Gecić Law Firm Serbia

17 May 2021

Bogdan Gecić talks to Forbes about client service

Bogdan Gecić, Managing Partner at Gecić Law, was quoted in Forbes, the leading global business publication, in an article titled “Nine Solutions for Gathering and Responding to Customer Feedback”. Bogdan was asked to join a panel of experts and share his perspective on the best ways to capture and implement client feedback from the point of view of an eminent entrepreneur in the legal and professional services industry. “Surveys and interviews are a great way to gauge what clients are really interested in.  In professional services, a client-centric approach to everything we do is essential, while understanding and anticipating our […]

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13 May 2021

TikTok May Have Gone Too Far in Child Data Collection

What do Facebook, WhatsApp and TikTok have in common?  Well, they are social media giants, with billions of users all around the world.  But there is something else that these platforms have in common that is worthy of attention.  Lately, they have all been “hunted down” by regulators over their data policies.  So, we wanted to take the time to say a few words on the TikTok case. What makes the TikTok case special?  As most of you already know, TikTok is a social media platform used to make short-form videos that last between 15 and 60 seconds.  The videos […]

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11 May 2021

EU to apply new enlargement methodology to Serbia and Montenegro

The Council of the EU agreed on Tuesday to apply its revised enlargement methodology in the accession negotiations of Serbia and Montenegro.  The new rules within the accession process aim to increase contacts at the ministerial level and promote fundamental reforms in the two countries.  Additionally, the new enlargement methodology has the goal of improving the predictability of the accession process. Furthermore, it reorganizes chapters into clusters to speed up negotiations between the states with the EU. The decision comes after the European Commission issued a Communication in February which addressed the need to improve the accession process. The new […]

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10 May 2021

Gecić Law’s Head of Corporate/M&A Ognjen Colić quoted in FAZ

Gecić Law’s expertise was yet again called upon by international media last Friday, as Head of Corporate/M&A Ognjen Colić was quoted in the leading German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (“FAZ”) where he commented on Serbia’s latest Decree on Incentive Measures for Immunisation and Prevention and Suppression of the Infectious Disease COVID-19.  In the article, Mr. Colić noted that the Official Gazette is yet to publish the latest decree on the new COVID-19 sick leave payment rules after the Serbian Government announced that only those vaccinated would be eligible for an incentive to on top of regular salary reimbursements.  Those infected […]

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10 May 2021

Many have asked us … what is the status of influencers in the Western Balkans?

Who are “influencers”? Developments in technology and the significant influence of social networks on modern life, have resulted in the development of a completely new breed of digital marketers – influencers[1].  Increasingly, successful brands now recognize influencer marketing as an extremely effective way to advertise their business which in turn expands their reach and increasing the sales of products and services. The term influencers originated in the English language, and many other languages, including Serbian, use anglicisms to refer to influencers to denote influential people within a certain group of people.  We are familiar with their work today on various […]

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29 Apr 2021

The Implementation of the Act on Determining the Origin of Property and Special Tax Has Started

I. Introductory Remarks The application of the Act on Determining the Origin of Property and Special Tax (“Act”) started on March 12, 2021. Since the introduction of the bill, the Act has attracted a lot of attention, both from the professional public and others, not only because of the subject of regulation, but also because of its legal solutions.  The Act came into force at the start of 2020, but its implementation was postponed for a year.  In that period, amid criticism, some amendments were added to the Act, just before the start of its implementation. It is noticeable that […]

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28 Apr 2021

What does the New Act on Archival Material and Archival Activity bring?

In addition to numerous novelties and changes in Serbian legislation, the beginning of this year was also marked by the legal regulation of archiving materials and similar documentation, which attracted significant attention.  The new Archival Material and Archival Activity Act (the “Act“) is not only an important step towards improving the protection of archival material and regulating archival activity, but also towards developing awareness of the importance of preservation of archival material, since that helps “protect” the history of our country. Until recently Serbia did not have a specific act which would comprehensively regulate the issue of archival material and […]

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27 Apr 2021

Developments in Energy Legislation in Serbia – a Path Towards a Green Future

The adoption of amendments, and the new group of energy-related acts are crucial for Serbia’s energy transition, which is set to be implemented through several new regulations.  All countries in the Western Balkans must transition to carbon-neutral energy sectors and become part of the integrated energy market.  The main goal of the transition is to increase the share of renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Members of the Serbian Parliament adopted the Amendments to the Energy Act, the Act on Energy Efficiency and Rational Use of Energy (the “Energy Efficiency Act”) and the Amendments to […]

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Cartel Ties Prompting Disqualification

“Three Strikes, You’re Out!”, or, as in the practice of the UK’s watchdog, “third time is a charm”, but the fourth is not.  Let us check out the rules of fair play when it comes to protecting competition in the UK market. In the early 2020 Associated Lead Mills Ltd (ALM) and H.J. Enthoven Ltd (trading as BLM British Lead), two of the UK’s largest suppliers of rolled lead,  admitted to forming a cartel and thus breaking the law four times by colluding on prices, sharing the rolled lead market by arranging not to target certain customers, and purposely not […]

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24 Apr 2021

ESL: A Legal Perspective and Insights on the Football League that May Never Start

Introductory remarks There are many reasons why football is one of the world’s most successful and popular sports, and that Europe is its home.  As Rohan Roy said in his poem, football is “the most beautiful game”.  Although football has changed over the years, which was inevitable, it kept receiving support from its fans. Historically, adjustments to “the most important of the least important things” have been announced and introduced gradually, so that the core principles of football would survive. It is obvious that the fans and supporters were and always will be the reason for football’s worldwide success.  This […]

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20 Apr 2021

Serbian Climate Change Act – what to expect?

During the session held on March 18, Serbian MPs adopted the Climate Change Act (the “Act”).  The Minister of Environmental Protection, Ms. Irena Vujović noted that “the issues concerning environmental protection and climate change are of high priority and have finally received deserved attention from the Government of Serbia.” The main goal of the Act is to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, as the accelerated development of technology and international trade make pollution, and especially emissions of GHG, a global problem. Long History of Global Climate Change Mitigation Acts The United Nations (the “UN”) noted the impending problems caused by […]

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Three’s a charm – Gecić Law announces the latest team promotions

At Gecić Law, we are delighted whenever we have the opportunity to reward professionals who best represent our core values. With this in mind, we are proud to announce another round of expansion and congratulate three of our star legal professionals. These include the promotion of Ivana Stojanović Raišić from Senior Associate to Counsel, while Jelena Škorić and Danica Misojčić will be promoted to Senior Associate positions. “We’re pleased to promote Ivana, Jelena and Danica. Our strategy has always been to build talent and reward the exceptional contribution of our team to the firm. It is truly wonderful to watch […]

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15 Apr 2021

New Electronic Invoicing Act – which novelties can we expect?

One of the significant novelties in Serbian legislation refers to the regulation of electronic invoicing through the  Electronic Invoicing Bill (the “Bill“).  The adoption of the Bill is on the agenda of the National Assembly on April 21, and it remains to be seen whether the Bill will be modified and and if so, which provisions will be changed. Reasons for the adoption of the Bill One of the key reasons for the adoption of the Bill is further harmonization of Serbian legislation  with European Union law.  Additionally, in the words of the Minister of Finance, the Bill ”improves the […]

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02 Apr 2021

EU Digital Saga Continues – Digital Services Act: A Service to Consumers, but a Disservice to Businesses?

After a short break from our previous reflections on the EU’s new set of regulations concerning digital markets (more details available here), we are back with an even more vivid and thorough breakdown of the proposed regulation. To pick up where we left off, we will be taking a closer look at the Digital Services Act (“DSA“ or „Act“). As we have already familiarized ourselves with the EU’s goals and ambitions regarding new digital market regulation, we can now fully indulge ourselves by taking a closer look at the Act.  We hope that you managed to catch your breath because […]

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24 Mar 2021

Vertical Restraints in the Sights of the Commission for Protection of Competition

In the last few months, the Serbian National Competition Authority (“NCA”) has turned its attention to sanctioning agreements between undertakings where resale prices are maintained.  After taking cases against consumer electronics undertakings, the NCA recently opened an investigation against a general importer and its three car dealers of “Audi” vehicles, in the course of its sectoral analysis of the markets of sales and after-sales services of motor vehicles. Resale Price Maintenance – What is the Problem? Resale price maintenance (“RPM”) is a contractual provision where the supplier (usually the manufacturer or general importer) binds the buyer (usually the distributor or […]

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19 Mar 2021

Silent, but not Uncooperative – an Important Decision by the ECJ

As the famous Arabic proverb says, ‘Silence is golden’.  And it seems that this nugget of ancient wisdom still holds true today – even in law; even when it comes to a high-profile case before the European Court of Justice.  To find out why would silence be so important as to cause a stir among lawyers throughout Europe, we must track back to the beginning.  What happened? On February 2, 2021, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) released a landmark ruling on due process rights in preliminary reference from the Italian Constitutional Court in DB v Commissione Nazionale per le […]

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12 Mar 2021

2020 in review – light at the end of the tunnel

At Gecić Law, we proudly look back at 2020 and remember it as a year of significant achievement. Some of our accomplishments singled out in this review testify not only to the ability of our team to quickly adapt to radically different circumstances, but to see them as an opportunity to affirm our core values, to build on them and to grow. We rose to the challenge, learned and developed, and in the process, we helped our employees, clients, and business partners gain the strength to overcome the uncertainty and grow together with us. These are the highlights of our […]

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10 Mar 2021

Gecić Law’s Milestone Win in Landmark State-Aid Case Attracts Media Attention

Gecić Law is currently representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in a procedure with the Energy Community, a landmark case across the Balkans related to alleged state aid in the construction of Block 7 of the Tuzla Thermal Power Plant, a project worth USD 1.1 billion, with co-counsel Marić & Co. Law Firm based in Sarajevo. Launched in 2018 by the Secretariat of the Energy Community against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the process has been marked by violation of due process, complete disregard for the rights of the defense as well as continuous bids of the prosecution to speed up the process and […]

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09 Mar 2021

Bogdan Gecić, the founder of Gecić Law Firm: There is a lot of room for innovation

Diplomacy & Commerce magazine, a syndication of London’s The Economist magazine for Serbia, prepared a special InFocus supplement as part of its February 2021 issue, with the aim of providing the readers a closer insight into the development of bilateral relations and successful cooperation between Serbia and the United Arab Emirates. Bogdan Gecic, Managing Partner at Gecic Law, a founding and exclusive member of the UAE Serbia Business club since 2019, gave an interview, which can be read in its entirety below. As an industry, the legal profession has been changing significantly. We have always believed there is a lot […]

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05 Mar 2021

Our Energy practice is growing every day

Our Energy practice team has repeatedly demonstrated its credibility by devising unique opportunities for greenfield and brownfield investments for our clients. We provide comprehensive solutions related to privatization, regulatory compliance and due diligence in cooperation with eminent regulatory, corporate and financial experts. Counsel to Norwegian NBT AS on Wind Farms Project in Serbia Our latest accomplishment in the energy sector is providing counsel to NBT AS, Norway, a utility-scale wind power developer (exceeding 100 KW of power), in partnering with WV International (formerly Windvision).  WV International has been developing wind farm projects in Serbia since 2010 and has been active […]

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03 Mar 2021

Gecić Law – a proud member of the “Elite” Global Legal Alliance TAGLaw according to Chambers & Partners

Gecic Law is proud to share the great news about a significant recognition received by the prestigious global alliance TAGLaw of which we are an exclusive member for Serbia and Montenegro. TAGLaw, the leading global alliance of law firms, has once again been recognized by Chambers & Partners as “Elite” for 2021, the highest ranking awarded to legal networks and alliances.  For over 30 years, Chambers and Partners has been researching the legal markets of over 180 countries, identifying the leading lawyers, law firms and networks worldwide through interviews with thousands of lawyers and their clients. Chambers prestigious reputation is based on the […]

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19 Apr 2019

Gecić Law Continues Its Bullish Run in the Legal 500 Rankings

Gecić Law is delighted to announce yet another commendation by The Legal 500 EMEA, one of the most eminent and prestigious directories of the legal world.     Our Banking & Finance practice continues its bullish run to the national top.   Its head Nikola Aksić was named to the guide’s  “Leading Individuals” elite list of outstanding lawyers in the country, only one year after being recommended by the guide.   The practice has also went up in the overall rankings, securing a Tier 2 recognition. And we haven’t stopped there.  Our Corporate/M&A practice is not lagging behind.  The practice head Ognjen […]

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22 Jun 2018

GDPR in Serbia (and Other Non-EU Countries) – A Foreign Investors’ Perspective

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is currently a global hot topic – and for a good reason. It practically revamps the legal framework concerning Data Protection rules, introduces a whole set of new obligations while imposing massive fines for non-compliance.  While the GDPR came into the force recently, it is no surprise that many are worried how it will affect their organizations as the legislation, under certain conditions, is to be applied worldwide —both inside and outside of the EU. Given that compliance with the GDPR will be no mean feat, requiring vast amount of time and resources, no matter how […]

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No Antitrust Liability for National Bar Association (AKS) as Commission Closes Case

Gecić Law successfully represented the Bar Association of Serbia in a positive resolution of a landmark antitrust probe in Serbia (link).  On May 24, 2018, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition, the national competition authority (“Commission”) dropped a four-year antitrust investigation into the Bar Association of Serbia – Advokatska komora Srbije (“AKS”), without taking any further action (link).  The Commission’s decision puts to rest one of the longest standing investigations in recent history against AKS, a more than 9000-lawyer strong organization and one of the largest bar associations in the Balkans. In 2014, the Commission opened a probe against […]

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30 Apr 2018

Excitement at the TerraLex Global Meeting 2018

What exciting few days at the Terralex’s Global meeting in Barcelona, Spain!  We are happy to report that Gecić Law was part of this premier and unforgettable event of leading legal professionals from around the globe organized by TerraLex, the world’s leading international legal network.  Adding to the excitement was the fact that TerraLex was recently awarded Global Network of the Year at The Lawyer’s annual European Awards in recognition of its member’s commitment to innovation and collaboration (Gecić Law was also shortlisted). Coordinated with the gracious host, impressive Spanish firm of Roca Junyent, the event took place over four […]

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27 Apr 2018

Market Disruptor – Youngest Law Firm Continues Tier 1 Ranking

GECIĆ LAW RECOGNIZED AGAIN AS TOP TIER LAW FIRM BY LEGAL 500 We are proud to announce that Legal 500, the prestigious UK-based guide to the world’s best law firms, has ranked Gecić Law for the second consecutive year as a Top Tier firm in Serbia in its EMEA guide for 2018. The firm’s practice in the field of Competition Law has been ranked as Tier 1, while the Commercial, Corporate and M&A practice maintained an enviable Tier 2 amongst fierce competition of traditional market incumbents.  Furthermore, for the first time this year, our dynamic Banking & Finance practice was […]

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30 Mar 2018

Historic Ruling: Biggest Fine in Serbian Competition Law Annulled

A testament to human rights safeguards or show of a deeply flawed system? Summary Gecić Law successfully assisted EPS Distribution, the leading regional distribution operator, in obtaining a landmark judgement from the Administrative Court that annulled the RSD 330 million fine (cca. EUR 3 million) previously levied against this company by the Serbian watchdog.  The court confirmed that the record fine was imposed in violation of the basic principles of national and EU competition law, as well as ECHR guaranteed human rights.  After a long and tumultuous battle, which took years and a total of three judgements, EPS Distribution finally […]

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30 Jan 2018

Spotlight on IT Companies Part II – Alterations of the Software

In our previous piece (link), we discussed the relationship between IT companies and developers in the field of material copyrights over computer programs (“software”) in context of commercial usage of software by IT companies. However, the relationship between IT companies and developers in the field of copyrights might be of particular importance when it comes to amendments, adaptations, adjustments and other changes to the software as a copyrighted work. Namely, IT companies often modify, customize, upgrade and/or update software developed by their employed developers and/or external developers, or deliver the subject software to their clients for further modifications, customizations, adaptations, adjustments and […]

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24 Jan 2018

Gecić Law Contributes to the first ever Serbia chapter of the Transnational Litigation Guide

We are excited to announce that Gecić Law, contributed to the first-ever Serbia chapter of the Transnational Litigation Guide, December 2017 update.  Published by Thomson Reuters, the most recent guide offers comprehensive overview and detailed analysis of litigation procedure as well as insight into the tactical, substantive and procedural issues of Serbian litigation system along with more than 27 other major legal systems. Authored by Ognjen Colić and Jovan Rajković, senior counsels at Gecić Law, the Serbian chapter includes detailed information and insights into Serbian litigation rules and covers topics such as: structure of courts, obtaining jurisdiction and choice of forum, […]

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18 Jan 2018

Spotlight on IT Companies – Have You Settled Your Rights and Obligations with Your Developers?

Over the past decade, Serbia witnessed an unprecedented growth of its IT/ICT market, becoming one of the most attractive outsourcing and R&D destinations in Eastern Europe (link).  Key players such as Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, Google, HP, SAP, IBM, Siemens, Intel, Cisco, NCR Corporation, Telenor, Erickson, Endava and others grabbed this opportunity, either by establishing development centers in Serbia or outsourcing services to local IT companies (link).  This resulted in two prevailing models – providing services through employed programmers/system architects/etc. (“developer/s”), or by engaging external developers (primarily registered entrepreneurs), a rather novel development.  Because software may, as an original intellectual creation, […]

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12 Dec 2017

It’s Here! Gecić Law Extends Global Footprint With TerraLex Elite Network

Following almost 12 months of meticulous research, grueling screening processes, and a series of elaborate meetings and interviews, Gecić Law is excited to announce it became the exclusive Serbian partner of TerraLex, the world’s leading international legal network and member of The Elite (Band 1) in the Chambers & Partners leading law firm networks global-wide rankings.  We are extremely grateful that TerraLex recognized our quality, reputation, international experience and dedication to excellence in the practice of law. This extensive network spans over 100 countries worldwide and provides full-service assistance to clients through its 17 practice groups.  As part of the TerraLex […]

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04 Dec 2017

3rd Chillin’ Competition Conference in Brussels – A Big League Success

Another year, another Chillin’Competition Conference Imagine for a second a conference where a bunch of “suits”, seasoned scholars and world-recognized experts & regulators spend an entire day laughing, exchanging quips & smug comments and trading Ryan Gosling and SpongeBob SquarePants inspired meme mugs.  Well that’s exactly what happened when over 350 scholars and practitioners of law & economics came together on October 25, 2017 at the Area 42, the “MOST WOW!” venue in Brussels.  Alfonso Lamadrid de Pablo and Pablo Ibañez Colomo, the driving force behind Chillin’Competition blog, world’s favorite source for the latest and greatest in competition law, have once again […]

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04 Dec 2017

More Significant Role of Minority Shareholders

The Act on Amendments and Supplements to the Companies Act represents one of the largest, if not the largest legislative development expected in Serbian law in 2017.  As the public debate on the subject changes came to a close recently, it is expected these revisions will be subject to the parliamentary procedure very soon. Among the proposed amendments and supplements—which have a two-fold aim, i.e. harmonization of domestic law with requirements from the Chapter 6 (Companies Law) for accession to the European Union and Serbia’s progress on the World Bank’s Doing Business List—are those concerning status of minority shareholders of […]

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24 Nov 2017

Congratulations Vesna! The Winner of the 2017/2018 Taboroši Scholarship Announced

It is our great privilege and pleasure to announce that Ms. Vesna Živković, a senior at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law business law concentration, has been selected as the winner of the second Taboroši Scholarship for the academic year 2017/2018. We would like to use this opportunity to sincerely congratulate Vesna 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 […]

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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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08 Nov 2017

Gecić Law Advises in Yet Another Landmark Decision Before the European Commission

Gecić Law acted as legal counsel to the Government of Serbia and the Železara Smederevo steel mill with respect to an European Commission (EC) investigation on the historical State aid received by the old company, and the potential responsibility of Hesteel Serbia to reimburse it, under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).  On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, informed the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, that the European Commission concluded that “the HeSteel-owned steel mill does not have to reimburse any state aid received in the past” (link).  […]

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03 Nov 2017

Overhaul of the Serbian Competition Law – Where Are We Now?

A series of interesting developments, unorthodox actions and landmark decisions surrounding the Serbian Protection of Competition Act that took place in recent months seem to be approaching its final resolution in the form of a brand new competition act that will enhance market competition and at the same time protect companies’ human rights. As this peculiar story approaches its final chapter, we analyse the chronological developments and measure expectations on a potentially milestone development for both Serbia, the region and the European antitrust discourse as a whole. The Uprising The first signs of what was to come happened in late […]

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27 Oct 2017

News on Conducting Business Electronically in Serbia

On October 17, 2017, National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Act on Electronic Document, Electronic Identification and Trust Services in Electronic Business (the “Act”), which comes into force today, and thereby replacing the current regulations on electronic business, i.e. Electronic Signature Act and Electronic Document Act. The Act represents another step forward with planned and ongoing process of digitization and modernization of public administration in general, providing citizens and business entities with a simpler approach to services of public authorities, i.e. a faster, cheaper and more efficient business performance. A change of current practice, with high number of […]

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23 Oct 2017

Taboroši Scholarship 2017

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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06 Oct 2017

Bar Association of Vojvodina Discusses Constitutionality of the Current Competition Act

Photo courtesy of Aleksandar Milutinović, photographer On October 4, 2017, the Bar Association of Vojvodina (BAV) held a panel in Novi Sad (city known as Serbian Athens) on the topic, “The proceedings of the Commission for Protection of Competition (Commission) against the Bar Association of Serbia (BAS), possible implications for the BAV and constitutional challenges against the Protection of Competition Act”.  The speakers on this complex and news-worthy topic were Isidora Nikolić Savin, attorney and specialist for civil and EU business law, and Bogdan Gecić, partner at Gecić Law. Great attendance and interest by attorneys and associates specialized in various fields […]

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04 Oct 2017

Agrokor`s Potential Insolvency – How Does It Affect Serbian Companies?

Although it seemed that the tension over Lex Agrokor had somewhat calmed down—and that Mr. Ante Ramljak, in the capacity of extraordinary administrator by the Croatian Government, will lead the Croatian company in the forthcoming period—the public has been alarmed by the recent announcement by ex-owner, Mr. Ivica Todorić.  On his personal blog, which was visited by more than 180,000 readers in the first 24 hours, Mr. Todorić, in a series of articles, criticizes the conduct of the Republic of Croatia (RC) and points to the unconstitutionality of Lex Agrokor. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia (“Constitutional Court”) […]

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03 Oct 2017

Famous Trust Buster That Took on Delta, First President & NCA Founder Speaks Up Against the Serbian Antitrust Watchdog

The trust buster himself, President Theodore Roosevelt, looks on as a trust is squeezed by Treasury Secretary George B. Cortelyou Illustration by Udo J. Keppler, courtesy of Library of Congress In 2015, Professor Dijana Marković Bajalović, one of the founders and  renowned presidents of the National Competition Authority (NCA), and country’s most respected trust-buster – during her tenure at the NCA, Professor Bajalović took on Delta, for illegal takeover of C Market, and other major incumbents, a feat unheard off at the time (and was eventually removed from office in 2010) – along with others, filed a constitutional challenge against the Protection […]

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02 Oct 2017

Bogdan Gecić Featured in the October Issue of CorD Magazine

We want to kindly thank CorD Magazine for the recent interview of Bodgan Gecić published today, in their October 2017 issue (link).  Some of the questions posed in this interview include: what are the challenges of building a creative law firm in Serbia and the West Balkans, and innovating in a profession viewed by many as traditional; what are the major legal & business challenges ahead during the course of Serbia’s EU accession negotiations; and how we as a firm give back to the community with our pro bono work, our scholarship and counseling students regarding application to US universities. […]

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28 Sep 2017

Cross Border M&As to Be Explicitly Regulated – Looking Towards the Amendments to the Companies Act

The public debate on the Draft of Amendments of the Companies Act, suggested and prepared by the Ministry of Economy in April, will take place in Belgrade on 4th October 2017. As part of the drafting procedure, the Ministry tried to identify and address business sector`s concerns regarding the Companies Act and identify areas where amendments to current regulatory framework might be needed.  In order to facilitate the above-mentioned, the working group also included representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, with more than 60% of the comments submitted by the companies to the Ministry, being adopted. […]

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25 Sep 2017

New Hope for Troubled CHF Borrowers?

On September 20, 2017 the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU“) issued so far the most significant judgment concerning the loans denominated in Swiss francs (the “CHF”). Namely, by judgment in case C-186/16 (Ruxanda Paula Andriciuc and Others v. Banca Românească SA), the CJEU ruled that a financial institution which grants a loan denominated in a foreign currency is liable to provide the borrower with sufficient information, in order to enable him to make a thorough assessment of economic risks and consequences of entering into such contract, and to make a prudent decision on this issue. 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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21 Sep 2017

Corporate Stamps No Longer Needed in Banks as of October 1

The National Bank of Serbia adopted alterations and amendments to seven by-laws in the field of payment operations, thus resolving the dilemma regarding the liability of companies to use their corporate stamp when using payment services. The rule that companies are not obliged to use stamps in their business letters and other documents (unless otherwise prescribed by law), was explicitly set with the Companies Act, that became applicable in 2012. Even with the Payment Services Act, which applies since October of 2015 and which, in accordance with relevant EU directives provides that legal entities and entrepreneurs are not liable to […]

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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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05 Sep 2017

When sharing is not caring: exchange of information in M&A transactions and Serbian competition law

This update considers how exchange of information, as an essential part of any M&A transaction (from pre-acquisition discussions, through the due diligence procedure, and up to the closing of the transaction), may cause significant competition concerns under the Serbian Competition Act in terms of potential collusion between competitors. The prohibition on entering into restrictive agreements under the current Serbian Competition Act (CA) applies, as a general rule, to sharing of commercially sensitive information between undertakings. Relevant provisions of the CA prohibit contracts, certain contract provisions, express or tacit agreements, concerted practices, as well as decisions of undertakings associations which have […]

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02 Sep 2017

Serbian Chamber of Commerce Proposes Total Revamp of Serbian Competition Law?

Recent developments in Serbia, in particular an unprecedented number of hastily opened investigations and Competition Commission’s push for a complete revamp of the competition act, discussed in a recent PLC article “The Dawn of Dawn Raids or the Twilight of Due Process in Serbia?”, raised many eyebrows and prompted significant dissent from both public and private stakeholders.  The widespread dissent took an interesting twist on August 21, 2017 when the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (hereinafter: the Chamber of Commerce) issued an invitation for consultations to the members of its Assembly and Managing Board re the application and […]

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10 Jul 2017

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

During the last ten days of May 2017, Serbian competition authority has hastily opened an unprecedented number of investigations.  Simultaneously, the authority announced a push for a complete revamp of the competition act.  Reviewing these developments through the lens of the New Administrative Act, which came into force on 1 June 2017, a strong argument can be made that behind these actions is a desire to circumvent the robust human rights safeguards introduced by the New Administrative Act and guaranteed under the ECHR and the Serbian Constitution. During the last ten days of May, the Commission for Protection of Competition of […]

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07 Jul 2017

Frikom, Leading Ice-cream Manufacturer, Under the Loupe of Serbia’s Commission for Protection of Competition for the Second Time

On 29 May 2017, the Serbian Competition Commission initiated ex officio proceedings for the alleged abuse of dominance against Frikom, the largest producer of frozen food in Serbia. The day following the initiation of proceedings, a dawn raid at Frikom’s business premises was carried out. Frikom’s abuse of dominance history This is not the first time the Serbian National Competition Authority (NCA) initiated a proceeding against Frikom. In 2012, the NCA found that Frikom abused its dominance in the wholesale market of industrial ice-cream by engaging in vertical price-fixing, imposing exclusivity on retailers (either through explicit exclusivity clauses or through […]

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04 Jul 2017

Amendments to the Serbian Criminal Code: Restrictive Agreements

One of the amendments to the Serbian Criminal Code (the Code) that will take effect on 1 March 2018 is a new criminal offence for restrictive agreements. Antitrust law has been criminalized in Serbia for decades. So what may be the underlying intention behind these new amendments? In one word: Focus.  The Code does away with abuse of dominance and targets only restrictive agreements.  But it does not stop there.  The new provision is not only narrower than its predecessor but also than the general prohibition on restrictive agreements found in the Serbian Act on Protection of Competition (the Competition […]

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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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21 Jun 2017

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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08 Oct 2015

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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