A Note on Concerted Practice under the Serbian Competition Act

The Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition ("Commission") terminated on 15 May 2019 an investigation initiated in November 2015 against Philip Morris, JT International, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco [1] for allegedly having entered into a restrictive agreement in the form of a concerted practice. The investigation, the first one ever in Serbia on the allegations of a concerted practice,  was prompted by the Commission's observation that the parties engaged in parallel behaviour after a period of a price war, where one party would announce a price increase, while the other parties would follow by announcing the price increase in the same amount and with the same or close enough effective date as the effective date published by the first announcer. After three and a half years of investigation, the Commission concluded that there was not enough evidence that the observed parallel behaviour was a result of a concert rather than the market structure and the regulatory framework.

BDK Advokati at Tarabica IT conference

Partner Bogdan Ivanisevic and senior associate Milica Basta represented BDK Advokati at this year’s edition of Tarabica IT conference, held on 25 May in Belgrade. The event is traditionally dedicated to topics relevant to the IT industry and as such, it mainly gathers IT professionals from major Serbian companies and institutions.

Pledge on Bank Account in Serbia – New Confusion

The Amendments to the Registered Pledge on Movables Act (“Movables Pledge Act“), which became applicable on 7 May 2019, introduce, inter alia, new provisions on bank account pledge. The change was motivated by a desire to create a legal basis for the constitution of pledge on project accounts. However, the wording of the new provision raises some concerns.

Serbia Relaxes the Procedures for Employment of Foreigners

Modern business transcends national borders and increasing workforce mobility is a natural consequence. While the conditions for working in Serbia remain the same, the recently adopted amendments to two Serbian statutes regulating employment of foreigners make the procedures applicable to obtaining work permits in Serbia easier.

P&O Ports Acquires Luka Novi Sad

BDK Advokati represented P&O ports from Dubai in the acquisition of port Luka Novi Sad. The value of the transaction is EUR 23 million. The acquisition and investments to be made should help Luka Novi Sad to recover its devastated infrastructure and reach its full capacity of two and a half million tons of cargo loading and discharging per year. BDK Advokati’s team was led by senior partner Vladimir Dasic and also involved senior associate Tomislav Popovic on the corporate and M&A side, and associate Mladen Vujic on merger control filing.

BDK Advokati about the New Data Protection Act

Milica Basta, senior associate at BDK Advokati, was one of the speakers at the Forum Media data protection conference held on 23 April 2019 in Belgrade. At the event, which gathered a large number of Serbian companies, Milica held a presentation on requirements that Serbian new Data Protection Act imposes on local businesses. She emphasized that companies first need to thoroughly analyze their business operations to determine what kind of data processing is taking place in their organizations. Based on the results of such analysis, companies should adopt a set of documents which can be divided into two groups: documents that companies are not required to adopt but will strengthen their capacity to act in a lawful manner, and documents which the companies must adopt according to the new law.

New Health-related Legislation in Serbia

BDK Advokati's Associate Zorana Brujic provides an insight into the implications of the new  Health Protection Act in Serbia.  The new Health Protection Act (Zakon o zdravstvenoj zaštiti "Official Gazette of RS", no. 25/2019) and Health Insurance Act (Zakon o zdravstvenom osiguranju "Official Gazette of RS", no. 25/2019) have come into force on 11 April 2019.

BDK Advokati at the XI Belgrade Arbitration Conference and Belgrade Pre Moot Competition

BDK Advokati Managing Partner, Tijana Kojovic chaired the second panel at the XI Belgrade Arbitration Conference, devoted to the taking of evidence in arbitration. The conference attracted more than 150 practitioners, academics and students. The activities of BDK Advokati’s arbitration team continued during the weekend on 6-7 April when BDK Advokati hosted 24 teams competing at the Belgrade Pre Moot.

Cross-border ESPPs and ESOPs in Serbia – has anything really changed?

Serbian residents are generally allowed to acquire shares in foreign companies. However, the Serbian Capital Markets Act (CM Act) prohibits cross-border public offers of shares directed at Serbian residents. Public offer is defined as any notice providing sufficient information on the conditions of the offering and the securities being offered so to allow offerees to decide on the purchase of, or subscription to, the securities. Public offer of shares must be conducted in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the CM Act. This includes an obligation of a foreign offeror to register the prospectus with the SEC. Moreover, a foreign issuer cannot offer on the Serbian market securities denominated in foreign currency but may offer only Serbian dinar-denominated depository certificates relating to the foreign securities.

Gorenje Announces Sale of Serbian Subsidiary Gorenje Tiki

Gorenje, the major Slovenian household appliance manufacturer, announced that in the coming weeks, it will publish a call for bids for its Serbian subsidiary Gorenje Tiki, a small water heater manufacturer. Gorenje also intends to sell the Tiki brand along with the subsidiary. Gorenje Tiki is the fourth largest water heater manufacturer in Europe. Ninety percent of its products are exported to 34 countries across the globe, primarily to Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Russia. The Serbian market is the third largest and Gorenje Tiki's market share there is 40 percent. Gorenje opened the Serbian…

Sale of Lasta a.d.

The Republic of Serbia has announced its intention to privatise Lasta a.d. by selling the state share of 77%. Lasta a.d. is one of the major companies in the transportation sector with a great fleet of coaches for transportation of passengers on local and international lines. The Republic of Serbia contracted BDO Business Advisory Belgrade as a privatisation consultant which finalised its report at the beginning of April 2019. The tender for the sale should take place by June. The minimum price for the sale is unknown, while BDO estimated the value of Lasta a.d. in a range between EUR 16 million…

Sale of Petrohemija a.d.

The Republic of Serbia has announced its intention to sell 62% of its share in Petrohemija a.d. in 2019. Petrohemija a.d. is the largest petrochemical company in Serbia. The Republic of Serbia is yet to select a privatisation advisor. The minimum price for the sale has not been set and the estimated price of the company is unknown. Gazpromneft has been mentioned as the most serious contender for the purchase of Petrohemija a.d., but lately, companies from Poland and China also expressed interest for the purchase.