation agreement under which Vital agreed to outsource production and packaging of […]

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05 Jun, 2017

Gecić Law Proud to Host 2017 Reunion of the Harvard Law School Association of Europe in Belgrade

Over 160 Esteemed Guests Gathered in Belgrade to Mingle, Sightsee and Discuss Food Law Gecić Law is proud to announce completion of one of the most prestigious gatherings of legal professionals in Belgrade in recent history, bringing together high-profile individuals and young leaders in politics, business and innovation. Coordinated with the Harvard Law School Association of Europe (HLSAE), the 2017 reunion in Belgrade coincided with the Bicentennial Celebration of Harvard Law School (HLS) and took place over four days, from May 25 through May 28, 2017. The event included the myriad of activities showcasing Belgrade as one of Europe’s best kept […]

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25 May, 2017

“Sharing Economy” in the Spotlight – Let’s Call a Spade a Spade, Says EU Advocate General on Uber

On 11 May 2017, Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Mr. Maciej Szpunar, issued a landmark opinion on legal qualification of Uber, the US ride hailing app, claiming that, from the perspective of the EU law, Uber should be characterized and treated as a transport company rather than as a mere information technology provider. The question that was posed to the EU highest court and that, according to Advocate General, needs to be assessed on a rather technical level, deals with Uber’s standing within the EU regulatory framework. Although non-binding, the opinion given by the […]

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11 May, 2017

Gecić Law Sponsors Annual Job Fair at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law

Gecić Law is proud to sponsor this year’s annual job fair organized by Belgrade’s group of the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law. This year’s event “Lawyers at Work” with the theme “Choose Your Career” will be held from May 9th until May 11th, 2017. Please feel free to visit our booth from 11:00-15:00 each day and bring your questions and CVs. Additionally, Bogdan Gecić, partner at Gecić Law will be discussing his professional experience at the closing session along with other panelists. This session focusing on law profession and career will be […]

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04 May, 2017

Collaboration Without Notification? Certain Joint Ventures out of the Scope of EC Merger Regulation, Says CJEU Advocate General

On April 27, 2017, Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”),  Ms. Juliane Kokott, issued an opinion stating that not every creation of joint ventures ought to be under control of the European authorities: only formation of those joint ventures which are to be entirely autonomous, full-function entities should be subject to the official scrutiny. As per words of the opinion’s respected author, said issue, although technical in essence, holds a “practical significance” for national and European watchdogs on the one hand, and market undertakings, on the other, given that it tackles the matter of interpretation […]

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26 Apr, 2017

New Data Protection Enforcement: Is Your Business Ready for It?

Businesses beware – imposing fines of up to 10% of the company’s Serbia-originated annual income in respect to enforcing Data Protection compliance will be one of the measures available to the Commissioner1  as of June 1, 2017, when the new Administrative Procedure Act is set to come into force. The changes to the Administrative Enforcement Procedure are going to allow this Data Protection Authority to enforce its decisions by fining companies in an amount considerably higher than the maximum enforcement-related fine of RSD 200,000.00 (approx. EUR 1,600.00) allowed by the current statute. This means that all companies will, if ordered […]

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24 Apr, 2017

Gecić Law Recognized as a Tier 1 Competition Practice by Legal 500

MARKET DISRUPTOR – THE YOUNGEST LAW FIRM TO ACHIEVE A TIER 1 RANKING We are proud to announce The Legal 500 EMEA 2017 annual rankings of the premier law firms in Serbia are published and Gecić Law was awarded the coveted ‘Top Tier’ status, granted to firms that achieved Tier 1 ranking in a particular practice. The firm ranked Tier 1 in the field of Competition Law and the firm’s Commercial, Corporate and M&A practice was ranked Tier 2. These rankings represent an unprecedented achievement, especially given the fact that we are the youngest law firm in Serbia to receive a […]

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12 Apr, 2017

EU Competition: Third Time’s a Charm? Not if you Ask the European Commission

On March 29, 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) officially blocked the third attempt to implement the merger between the London Stock Exchange Group (“LSE”) and Deutsche Börse AG.  Said decision created an insurmountable obstacle to further cooperation of the two groups which was aimed at creating a European powerhouse able to compete with strong American and fast-emerging Asian financial markets. The long planned merger was to give rise to the world’s largest exchange by total income, the biggest for equities listings, and to an entity that would control more derivatives trades than any other entity in the world.1  It would […]

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08 Mar, 2017

Jovan Rajković Joins Gecić Law as Media & IP Head

Gecić Law is pleased to announce today that Jovan Rajković joined our Belgrade office where he will head the newly established Media & IP practice. Jovan focuses on complex intellectual property disputes, with particular expertise in media.  He handled a plethora of matters arising out of client’s need for compliance with increasingly complex regulation, infringement, dispute resolution in the field of intellectual property and media law, as well as contracts in the area of ​​intellectual property and media, both as publishing contracts, licenses and other contracts which include different issues related to intellectual property and cooperation in the field of media services. […]

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31 Jan, 2017

Lufthansa/airberlin Secure a Green Light for the Wet-Lease Deal from the German Competition Authority

On January 30, 2017, the German competition authority (Ger. Bundeskartellamt) has decided to give final clearance to the implementation of the plan previously announced by two carriers, Lufthansa and airberlin, directed at the wet-lease of 38 aircrafts for the period of six years.  Under current state of affairs, there are no firm grounds for the subject agreement to be prohibited, since, as it was emphasized by Bundeskartellamt, it was not proven that it would in fact result in an actual distortion of competition.  In this context, apart from reaffirming the need for a presumption of competition violation to be proven […]

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23 Dec, 2016

The Highest Antitrust Fine to Date Issued in Serbia to EPS Distribution

Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission“) has fined EPS Distribution, a sole electric power distribution system operator, for the abuse of dominant position in the amount of 330 million RSD (cca EUR 2.7 million).  This is the highest antitrust fine imposed by the Serbian regulator. Having established the EPS Distribution indeed held dominant position, the Commission found several abuses of dominant position and in particular: As a result of non-transparent business policy, the company EPS Supply was placed in an advantageous position compared to competitors. Subject behavior was reflected in (i) the fact that unlike other suppliers, only EPS […]

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23 Nov, 2016

EU Competition Law: ‘Gun-jumping’ and the Russian Roulette is on!

On November 8 2016, the French Competition Authority (Competition Authority) imposed a fine in the dizzying amount of €80 million on Altice Luxembourg, a telecom-investment company, and its French subsidiary SFR on the basis of their ‘gun-jumping’ activities during the 2014 acquisition of SFR and Virgin Mobile.  After an unannounced probe, the regulator decided to institute said fine upon two companies in order to punish them for implementing their mergers prematurely, and to effectuate a deterrent for this type of antitrust activities among other companies. The unprecedented fine imposed on SFR and Altice is the first of its kind to […]

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22 Nov, 2016

Neutrality Everywhere? A Brief Look at the Chillin’Competition Conference 2016

For the second year in a row Chillin’Competition conference drew practitioners, scholars and regulators from across Europe with a promise of an unparalleled array of distinguished speakers focusing on the topic of the neutrality principle and its role in competition law. And it certainly delivered! Alfonso Lamadrid, one of the founders of Chillin’Competition blog (seen giving the opening remarks above), started the conference by stressing the importance of discussing the concept of substantive neutrality, its meaning and scope of application in different fields of competition law. Keynote Address – Margrethe Vestager Keynote speaker Margrethe Vestager, EC Commissioner for Competition, delivered a […]

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07 Nov, 2016

Does Commuting Equals Work? ECJ Clarifies

Results of one of the latest surveys recently carried out by British Regus, global work-space provider, have revealed that commuting is being experienced as a time waste for nearly one third of UK professionals, given that it does not fall within their working hours.  Said survey led to the actualization of a pivotal judgment rendered by the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter: ECJ) in 2015, according to which such daily journeys undertaken by workers without a fixed or habitual place of work between their homes and the premises of their customers constitute working time. After processing obtained […]

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28 Oct, 2016

Colić Law Office joins Gecić Law

It is our great pleasure to announce that Colić Law Office, a boutique law firm focusing on corporate / M&A and litigation, has joined Gecić Law.  A joining of two extraordinary teams with shared values and culture, with complimentary practice strengths will enable us to provide a new and broader set of services to our clients. Ognjen Colić, who will assume the position of the Head of Corporate practice at Gecić Law commented: „With this step, we have set out to create an empowering platform to provide even more custom-tailored and innovative solutions.  This will allow us to push the […]

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25 Oct, 2016

Congratulations Katarina! The Winner of the 2016/2017 Taboroši Scholarship Announced

It is our great privilege and pleasure to announce that Ms. Katarina Tomić, a senior at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law business law concentration, has been selected as the winner of the Taboroši Scholarship for the academic year 2016/2017. We would like to use this opportunity to sincerely congratulate Katarina as well as to thank all candidates for their participation and submissions of enviable quality. We are truly pleased with the number of submissions and are certain that Taboroši Scholarship will, in the years to come, motivate an increasing number of students of the business law module to […]

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27 Sep, 2016

EU State Aid: European Commission Bitting More Than It Can Chew?

McDonald’s might be the next company facing the obligation to pay back taxes, only this time to Luxembourg, in the amount of approximately $500 million, according to Financial Times estimates. In December 2015, the European Commission has opened a formal investigation of Luxembourg’s tax treatment in case of McDonald’s. It held a preliminary view that “a tax ruling granted by Luxembourg may have granted McDonald’s an advantageous tax treatment in breach of EU State aid rules.”1  The Commission is yet to render a decision that would conclude said formal investigation against American fast food giant and contain its final judgment […]

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19 Sep, 2016

Taboroši Scholarship

About the Scholarship The Taboroši Scholarship is established in memory of Professor Svetislav Taboroši, by family and former students who have been inspired by the Professor’s work and dedication to academic research and innovative problem solving in the practice of business law.  A brilliant teacher and scholar, Professor Taboroši strived to educate his students on the most recent trends in legal academic thought and the importance of critical thinking in academic and professional analysis of international law & economics.  The Scholarship is awarded annually to a student of the senior year at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law who, […]

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02 Sep, 2016

EU State Aid: Commission Goes After the Forbidden Fruit

“The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple [the biggest tax bill ever imposed outside the US]. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid [indirect subsidies].“1 Following an in-depth state aid investigation of the “sweetheart fiscal deal” between Ireland and Apple, the European Commission has concluded that Apple received illegal tax benefits from Ireland through a favorable tax arrangement selectively provided to this company for a number of consecutive years. […]

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20 Jul, 2016

Gecic Law Helping Make Ideas a Reality

Gecic Law recently advised the Science and Technology Park Belgrade, which was founded in partnership by the Government of Serbia, the City of Belgrade and the University of Belgrade to facilitate an association between economic, scientific and educational organizations. The project, which is meant to support the transfer of knowledge, the development of new technologies and to stimulate growth of the knowledge economy, will support growing technological development companies and small start-ups. Gecic Law has assisted the park with various legal matters in the process of taking over the management of the science park. Nikola Aksić, lead legal counsel on […]

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04 Jul, 2016

We Are Hiring

Gecić Law is looking for a competent Office Manager / Business Development Assistant to manage daily administrative tasks. Gecić Law is one of the foremost innovative law firms in Serbia. We have achieved this by building long-term relationships with clients based on reciprocity, trust and the highest standards of professional ethics. By adopting new models for the delivery of legal services, we have redefined the role that a law firm plays in an emerging regional market, which has produced truly exceptional results. Our team shares a joint vision to create a true corporate meritocracy dedicated to excellence in the practice […]

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15 Jun, 2016

Gecić Law Discusses the Serbian Legal Market

CEE Legal Matters, a leading source of news and analysis on Europe’s emerging legal markets, recently organized a round table to discuss the legal services market in Serbia.  The event hosted an elite gathering of senior and managing partners from local and regional law firms and the in-house counsel of Henkel.  Gecić Law Partner, Bogdan Gecić participated in the discussion, which elaborated on the overall status of the market, including growth trends, the breakdown of the industry, fee structures, new upcoming legislation and expectations for 2016 / 2017 and the challenges facing the industry in the future.  In particular Gecić […]

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19 May, 2016

Gecić Law Has Moved to a New Address

Gecić Law is pleased to announce that our office has moved to a new address: Nikole Spasića 2 11000, Belgrade Hope to see you soon!   *All of the Firm’s other contact information will remain the same.

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18 May, 2016

Opening Pandora’s (in)Box: Social Media & Cartels?

At a recently held conference in Singapore the Director of the Cartels Directorate of DG Competition of the European Commission (the “Commission”) addressed the issue of investigative powers of the Commission and collection of evidence during dawn raids. In particular, they emphasized that the Commission has to “keep up with the technology” in order to effectively combat illegal price fixing and market sharing.  According to him, that could be achieved by finding ways to collect data from online social networks so to determine whether individuals are involved in infringement of competition rules. In that respect, it was emphasized that the […]

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11 May, 2016

Gecić | Law Advises on €46 million Asset Sale of Železara Smederevo

Gecić | Law advised Železara Smederevo and the Government of Serbia on EU, regulatory and corporate matters in connection with the €46 million ($52 million) sale of assets of Železara Smederevo’s through a public tender procedure to the Chinese company Hebei Iron and Steel Company Limited (HBIS).  Under the transaction, HBIS pledged to invest at least $300 million in a new company and to utilize the acquired assets to develop its global layout and to provide better service for its customers in Europe. Leading Serbian Steel Manufacturer Železara Smederevo is Serbia’s leading producer of steel and is the second largest […]

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28 Apr, 2016

Airline Ticket Pricing and Distribution: The EU Code of Conduct Must Be Respected

The market for the distribution of airline tickets has recently come under the examination of the European Commission (the “Commission”). Upon receiving the formal complaint from the European Technology and Travel Services Association (the “ETTSA”)1, the Commission has sent questionnaires to carriers, travel agents, online reservation sites and global distribution systems asking for the information on exact contract terms and conditions between airlines, travel agents and computerized reservations systems. The main issue that should be determined is whether airlines are impacting customers to book tickets on their own websites rather than using travel agencies and other available computer reservation systems […]

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26 Apr, 2016

EU Data Protection Reform Adopted

As announced by one of our previous publications, the new rules on personal data protection were adopted at the European Union (“EU”) level on April 14, 2016.  Referred to as “the culmination of over four years of hard work” in the joint statement of the European Commission (“Commission”) First Vice-President, Vice-President in charge of the Digital Single Market and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, the new policy aims to extend the citizens’ right to personal data protection, enhance legal certainty for businesses by unifying the regulation within the EU and allow for improved cooperation of Member States’ criminal […]

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21 Apr, 2016

Gecić | Law Supports Harvard Club of Serbia Scholarship Initiative

Gecić | Law is pleased to partner with Mona Hotel Management in support of the Harvard Club of Serbia’s scholarship initiative.  The 2016 scholarship of Harvard Club of Serbia in the field of social sciences and humanities “Čedomilj Mijatović”, named after one of the most prolific Serbian intellectuals in the fields of economics, diplomacy, linguistics, history and theology, was awarded to Jelena Todić, a student of the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law, while the scholarship in the field of natural sciences “Draga Ljočić“, named after the first Serbian female doctor, a great philanthropist and feminist, was awarded to Mihajlo Novaković, […]

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18 Apr, 2016

The New Decree on the Conditions and Manner of Attracting Investments – A Step Forward In Creating a More Favorable Business Environment for the Investors, Yet Some Questions Remain Unanswered

To create a more favorable business environment for domestic and foreign companies wishing to invest in Serbia, and to enhance the national economy, a new Decree on the Conditions and the Manner of Attracting Investments1 (Decree), announced by the Act on Investments2, has been enacted on 11 March 2016. Relying on the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency’s (SIEPA) 2015 Decree on the Conditions and Manner of Attracting Direct Investments3 (SIEPA Decree), the new Decree provides for incentives in the form of grants or, under certain conditions, exemption from customs duties, both for the investments in new production facilities (greenfield […]

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05 Apr, 2016

Bastion of Human Rights – European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the Convention) is a legal document established within the Council of Europe. It is signed and ratified by all 47 member states of the Council of Europe, including Serbia which ratified the Convention in 2003. The significance of the Convention is that it not only outlines the list of rights states are obliged to respect and provide for, but it also introduces the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) whose role is to safeguard the rights guaranteed under the Convention. In other words, individuals and legal entities […]

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25 Mar, 2016

Serbian Parliament Adopts the New Act on General Administrative Procedure

On 29 February 2016, the Serbian Parliament adopted the new Act on General Administrative Procedure (the Act), which came into effect on 9 March 2016 and will be enforced as of 1 June 2017, save for certain provisions which will come into effect on 7 June 2016. This is a completely new piece of legislation which will bring significant changes in the field of domestic administrative law. Therefore, a short summary of the most significant provisions of the Act is provided hereafter. The scope of the Act has been significantly extended so as to govern the actions of authorities as […]

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23 Mar, 2016

Is Price Fixing in Agricultural Sector Exempted from General EU Antitrust Rules?

The French Court of Cassation, the highest court in French judiciary,  referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) for the preliminary ruling certain questions related to interpretation on the intersection between farm policy in France under the Common Agricultural Policy (the “CAP”) and the EU antitrust legislation.  The referral stems from the 2012 case in which the French Competition Authority fined 10 growers of endives and seven associations in France with more than 4 million euros for price fixing, managing volumes of endives put on sale and exchange of information. Namely, according to the Article […]

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11 Mar, 2016

Italian Concessions for Maritime Operators – A Tsunami for European Services Market?

On February 25, 2016, in the joined cases Promoimpresa srl v Consorzio dei Comuni della Sponda Bresciana del Lago di Garda e del Lago di Idro, Regione Lombardia, and Mario Melis, Tavolara Beach Sas, and Dionigi Piredda, Claudio Del Giudice v Comune di Loiri Porto San Paolo, Provincia di Olbia Tempio (hereinafter: Promoimpresa and others), Mr. Maciej Szpunar, an Advocate General at the EU Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) since 2013, produced a nonbinding opinion for the ECJ stating that the European Union (the “EU”) law precludes national legislation under which the period of validity of […]

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02 Mar, 2016

Committed to Reinventing the Regional Legal Services Industry

In a world where a website is the face of a business, we are proud that our continuous efforts to communicate with our clients and the wider public in an innovative, comprehensive and clear manner have been widely recognized. We are pleased to announce that www.geciclaw.com recently received international recognition as one of the most innovative websites for a professional service provider.  In February 2016, www.geciclaw.com was nominated for the best website in 2016 by AWWWARDS.com, a leading international portal for web-design.  Awwwards recognizes the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers and agencies in the world.  The nomination and evaluation process is conducted […]

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01 Mar, 2016

Slovak Telekom Case – a Reminder of Unexploited Antitrust Damage Claim Mechanisms in European National Laws?

After the European Commission (the “Commission”) by its decision from 5 October 20141 imposed a fine of more than 38 millions of euros on Slovak Telekom for the abuse of its dominant position on Slovak market for broadband services, Slovak Telekom has come to face damage claims from mobile operators Orange Slovensko and SWAN.  The said operators claimed damages they allegedly suffered before Bratislava court, in the amount exceeding 280 million euros on the grounds of the said Commission’s decision that found Slovak Telekom has abused its dominant position. By the same 2014 decision of the Commission, Deutsche Telekom was […]

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17 Feb, 2016

Competition Commission Published Its Guidance on Individual Exemptions

On 11 February 2016, the Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the “Competition Commission”) published on its official website the Guidance Concerning Requests for Individual Exemption (the “Guidance”). The overall message the Guidance sends can be seen as a warning that Competition Commission will no longer tolerate delays in notification of restrictive agreements – the deadline for such notification is immediately, otherwise annulment and fines may be incurred. Namely, the Competition Commission, having in mind frequently asked questions in its everyday practice, concluded that it should provide more detailed information regarding the notifications of restrictive agreements.  In particular, as stated […]

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17 Feb, 2016

Regional Subsidies Race to the Bottom Intensifies?

A race to the bottom is a socio-economic phrase used to describe a situation in which countries or companies try to compete in order to attract and retain economic activity and the latest data from the Center for Economic Analysis (CEA) in Macedonia suggests that the country is pushing the envelope on its regional counterparts.  CEA recently published that seven companies doing business within Macedonian technological industrial development zones have have been granted a total of 56 million euros in state aid.  In certain cases, the state aid granted amounted up to 47% of overall value of the investment.  Vesna Garvanlieva, CEA […]

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09 Feb, 2016

Is Telenor Breaching Competition Rules in Norway?

On 1 February 2016 the European Free Trade Organization (“EFTA”) Surveillance Authority has sent a Statement of Objections to Telenor over the possible breach of EEA competition rules in Norway.  Telenor now has until 11 April to claim its position regarding the received antitrust charge sheet. Namely, the EFTA Surveillance Authority suspects that Telenor may have abused its dominant position in Norway, by obstructing competitors in three markets related to the provision of mobile communications services to Norwegian users: the market for wholesale mobile access and origination services, the market for mobile broadband services to residential customers, and the market for […]

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28 Jan, 2016

Serbia Revamps Merger Control Procedure

On 23 January 2016 the Serbian Government adopted the new Regulation on the Content and Method of Submittal of Request for Issuing of Approval for Proposed Concentration (Official Gazette of RS no. 5/2016 – the “Regulation”) that will be effective as of 2 February 2016. The importance of the new Regulation lies in the fact that it introduces a simplified method for notification of the proposed concentration, harmonizing in that regards the national procedure with the existing EU procedure for notification of concentration. The simplified procedure allows merging undertakings to use a shorter notification form for concentration that are unlikely […]

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27 Jan, 2016

Ukrainian Competition Watchdog Levies $3.4bn Fine on Gazprom

On January 22, 2016, Yuriy Terentyev, chairman of the Ukrainian competition watchdog, the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU), took to Facebook to announce that Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas enterprise and the exclusive supplier of gas through Ukraine’s transit pipeline, will be fined for the abuse of dominant position in the Ukrainian gas transit market.  According to Mr. Terentyev, the AMCU issued a fine of 85 billion hryvnias, or 3.4 billion dollars.  No other details were disclosed.  Whether or not Gazprom ends up paying said amount, this case is particularly interesting as it represents the first time that a fine was actually levied […]

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25 Jan, 2016

Gecić Law Associate Marija Momić Awarded First Prize at the 2016 ACUNS Vienna-UN Annual Conference

ACUNS is a global professional association of educational and research institutions, individual scholars, and practitioners active in the work and study of the United Nations, multilateral relations, global governance, and international cooperation.  The organization promotes learning on those topics, as well as dialogue and mutual understanding across and between academics, practitioners, civil society and students.  The ACUNS Annual Meeting is a global conference that provides participants with a unique opportunity to discuss UN and global governance related research and policy. Marija Momić, associate at Gecić Law, together with her colleague Darjana Macanović, co-authored a research paper on the topic “Evaluation of Political Financing […]

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19 Jan, 2016

Changes to the Agricultural Land Act

On 29 December 2015 Serbian Parliament amendments to the Agricultural Land Act (the “Act”) and with the changes effective as of 7 January 2016. The amendments primarily focus on introducing new ways in which to manage and dispose of state-owned agricultural land. The key changes are: revision of the conditions for exercising the right of first refusal, establishment of the right of priority lease of agricultural land, modifications regarding lease and use rights, use without reimbursement, and disposal of state-owned agricultural land. 1. The right of first refusal can be exercised as part of the specific procedure, which local self […]

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A State Aid Perspective: Amendments to the Act on Incentives in Agriculture and Rural Development

On 12 December 2015, the Serbian Parliament enacted the amendments to the Act on Incentives in Agriculture and Rural Development.  The law was promulgated on 22 December and will be enforced as of 1 January 2016. Before we review the changes the Act on Incentives in Agriculture and Rural Development introduces, we will address the burning issue that all beneficiaries of agricultural subsidies might feel threatened by – whether these subsidies are currently caught by state aid rules (the “State Aid Act”) leaving beneficiaries open to potential recovery claims from the State Aid Authority? Тhe purpose of the Act on Incentives in […]

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28 Dec, 2015

The New Enforcement and Security Act

The new Enforcement and Security Act was adopted on 18 December 2015, and will be effective as of 1 July 2016. The most prominent changes under the new act are: the introduction of certain legal institutes which were, in an effort to promote expediency and efficacy, omitted in the current version of the act; a redefinition of the competence of the courts and public enforcers; the status/role of public enforcers, and their increased disciplinary accountability. Most importantly, the new Act introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions  of the court and of the enforcer, except in cases […]

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24 Dec, 2015

EU Announces Sweeping Data Protection Reform

In a trilogue meeting held on 15 December 2015 the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council reached a political agreement to reform EU Data Protection policy.  The new policy has been in the works since 2011, but only now have the European Council and the European Parliament managed to reach an agreement on key issues.  The final text is expected to be formally adopted in early 2016, and its rules applicable two years thereafter.  During this period, 28 member states will be required to amend their existing data protection legislation, or to pass new legislation, whereas the […]

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15 Dec, 2015

Gecić Law Contributes the First-Ever Serbia Chapter on Cartels & Leniency to The International Comparative Legal Guide

We are very pleased to announce that Gecić Law contributed the first-ever Serbia chapter for The International Comparative Legal Guides to Cartels & Leniency.  The publication comes at a defining moment in terms of antitrust enforcement in Serbia as the Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Competition Commission”) conducted a number of dawn raids in two ongoing investigations in 2015.  This was the first time the Competition Commission invoked such investigative powers since it was established in 2006.  We have already published a short guide on dawn raids, available here, in the light of the aforementioned developments, and a standalone piece on […]

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14 Dec, 2015

Smoke and Mirrors: Tobacco Industry Faces Sweeping Antitrust Investigation in Serbia

The Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”) opened an ex officio procedure against Philip Morris Services (PM), British American Tobacco South East Europe (BAT), JT International, Imperial Tobacco SCG, TDR1, and Monus, as announced on 1 December 2015.2  This followed two dawn raids against PM and BAT.  As indicated in the decision3, the Commission suspects that undertakings involved concerted in order to align their pricing policies for factory manufactured cigarettes, thereby violating Article 10 of the Competition Act (a provision prohibiting restrictive agreements, and mirroring, to considerable extent, Article 101(1) of Treaty on Functioning of the EU – TFEU).  This is the first […]

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11 Dec, 2015

Serbia: Amendments to the Financial Restructuring Act

In line with the action plan included in the non-performing loan resolution strategy (“NPL Strategy”), the Serbian Parliament passed amendments to the Voluntary Financial Restructuring Act (“the Act”) on 23 October 2015. The law entered into force on 4 November 2015 and will be enforced as of 2 February 2016. Pending financial restructurings will continue in line with the provisions of the Act. The changes the Act introduces may not be monumental, but legislators expect they will contribute to developing a more favorable economic environment in the country. It remains to be seen how the Act is going to be […]

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10 Dec, 2015

The European Commission Adopts a New Aviation Strategy

On December 7, 2015 the European Commission (EC) adopted a new Aviation Strategy for Europe that “will enable European aviation to flourish globally.”  The EC framed an all-inclusive policy encompassing the entire EU aviation ecosystem.  The new Aviation Strategy contains a list of priorities geared towards making the EU a leading stakeholder in international aviation by tackling restrictions on growth both in the air and on the ground, promoting EU safety and environmental standards globally, and by advancing carbon neutral growth through innovation, digital technologies, and investments.   The claimed added value of the Aviation Strategy is that it provides […]

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09 Dec, 2015

Gecić Law Contributes Serbian Chapter to Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Europe – Second Edition

We are pleased to announce that our partner Bogdan Gecić together with Dr. Tatjana Jovanić, an associate professor at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, co-authored the Serbian chapter for Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Europe – Second Edition.  The chapter provides a comprehensive overview of most important legal aspects for both domestic and foreign investors and businesses in Serbia.  The chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the following topics: Enterprises: Establishment, Acquisition & Bankruptcy Customs Regulation Investment Incentives and Currency Regulation Competition and Market Regulation Intellectual Property Employment Banking The edition is published by Juris Publishing, Inc., a full-service legal […]

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23 Oct, 2015

Conversion of Right of Use Into Ownership Right

As of July 28, 2015, a relatively new piece of real estate legislation, regulating conversion of right of use into ownership right on construction land, came into force (the “Conversion Act”). The Conversion Act creates possibility for certain, strictly itemized entities (e.g. privatized entities, holders of right of use on the land previously acquired for specific development, sport organizations, public enterprises, entities subject to bilateral succession treaties) to convert right of use into ownership right in exchange for compensation fee payment. Such fee equals the market value of the land, providing that holders are registered with the Real Estate Cadaster […]

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Croatian Trade Ban: How Economic Operators Can Protect Their Rights Against Anti-Trade State Conducts?

The purpose of this brief is to highlight the consequences of the unilateral decision by the state of Croatia, as a member of the European Union, to close its borders for transport coming from Serbia between 17 and 25 September 2015 and to emphasize potential breaches of legal principles the EU has been founded on. We take into consideration the multitude of acts, treaties and agreements which constitute legal sources of the European Union, as well as precedents set by the highest court of the EU, and explore potential avenues for legal redress for those whose interests were harmed by […]

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05 Oct, 2015

Website Launch Announcement

Dear Clients, Partners & Friends, The team at Gecić Law is pleased to announce the launch of our revolutionary new website.  To create something truly unique, we built on global best practices and most innovative solutions.  A website tailored for the greatest web experience that aims to set the bar high in the CEE legal industry and beyond, and show what can be done by a very resolute local firm empowered by innovation and the perseverance to turn its vision into a reality. We applied creative thinking in law and communication to provide a window into our culture and deliver powerful […]

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05 Oct, 2015

A Short Guide on Dawn Raids

This Short Guide provides guidance on how to ensure an effective response to an unannounced inspection (known as a “dawn raid”) of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia (further Competition Commission).  Topics covered include: What to do at the beginning of a dawn raid Managing an ongoing dawn raid What to do at the end of a dawn raid Do’s and Don’ts at each stage This Short Guide will consider the key practical points and legal issues to bear in mind when facing a dawn raid.  It should be used to assist your company in providing […]

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05 Oct, 2015

NBS Adopts Changes to the Single Register of Accounts

On October 1, 2015, the new Payment Services Act came into force.  This new piece of legislation introduced numerous and rather important changes to the Serbian payment operations system.  These changes are also a part of Serbia’s harmonization with European Union laws and business practices, which presumes liberalization of payment services provision and widening of authorized service providers in this field, other than the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) and licensed banks, will have a significant positive impact on the market efficiency. One of the most significant changes in this sense introduced in the Payment Services Act relates to the formation of a […]

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05 Oct, 2015

Serbian Antitrust Agency Pursues Potential “Gun Jumping” Case

On 4 September 2015, the Competition Commission, Serbian competition watchdog, closed an investigation against Agriser, a subsidiary of Ferrero Trading Lux S.A. and a member of Ferrero Group, owner of brands with global recognition including Nuttela, Kinder, Ferrero Rocher, etc.  This case may, as well, indicate an increasing interest of the Serbian antitrust authority in tackling concentrations in the form of asset deals subject to the privatization procedures.  In April this year Agriser purchased entire assets of Aleksa Šantić, a Serbian company active in the production of primary agriculture produces, within the framework of a public bid procedure governed by Privatization Agency of the […]

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05 Oct, 2015

Recent Developments in Serbian Mortgage Law

On July 7, 2015, the long awaited amendments to Serbia’s 2005 Mortgage Act have been adopted.  The amendments brought several important changes, primarily aimed at increasing the efficacy of the foreclosure proceedings, but also at eliminating some provisions shown to be obsolete.  The following is a brief overview of the aforementioned key amendments. In terms of mortgage creation, one rather simple improvement is that the person having the direct possession of the real estate is no longer required to give its written statement agreeing with establishing the mortgage over the respective real estate.  This should make the procedure of creating […]

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05 Oct, 2015

Advantages of Acquiring a Business Out of Bankruptcy

According to the data provided by the Serbian Privatization Agency (as of September 21, 2015), there are currently 357 companies involved in the process of privatization. On the other hand, the Privatization Act requires for the privatization process to be completed before December 31, 2015. Save for 188 companies, for which the Government already adopted an action plan for the commencement of bankruptcy proceedings (due to no productivity, no interests from potential investors and unsustainable financial performance), it remains to be seen how many companies will actually find a genuine buyer, and thus, avoid bankruptcy proceedings before the December deadline.  Hence, while awaiting […]

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