16 Nov, 2017

The Energy Community Recognizes “Serbian Menarini”

The Energy Community, the quintessential energy organization aiming to extend EU’s internal energy market and EU acquis to southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region, and create an integrated & sustainable pan-European energy market, recently published its 2016/2017 Annual Implementation Report (Report) (available for download), where it officially acknowledged our ongoing constitutional challenge against the Serbian Competition Act, secondary legislation and general regulations.  The report does a noteworthy job in properly identifying some of the key arguments set out in the constitutional challenge, particularly the criminal nature of competition proceedings, lack of procedural safeguards required by the ECHR, and that the […]

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22 Sep, 2017

Challenges Against Croatia by Agrokor’s Ex-Owner?

For the first time since Agrokor—one of the leading regional companies with almost 60,000 employees, became the biggest national news in the Balkans for facing liquidity issues—former Agrokor owner, Ivica Todoric, broke his silence, claiming he gave up control “under duress” and that “this is not Parmalat” indicating a potential and broader legal battle against the Croatian state on multiple fronts?  Possible ramifications may include EU law, state aid & competition issues, constitutional claims, ECHR and even more.  The extensive public announcement issued today and signed by Mr. Todoric points to “an unconstitutional and illegal nationalization” and states he “will […]

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15 Sep, 2017

Serbia and Montenegro: state aid spotlight on corporate profit tax

Both Serbia and Montenegro have come under pressure from the European Commission to amend their respective Corporate Profit Tax Acts to bring tax incentives in line with EU law. This update provides a closer look and analysis, which suggests that amendments are an option worth considering for both Serbia and Montenegro. However, any such legislative change would need to be implemented in a manner that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders, including the interests of investors benefiting from the existing incentive schemes. The European Commission in Chapter 8 of its Screening Report for Serbia, emphasized that specific aid […]

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26 Jun, 2017

Thresholds for Merger Control in Serbia – a Treasure Island of False Positives?

The Serbian 2009 Protection of Competition Act (as amended in 2013) (the Act) provides for rather low merger control thresholds, compared both to EU law and countries in the region. Thresholds set this low can (and usually do) result in excessive merger control which eventually brings more harm than good to market competition.  In order to put an end to this, a change in decisional practice and/or legislative change in regards to this important aspect of merger control is required. The Act provides for rather low merger control thresholds, compared both to EU law and countries in the region.  Namely, […]

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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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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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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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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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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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