Capitalising on Opportunity – Mitigating Risk
Competition law is the core area of our practice. Our team of competition law experts gives adept advice on competition law matters related to corporate acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. We are well-versed in both traditional and pioneering matters related to M&A, state aid, public procurement and our team has particular expertise in highly regulated sectors such as energy, media, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. Because competition regulations pose a significant risk for companies, we always strive to find practical, commercial solutions to potential threats, but at the same time to identify possible economic opportunities that support our clients’ business strategies.
Unrivalled Depth of Experience
Because most M&A projects are subject to Serbian competition thresholds, our team provides assistance and analysis in determining the steps that must be taken by our clients in order to receive clearance for their transactions. Through our internal project management, we are able to effectively and efficiently handle the negotiations with the domestic competition authority when needed and have successfully obtained clearance for many of the leading companies working in Serbia, including conditional clearances in particularly complex cases.
The firm regularly represents clients on a broad range of matters before the Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition. We have worked for clients on the preparation and procurement of relevant approvals, such as merger clearances and exemptions regarding restrictive agreements. Notable transactions include global concentrations between Nokia and Siemens, Holcim and Lafarge, Ferrero International and Nestlé, Bristol Myers and HRA Pharma.
Leave it to the Experts
Our team takes a preventative approach to competition matters. We review business strategies and provide support with commercial contracts to ensure regulatory compliance with the applicable competition legislation. Our team regularly holds trainings for our clients and their employees on how to structure effective compliance programs and we also assist clients in the preparation of these programs. If problems do arise, our team is ready to support in a wide range of antitrust procedures before the Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition, including cases related to restrictive horizontal agreements, vertical restraints, abuse of dominant position, suspected cartel collusion, dawn raid investigations and leniency applications. In the most recent case we have assisted a publishing company Klett in dawn raid and antitrust proceedings regarding alleged abuse of dominance on the market for primary school textbooks in the Republic of Serbia.
Darija Ognjenović, Antitrust Partner and Ana Krstić Vasiljević, Associate contributed an article “Focus on Competition Law Enforcement in E-commerce Sector in Serbia” to the Yearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies – YARSR 2023 vol. 16(27), an open-access academic journal published by the Centre for Antitrust and Regulatory Studies (CARS) of the University of Warsaw.
Supporting Regional Legal Requirements
Our team is able to support the regional needs of our clients through our membership in the regional network “Lawyers & Friends – SE European Legal Network”. Within the network, we have established a regional competition practice group, with the goal of developing an understanding of regional competition laws and policies, as well as to examine the impact of competition legislation on trade and investment flows in order to enhance our regional practice and to broaden the knowledge of the lawyers and officials in the group and to comply with EU standards.
- Holcim Ltd – successfully obtaining conditional merger clearance from the Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition in a phase 2 proceedings, for their global merger with Lafarge SA;
- HBO – ongoing advice on day-to-day competition matters;
- Procter & Gamble – advice on day-to-day competition matters;
- Ferrero – successfully obtaining merger clearance from the Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition for several acquisitions.