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The Serbian Competition Commission Revisits the Dairy Industry The Serbian Competition Commission Revisits the Dairy Industry | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/06/14/The-Serbian-Competition-Commission-Revisits-the-Dairy-Industry.aspxThe Serbian Competition Commission Revisits the Dairy Industry The Serbian Competition Commission Revisits the Dairy Industry | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#14/06/2017<p>​Only a few days after initiating proceedings against Frikom (to see more on the subject, please follow this <a href="/knnews/Pages/2017/06/06/Frikom-in-the-Commission’s-Crosshairs.aspx"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">link</span></a>), the <a href="http://www.kzk.org.rs/en/"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Serbian Competition Commission</span></a> initiated another high-profile antitrust investigation. This time against a potential horizontal agreement between Imlek a.d. Padinska Skela ("<a href="https://www.imlek.rs/"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Imlek</strong></span></a>"), the largest dairy company in Serbia, and Kruna-Komerc d.o.o. Beograd ("<strong>Kruna-Komerc</strong>").</p><p style="text-align:left;">The proceedings in question had been initiated based on an anonymous complaint from September 2016 in a potential bid-rigging by these companies. Following a preliminary investigation, the Commission came into possession of the Agreement on business cooperation between Imlek and Kruna-Komerc, stipulating that the parties, which appear to be competitors, will jointly analyse the competitive conditions on the market of the public procurement of milk and dairy products for the purpose of formulating their pricing policy. Also, the document stated that Kruna-Komerc is obliged to follow Imlek's lead in tendering, while having a privileged financial position in formulating bids. </p><p style="text-align:left;">Upon analysing the Agreement, the Commission formally initiated the subject proceedings on the 31<sup class="ms-rteFontSize-1">st</sup> of May 2017, announcing that there are clear indications that Imlek and Kruna-Komerc have agreed on the commercial terms for participation in public procurements, which potentially represents a prohibited restrictive agreement. </p><p>The Commission announced that it will undertake all the necessary measures at its disposal pursuant to the Competition Law, in order to fully and properly establish the substantial facts of the case. Back in 2011, Imlek was the target of an abuse of dominance probe on the raw milk acquisition market, whereby the Commission had originally imposed fines exceeding EUR 2 million, which were ultimately overturned before the Serbian courts.  </p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p><p style="text-align:left;"><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p>
Karanović & Nikolić Advises on Teraplast’s Acquisition of Interlemind Karanović & Nikolić Advises on Teraplast’s Acquisition of Interlemind | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/06/12/Karanović-Nikolić-Advises-on-Teraplast’s-Acquisition-of-Interlemind.aspxKaranović & Nikolić Advises on Teraplast’s Acquisition of Interlemind Karanović & Nikolić Advises on Teraplast’s Acquisition of Interlemind | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#12/06/2017<p><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">The Karanović & Nikolić legal practice advised </span><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">Teraplast Bistrita (TRP), the largest PVC processor in Romania, in the acquisition of Interlemind, a Serbian producer of sandwich panels, by means of public auction of the bankruptcy estate. The value of the acquisition is 4.3 million euros, while Teraplast's planned investment in Serbia amounts to </span><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">EUR 11 million</span><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">. </span><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">This includes the factory's acquisition value, as well as investments of EUR 2.7 million in development and EUR 4 million worth of work capital.</span></p><p>Interlemind has production capacities similar to that of TeraSteel – one of Teraplast's subsidiaries, as well as the same machinery. The Serbian company will mainly serve Southeast European countries – Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro, as well as secondary markets – such as Hungary, Southern Romania and Northern Greece.</p><p>According to internal company estimates, Southeast European markets have a potential of 9.6 million square meters in 2017, or about 153 million euros. Serbia's market is estimated at 2.3 million square meters, 20 percent of which is represented by the local production, the difference being imports. By comparison, in Romania, local production represents about 80 percent of the total market and the company has 9 factories for the production of thermal insulating panels.</p><p>This acquisition is a part of Teraplast Group's strategy to increase sales and profitability and relocate part of the production out of Romania. TeraSteel has been exporting to Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Slovenia for about two years, and is planning to exponentially increase sales in the Balkan area through the Leskovac plant. The company's leadership is convinced that the Teraplast Group can become an example for other Romanian companies that have not yet been encouraged to open factories on foreign markets.</p><p>The Teraplast Group includes several companies, engaging in the production of pipes, granules and PVC profiles, PVC windows and doors, sandwich panels and galvanised metallic structures and polyethylene pipes.</p><p>The Karanović & Nikolić team in this case was led by partner Miloš Jakovljević and attorney at law Sonja Radović. </p><p><br></p><p><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote" style="font-weight:normal;font-size:16px;font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;text-align:justify;">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;">​</span>​<br></p>
Dragan Karanović Named the Market Maker for Serbia Dragan Karanović Named the Market Maker for Serbia | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/06/08/Dragan-Karanović-Named-the-Market-Maker-for-Serbia.aspxDragan Karanović Named the Market Maker for Serbia Dragan Karanović Named the Market Maker for Serbia | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#08/06/2017<p>​<span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">Dragan Karanović, a Founding Partner at </span><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">Karanović & Nikolić</span><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;">, was named the Market Maker for Serbia, on the 1</span><sup style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;">st</sup><span style="font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;"> of June, by CEE Legal Matters — the widely-read source of news and information about lawyers and legal markets of Central and Eastern Europe. This is a special lifetime achievement award given to a senior lawyer identified by peers as having played the most influential and significant role in creating the country's modern legal market.</span></p><p> </p><p>The awards took place at the Gala Dinner of the CEE GC Summit, an annual two-day gathering of General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across the region, in the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw. The editors of CEE Legal Matters conducted research across the region to identify the lawyers who would receive the Market Maker awards for each CEE country, inviting them to the special ceremony. </p><p> </p><p>David Stuckey, Executive Editor of CEE Legal Matters, commented on the night's events: "Having so many of the most influential, widely-recognized, highly-respected, and outrageously talented lawyers from across Central and Eastern Europe in one room was a special thrill. These lawyers did not just play a passive role in the transformation of their markets — to a large extent they made that transformation happen. In the course of our research in these 22 markets we discovered the Market Makers to be uniformly recognized for their intelligence, commercial instincts, business savvy, and dedication to the countries they live in. And, of course, their success and the reputation they've established over many decades is an obvious testament to their abilities, skill, and commitment to the highest standards of ethical advocacy. We were honored to have them join us last night, and proud to have brought them together for this one special evening."</p><p> </p><p>Dragan Karanović, upon receiving the award, thanked his fellow co-founders, partners and colleagues for their support and trust, stating that it is thanks to them that he is being honoured tonight. </p><p>"I will end on one final note. Integrity. This has always been our creed at Karanović & Nikolić. Despite the trials and tribulations along the way, and even today in our region, our integrity has led us here, to this most excellent assembly", said Mr. Karanović.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote" style="font-weight:normal;font-size:16px;font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;text-align:justify;">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em>​<br></p><p>​</p>
Frikom in the Commission’s Crosshairs Frikom in the Commission’s Crosshairs | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/06/06/Frikom-in-the-Commission’s-Crosshairs.aspxFrikom in the Commission’s Crosshairs Frikom in the Commission’s Crosshairs | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#06/06/2017<p>​On the 29<sup>th</sup> of May 2017, the <a href="http://www.kzk.org.rs/en/">Serbian Competition Commission</a> initiated <em>ex officio</em> proceedings against the <a href="http://www.frikom.rs/rs-en">Industry of frozen foods Frikom d.o.o. Beograd</a> ("<strong>Frikom</strong>"), the largest producer of ice-cream in Serbia. This was done in order to establish whether the company abused its dominant position on the market of the distribution and sale of ice creams.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Commission allegedly has clear indications that Frikom was granting additional rebates and/or monetary payments to its customers which are at the same time the customers of competing ice-cream producers/distributors. Supposedly, this was done with the aim of incentivising the customers to cease further cooperation with Frikom's competitors. According to the Commission, such behaviour is likely to result in both the elimination of existing and the prevention of new competitors, by way of which Frikom might have abused its dominant position on the market of distribution and sale of ice creams.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The day following the initiation of proceedings, the Serbian Competition Commission carried out a dawn raid at Frikom's business premises. It seems that there is no doubt anymore that the dawn raids are quickly becoming a popular tool of the Serbian Commission. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Frikom was already found by the Commission to be a dominant undertaking on the market of the production and sale of ice-cream back in 2012. That ended in a fine levied upon Frikom for the abuse of its dominant position.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since the proceedings against Frikom have just been initiated, the Commission invited third parties to provide further evidence which could be important in order to determine the substantial facts in this proceedings.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p>
The Fourth Edition in the Focus on Energy Series The Fourth Edition in the Focus on Energy Series | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/06/02/The-Fourth-Edition-in-the-Focus-on-Energy-Series.aspxThe Fourth Edition in the Focus on Energy Series The Fourth Edition in the Focus on Energy Series | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#02/06/2017<p>​​Karanović & Nikolić is proud to present the Fourth Edition in the Focus on Energy series. We bring you a number of interesting stories and articles, analysing in detail the situation and trends in the Energy sector in Southeast Europe. The articles in the book focus mainly on the countries of former Yugoslavia – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.</p><p>This work is the result of joint efforts by lawyers in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić and our external contributors who are all experts in their fields.</p><p>To see the preview, follow this <a href="/knexpertise/IndustryDownloads/9/KaranoviNikoliFocusOnEnergy2017_preview.pdf"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#3b3b3b">link</font></span></a>. </p><p>If you have any questions concerning this publication, please write to <a href="mailto:bd@karanovic-nikolic.com">bd@karanovic-nikolic.com​</a>.</p>
Karanović & Nikolić Updates Terms of Business Karanović & Nikolić Updates Terms of Business | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/06/01/Karanović--20Nikolić-Updates-Terms-of-Business.aspxKaranović & Nikolić Updates Terms of Business Karanović & Nikolić Updates Terms of Business | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#01/06/2017<p>We would like to inform our clients that we have introduced some technical changes to our terms of business. These changes will be applicable to all clients as of 1 June 2017. For clarifications or to inquire about the changes in more detail, please email <a href="mailto:KNSerbia@karanovic-nikolic.com">KNSerbia@karanovic-nikolic.com</a>. </p><p>The new terms of business can be found at <a href="/terms-of-business"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/terms-of-business</span></a></p>
Karanović & Nikolić at FREI 2017 Karanović & Nikolić at FREI 2017 | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/05/26/Karanović--Nikolić-at-20FREI-2017.aspxKaranović & Nikolić at FREI 2017 Karanović & Nikolić at FREI 2017 | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#26/05/2017<p>Karanović & Nikolić attended the <a href="http://www.freitime.com/en/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">8</span><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;"><sup>th </sup></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Festival of Real Estate Investments – FREI</span></a>, held in Budva, Montenegro, between the 15<sup>th</sup> and 18<sup>th</sup> May. </p><p>FREI is now in its 8<sup>th</sup> iteration and has grown to be one of the most significant real estate conferences in the Western Balkans. It was organised under auspices of the <a href="http://www.mrt.gov.me/en/ministry"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Montenegrin Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism</span></a>. The participants varied from representatives of the Montenegrin state authorities, to guests from the private sector – including major investors in hospitality industry, experts on niche markets such as branded residences, lawyers, investment and portfolio managers. The programme and the participants attracted the interest of the media, and the conference had a substantial, region-wide coverage. </p><p>The programme of the conference included topics related to policies designed to boost investments in the real estate sector, with a special emphasis on the hospitality industry. The discussion ranged from proposed changes to the planning and construction legislation, reforms in sustainable development as support to investments in tourism, to the importance of integration processes for investments in the real estate sector. Other panels covered the potential of Montenegro as a destination for the development of luxury hotels, the financing of development projects, small hotel management and forecasts on the growth of the hospitality industry in the Mediterranean region. </p><p>The panellists included policy makers, executive power representatives, municipal authorities, investors, consultants, portfolio managers, planners, architects and company officials of largest investors in the real estate sector in Montenegro.  </p><p>One of the conclusions from the conference is that Montenegro`s potential as a high-end destination is only going to grow. Prospects of the Boka Bay area, where there are currently two major, large-scale development projects – Portonovi by <a href="http://www.azmont.com/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Azmont</span></a> and Luštica Bay by <a href="https://www.orascomdh.com/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Orascom Development</span></a>, in conjugation with a success story that is Porto Montenegro, are a corner stone of the new trend of large-scale development projects on the Montenegrin coast line. </p><p>Investments in the north region, particularly in tourism sector, are going to accelerate with the construction of a highway between the Capital, Podgorica, and the northern region. Five new ski resorts, planned to open by 2020, will significantly increase the diversity of the offer of that region. Expectations are that this will broaden the tourist season, while a beneficial tax policy for investments in the north and the development of business zones in several municipalities in that region are expected to attract further investments. </p><p><em> </em></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">This document was made by local lawyers in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić. This information does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter whatsoever, and is provided only for general informational purposes. </span></p><p>​</p>
Record Antitrust Fines in Macedonian Beer Market Record Antitrust Fines in Macedonian Beer Market | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/05/25/Record-Antitrust-Fines-in-Macedonian-Beer-Market.aspxRecord Antitrust Fines in Macedonian Beer Market Record Antitrust Fines in Macedonian Beer Market | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#25/05/2017<p><a href="http://www.kzk.gov.mk/eng/">The Macedonian Competition Commission</a> imposed a EUR 5.8 million fine on PIVARA SKOPJE AD and EUR 2.7 million on PRILEPSKA PIVARNICA AD, for allegedly entering into restrictive agreements with their distributors. According to the Commission, PIVARA SKOPJE AD entered into sales and distribution agreements which contain resale price maintenance provisions, limiting the distributors to freely set their resale price. In addition to this, the Commission found that the business cooperation agreements, between PRILEPSKA PIVARNICA AD and its authorised distributors, also contain restrictive non-compete obligations for an indefinite term.</p><p>According to the Competition Law, the Commission can sanction the companies involved in restrictive agreements, with fines that can amount up to 10% of the turnover of the entity in breach, realised during the last business year. Also, agreements which have as their object or effect the distortion of competition are null and void. According to publicly available information, it seems that the Commission imposed maximal fines, amounting to approx. 10% of the companies' total 2016 revenues.</p><p>By further strengthening its legislative framework through the adoption of the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints, at the very end of 2015, and now by imposing the highest antitrust fines so far, the Commission is sending a clear message that it will continue to closely monitor company activities on various markets, and work more vigorously towards the prevention and sanctioning of competition infringements in Macedonia. </p><p><em> </em></p><p><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">This document was made by local lawyers in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić. The information in this document is entirely based on publicly available information, as published by the Commission. This information does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter whatsoever, and is provided only for general informational purposes.</em></p>
Croatian Competition Agency found no abuse of dominant position by an authorised dealer of Land Rover and Jaguar cars Croatian Competition Agency found no abuse of dominant position by an authorised dealer of Land Rover and Jaguar cars | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/05/11/Croatian-Competition-Agency-found-no-abuse-of-dominant-position-by-an-authorised-dealer-of-Land-Rover-and-Jaguar-cars.aspxCroatian Competition Agency found no abuse of dominant position by an authorised dealer of Land Rover and Jaguar cars Croatian Competition Agency found no abuse of dominant position by an authorised dealer of Land Rover and Jaguar cars | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#11/05/2017<p>The Croatian Competition Agency (the "<strong>Agency</strong>") initiated proceedings against Grand Auto – an authorised dealer of Land Rover and Jaguar cars for Croatia, after an initiative by the Auto Dealership "Karlo", a former authorised repairer of the said cars for Croatia. The proceedings were initiated in order to establish whether an abuse of a dominant position, in the provision of repair and maintenance services for the car-makes Land Rover and Jaguar, occurred on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In March 2017, the Agency closed the proceedings by reaching a non-infringement decision. </p><p>Namely, the Auto Dealership "Karlo" made a complaint to the Agency that it ceased to be an authorised repairer for Land Rover and Jaguar after Grand Auto became an authorised dealer for those automobile companies in Croatia. During the proceedings, it was established that Grand Auto was restricting market access to its competitors by solely providing the motor vehicle servicing. However, during the course of the investigation, the Agency determined that more than 90 percent of the profit, realised from servicing Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles in Croatia, related to the repairs carried out after the warranty period expired. Therefore, since the repairs under warranty constituted only a minor segment in the relevant market, the restriction of access to the authorised repairers' network could not be considered as a significant restriction of competition. </p><p>In addition, the Agency found that competition rules were not distorted with regard to the distribution of spare parts for Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles. The results of the analysis proved the findings of the Agency that the Auto Dealership "Karlo" was not placed at a disadvantage in comparison with other authorised repairers, as Grand Auto was the only authorised representative at that time. Furthermore, Auto Dealership "Karlo" purchased the original spare parts for Land Rover from Grand Auto, as well as from one more undertaking, whereas the alternative spare parts have been purchased directly from the suppliers of spare parts.</p><p>In conclusion, although the Agency found that the process of applying for the position of an authorised dealer for the stated car-makes in Croatia was not transparent enough, the Agency held that no abuse of dominant position by Grand Auto occurred.</p><p> </p><p><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">This information has been prepared by local lawyers in cooperation with Karanović&Nikolić. It does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p>
The Slovenian response to the Agrokor crisis - "Lex Mercator" The Slovenian response to the Agrokor crisis - "Lex Mercator" | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/04/26/The-Slovenian-response-to-the-Agrokor-crisis---Lex-Mercator.aspxThe Slovenian response to the Agrokor crisis - "Lex Mercator" The Slovenian response to the Agrokor crisis - "Lex Mercator" | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#26/04/2017<p>The turmoil within the Croatian retail company Agrokor, which owns Mercator, the largest Slovenian retailer, caused a significant stir in the Slovenian public, with the suppliers and especially in politics. The response of the Slovenian Government – with which additional measures for the protection of Mercator as a company of systemic importance are being established is also the Act on Conditions of Appointment of Associate Member of the Management Board in the Companies of Systemic Importance for the Republic of Slovenia. The Act was adopted by the Parliament on the 25<sup>th</sup> of<sup> </sup>April, 2017. It will become valid immediately on the day following its adoption. </p><p>The goal of the Act, commonly referred to as <em>Lex Mercator</em>, is to define companies of systemic importance for the Republic of Slovenia and to enable the appointment of a temporary associate member of the management board, if the majority shareholder of such company is in insolvency or other substantially similar procedures intended for the elimination of reasons for insolvency. In case such procedures exist, the Slovenian Government has the ability to use a state interventionist measure – the appointment of an associate member. The Act also presents a major exception to the rules on instructions to the subsidiary in contractual and actual corporate groups known to corporate law. </p><h2>Mercator as the company of systemic importance</h2><p>The Act defines a company of systemic importance as a company which: (i) employs at least 6,000 people in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia; and, (ii) its sales revenue exceeds EUR 1 billion. The majority shareholder is defined by the Act as a person/entity which holds, together with its related companies, a shareholding exceeding 50% or the majority of voting rights. Credit institutions and insurance companies are excluded from the applicability of the Act. </p><p>Pursuant to the analysis of the above mentioned conditions, and the Slovenian corporate environment, it turns out that Mercator is the only company for which the newly adopted Act will be applicable. </p><h2>What does the Act bring?</h2><p>The Government has an explicit right, but not an obligation, to propose to the District court in Ljubljana, to appoint an associate member of the management board of the company of systemic importance. The court must appoint the associate member within three days from receiving such request. The associate member has limited authority, since it only represents the company jointly with other board members in matters related to the majority shareholder. In case the associate member does not provide its consent for an individual transaction between the company and the majority shareholder, such transaction is null and void. The associate member does not have the authority to decide on the matters of day-to-day business operations which remain in the sphere of the "regular" board members. The associate member is liable for damages for its actions in relation to its authority. </p><p>The Act explicitly provides that, after the appointment of the associate member, general corporate regulation of corporate groups concerning the instructions by the mother company is not applicable for the company of systemic importance. Consequently, the management board can refuse the fulfilment of harmful instructions by the mother company. </p><h2>Consequences for creditors and suppliers</h2><p>The Act does not provide for any specific consequences for creditors and suppliers. Day-to-day business transactions, which are not related to the majority shareholder, will be normally conducted and managed by "regular" board members. Consent of the associate member is not needed in such cases. </p><p>Even though the intention of the Slovenian Government is to prevent any depletion of the company of systemic importance (i.e. Mercator) - which is generally favourable for the creditors, it is doubtful whether the Government had to regulate this with a new legal act. Namely, the existing corporate law regulates the question of harmful instructions and monetary compensations. It remains to be seen whether the Act will actually provide an additional safeguard against potential depletion.</p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">Information provided in this document does not represent any legal advice, or advice of any kind with respect to certain matter, but is intended for general informative purpose only.</span></p><p>Slovenian version</p>
Antitrust Fine Imposed on Producers of Cooking Oil in Serbia Antitrust Fine Imposed on Producers of Cooking Oil in Serbia | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/04/24/Antitrust-Fine-Imposed-on-Producers-of-Cooking-Oil-in-Serbia.aspxAntitrust Fine Imposed on Producers of Cooking Oil in Serbia Antitrust Fine Imposed on Producers of Cooking Oil in Serbia | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#24/04/2017<p>Competition authority imposes fines on ViktoriaOil and Vital, the leading producers of cooking oil in Serbia. The authority stated in its decision that the two companies entered into a joint production agreement that featured restrictive provisions. In particular, the authority claims that the provisions effected the exchange of information and joint production and sales in a way that led to increased prices to end consumers. The authority has engaged in a detailed analysis of the effects on price using regression analysis and other econometric tools on this market with perfect substitutes.</p><p>VictoriaOil and Vital are fined approximately EUR 186,297 and EUR 64,799, respectively, which amounts to 0.33% of the total annual turnover realised in Serbia in 2014 by each of the companies. The two companies will now have the opportunity to challenge the Competition Commission's decision before the Administrative court - acting as the second instance court in anti-trust cases. </p><p>As a reminder, in accordance with Article 10 of the Serbian Competition Law, restrictive agreements are agreements between undertakings, which have as their object or effect the significant prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Restrictive agreements can take various forms, written and oral, and may yield fines of up to 10% of the turnover realised on the Serbian market in the year preceding the initiation of proceedings.</p><p><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p>
Macedonian Competition Commission Further Strengthens its Leniency Policy Macedonian Competition Commission Further Strengthens its Leniency Policy | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/30/Macedonian-Competition-Commission-Further-Strengthen-its-Leniency-Policy.aspxMacedonian Competition Commission Further Strengthens its Leniency Policy Macedonian Competition Commission Further Strengthens its Leniency Policy | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#30/03/2017<p style="text-align:left;">For several years now, a leniency model exists in Macedonia and it is shaped in line with the EU leniency model. Nevertheless, the <a href="http://www.kzk.gov.mk/eng/">Macedonian Competition Commission</a> ("<strong>Commission</strong>") decided to refine the existing rules (contained in the Law on Protection of Competition and the accompanying Leniency Regulation) by recently adopting the Leniency Guidelines ("<strong>Guidelines</strong>"). </p><p style="text-align:left;">The companies that have taken part in illegal cartels may benefit from full or partial immunity from fines, under the leniency model, and the Guidelines should make this process more transparent and predictable. It is extremely important that the companies act swiftly, as delayed reactions can potentially be very detrimental.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Through the adoption of the recent Guidelines, the Commission introduced several novelties that should facilitate the process of reporting anti-competitive behaviour. The new Guidelines represent a step towards building an effective leniency policy in Macedonia.</p><h2>What is new? </h2><p style="text-align:left;">The Guidelines urge those involved to contact the Misdemeanour Commission before submitting a leniency application. The applications are assessed by the Misdemeanour Commission, which operates within the Commission, as the authority charged with potentially awarding full immunity from a fine, or a fine reduction - as the case may be. In order to protect the identity and establish much needed trust in the communication, the Misdemeanour Commission will not disclose the identity of the applicant if there is no reward granted. Additionally (and quite conveniently), applicants can approach the Misdemeanour Commission directly, or through a legal adviser, and present the case on hypothetical terms.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Another novelty is the possibility of an electronic submission to the dedicated email address of the Commission. In such a case, the hard-copy version of the application needs to be submitted to the Commission within three days. If the application is submitted through a registered mailing address, the Commission recommends that the applicant inserts in the envelope the exact time when the application was sent. The Guidelines also deal with the details for the submission of oral applications.</p><h2 style="text-align:left;"><strong>Book your reservations</strong></h2><p style="text-align:left;">Interested parties can apply beforehand for a marker which will hold their place in the queue for obtaining immunity. This should enable applicants to gather the necessary information and evidence, and to file an official leniency application. The marker is valid for a set period of time, but if there are well-grounded reasons, the applicant can request an extension to the deadline for submitting the application.   </p><p style="text-align:left;">Potential leniency applicants should also note that the Misdemeanour Commission will not accept a leniency application submitted by, or on behalf of, two or more undertakings that participate in the same cartel thus joint applications are not possible. Therefore, in case a company has any reason to suspect that it is involved in anti-competitive behaviour, it should act expeditiously, directly or through a legal advisor, in approaching the Commission; otherwise, any action taken at a later date can potentially result in severe penalties.</p><p style="text-align:left;">The Guidelines are publically available (in Macedonian language only) at: <a href="http://www.kzk.gov.mk/images/Vestiimages/1616/%d0%9f%d0%a0%d0%95%d0%97%d0%95%d0%9c%d0%98.pdf"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">http://www.kzk.gov.mk/images/Vestiimages/1616/%D0%9F%D0%A0%D0%95%D0%97%D0%95%D0%9C%D0%98.pdf</span></a> </p><p style="text-align:left;"><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">This information has been prepared by local lawyers in cooperation with Karanović&Nikolić. It does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p>
Dawn Raid in Montenegro Dawn Raid in Montenegro | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/23/Dawn-Raid-in-Montenegro.aspxDawn Raid in Montenegro Dawn Raid in Montenegro | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#23/03/2017<p style="text-align:left;">In March 2017, the <a href="http://www.azzk.me/1/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=93&lang=en">Montenegrin Agency for the Protection of Competition</a> carried out an unannounced inspection (dawn raid) at the business premises of Sava Trans d.o.o. Cetinje, a company engaged in freight transport, in order to collect data necessary for undertaking further actions carried out by the Agency. In its public statement, the Agency stated that the dawn raid was conducted fully in line with the Law on the Protection of Competition, whereas the raided company showed a high degree of cooperation.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Dawn raids are unannounced inspections of companies by the competition authority for suspected competition law infringements. The Law on the Protection of Competition provides the Agency with wide-ranging powers of investigation when conducting dawn raids, including, <em>inter alia</em>, unannounced inspection of business premises, documents, vehicles, copying or seizure of business related documentation, such as the agreements, minutes from the meetings, e-mails and other business correspondence, etc.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Dawn raids in Montenegro have been very rarely carried out by the Agency in the past. However, following dawn raids conducted by competition authorities in the region in the past couple of years, in particular by the Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian and Slovenian competition authorities, the Montenegrin Agency has clearly decided to start using this effective investigation tool in order to determine whether there are potential infringements on market competition. Having in mind that the dawn raids conducted in the region proved to be very successful and useful for gathering evidence of anti-trust behaviour, we expect that antitrust officials' "unannounced visits" will be used more often by the Montenegrin Competition Agency in the days to come.</p><p style="text-align:left;"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</span></p>
Networking: Cable Operator Merger Conditionally Cleared by the Competition Commission Networking: Cable Operator Merger Conditionally Cleared by the Competition Commission | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/22/Networking--Cable-Operator-Merger-Conditionally-Cleared-by-the-Competition-Commission.aspxNetworking: Cable Operator Merger Conditionally Cleared by the Competition Commission Networking: Cable Operator Merger Conditionally Cleared by the Competition Commission | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#22/03/2017<p>​Following a four month-long Phase II investigation, the Serbian Competition Commission granted conditional clearance to SBB's takeover of IKOM. This consolidation of leading cable operators in Belgrade represents a landmark case for the Serbian authority and is related to global trends in consolidation of cable network operators, which fosters the investments necessary for improvements to network infrastructure and competition with IPTV, OTT and satellite content providers. The merger provided an opportunity for the Commission to investigate the workings of the Serbian telecom sector in detail, especially in relation to fixed telephony, broadband Internet and the distribution of media content. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">SBB is the leading Serbian private telecom operator, provider of digital and analogue cable television, broadband Internet and fixed telephony. The company is a part of the regional United Group, active across former Yugoslavia. Since 2014, United Group is majority-owned by the global investment fund KKR. IKOM is one of the major cable operators in Serbia, active on the market for ten years, providing digital and analogue cable television, broadband Internet and fixed telephony to subscribers predominantly located in Serbia's capital, Belgrade.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the final decision, SBB has obliged to divest network infrastructure overlapping with IKOM, report to the Commission on pricing changes and offer IKOM's subscribers specific commercial terms for future cooperation.</p><p>Karanović & Nikolić was honoured to support SBB during the challenges of the merger control procedure. The team was led by Mr. <span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Rastko Petaković</span>, Managing Partner, Mr. <span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bojan Vučković</span>, Partner and Mr. <span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Veljko </span><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;"></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Smiljani</span><span lang="SR-LATN-RS" style="text-decoration:underline;">ć</span>, attorney at law in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić.</p>
Gorenje Zagreb Fined for Resale Price Maintenance Gorenje Zagreb Fined for Resale Price Maintenance | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/20/Gorenje-Zagreb-Fined-for-Resale-Price-Maintenance.aspxGorenje Zagreb Fined for Resale Price Maintenance Gorenje Zagreb Fined for Resale Price Maintenance | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#20/03/2017<p>​Resale price maintenance and price-fixing has been and still is under scrutiny by the Croatian Competition Agency (the "<strong>Agency</strong>"). Carrying on from a number of high-profile cases, in February 2017 the Agency fined Gorenje Zagreb, a subsidiary of Slovenia's premier manufacturer of household appliances for HRK 1,557,000 (approximately EUR 206,000).</p><p>The Agency determined that Gorenje Zagreb infringed competition laws for a significant period of time by pressuring resellers to abide by fixed or minimum resale prices. The Agency especially condemned Gorenje Zagreb's general terms, which included the problematic direct and/or indirect price-fixing provisions, a price monitoring system (wherein the company supervised whether its resellers followed instructions), and rebate incentives to follow the price policy. </p><p>During the course of the investigation, the Agency conducted dawn raids in the premises of Gorenje Zagreb, which resulted in the discovery of evidence that Gorenje Zagreb had indeed pressured the retailers and required them to unconditionally accept its pricing policy. In addition, the company also refused to supply the non-complying resellers, in order to discipline the entire network.</p><p>An interesting takeaway from this decision is that the Agency considered the resellers as the weaker parties to these agreements, and therefore did not fine them for anti-competitive behaviour, effectively conducting the proceedings as an informal dominance abuse case. Furthermore, the Agency did not accept commitments offered by Gorenje Zagreb. Even though the Agency has been generally willing to consider allowing the infringing undertakings to unilaterally remedy their problematic behaviour, the materiality of the competition infringement, as well as its duration precluded Gorenje Zagreb from being offered such an opportunity herein.</p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">This information has been prepared by local lawyers in cooperation with Karanović&Nikolić. It does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</span></p>
Karanović & Nikolić wins the award for Law firm of the year in Eastern Europe and the Balkans by The Lawyer Karanović & Nikolić wins the award for Law firm of the year in Eastern Europe and the Balkans by The Lawyer | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/17/Karanović--Nikolić-wins-the-award-for-Law-firm-of-the-year-in-Eastern-Europe-and-the-Balkans-by-The-Lawyer.aspxKaranović & Nikolić wins the award for Law firm of the year in Eastern Europe and the Balkans by The Lawyer Karanović & Nikolić wins the award for Law firm of the year in Eastern Europe and the Balkans by The Lawyer | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#17/03/2017<p>The Lawyer Magazine, a weekly British magazine for top Commercial Lawyers and In-House Counsel, has named Karanović & Nikolić law firm of the year for Eastern Europe and the Balkans during their annual European Awards ceremony on March 16, 2017 in London. The awards, now in their eighth year, were the first initiative of their kind to reward and celebrate excellence across the European legal market. This year the Awards focused on and recognised the growing importance of cross-border instructions to firms across the continent.<br><br>Despite the challenging environment surrounding us the Lawyer has recognised the firm for its innovation, commitment to professionalism and investment in its people.<br> <br>Managing Partner Rastko Petaković noted when receiving the award: "Ceremonies like this make all the difference. Back home, our colleagues are working day in and day out, 365 days a year, so the award comes as a bit of a happy ending, wind at all of their backs after a year of hard work and dedication. Congratulations to all the winners and kudos to The Lawyer for organising such an amazing event"<br> <br>Our thanks go to everyone within the firm who continue to work hard to make this possible and to our clients who trust us to support them in what they do.<br><br>For more information click <a href="http://www.thelawyereuropeanevent.com/winners2017"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">here</span></a>.​</p>
New Serbian Data Protection Law in 2017? New Serbian Data Protection Law in 2017? | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/10/New-Serbian-Data-Protection-Law-in-2017.aspxNew Serbian Data Protection Law in 2017? New Serbian Data Protection Law in 2017? | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#10/03/2017<p style="text-align:left;">After having prepared the first draft of the new data protection law back in 2014 (which was ignored by the Government in the meantime, and even dismissed by the Ministry of Justice's introduction of a separate draft law in 2015), the Serbian Data Protection Commissioner ("<strong>Commissionaire</strong>")<span lang="EN-GB"><sup>1</sup></span> published the second draft of the new law on March 6<sup>th</sup>, 2017 ("<strong>Draft</strong>"). As announced by the Commissioner, the new Draft was necessary in order to address the deficiencies of the existing Law on Personal Data Protection and in order to harmonize the law with EU legislation, particularly with the newly enacted General Data Protection Regulation.</p><p style="text-align:left;">The Draft's key improvements include the liberalisation of data transfer to non-European countries – which wouldn't exclusively depend on the Commissioner's approval anymore (but on other alternatives as well, such as the individual's written consent or the fact that country of data destination is on the EU list of safe countries), as well as the recognition of data processing consent provided in alternative forms rather than solely the written one (e.g. the implied consent, clicking "I agree" or ticking the box online, etc.).</p><p style="text-align:left;">Additionally, the Draft makes a clear distinction between the general obligations and the ones prescribed only for companies engaged in more serious data processing activities (i.e. the ones processing sensitive personal data or data pertaining to over 250 individuals). Unlike other companies, these "major" data controllers are also required to keep the records of their personal databases and register them before the Commissionaire, adopt an internal act regulating data protection, appoint a data protection officer who passed a professional exam (or engage a third-party licensed to perform data protection activities), notify the Commissionaire (and sometimes the data subjects) of any data security breaches, etc. </p><p style="text-align:left;">The Draft also regulates certain specific and sensitive matters for the first time, such as the processing of biometric data and video surveillance, which should prevent further expansion of irregularities currently present in these areas. </p><p style="text-align:left;">Finally, instead of the existing law or the new Draft, it seems that the new Law on the General Administrative Procedure (applicable as of June 2017) will be the act finally enabling the Commissionaire to effectively enforce his decisions, by threatening the companies with "real" fines of up to 10% of their annual income in Serbia in case they fail to comply (the current limit being approx. EUR 160 per fine). It will be interesting to see whether the Commissionaire will use this opportunity in practice, as it may result in a very hot summer for some companies. </p><p style="text-align:left;">For an initial version, the Draft does indeed seem promising. Hopefully the Government will recognize the Commissionaire's efforts this time and give the Draft proper consideration, as a bit of legal certainty would go a long way for data protection standards in Serbia.</p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p><p style="text-align:left;"><sup>1</sup> Full name of the authority: Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection</p><p style="text-align:left;"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote"></span> </p><p style="text-align:left;"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</span></p>
Karanović & Nikolić supports EFSE extension of investment portfolio Karanović & Nikolić supports EFSE extension of investment portfolio | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/09/Karanović--Nikolić-supports-EFSE-extension-of-investment-portfolio.aspxKaranović & Nikolić supports EFSE extension of investment portfolio Karanović & Nikolić supports EFSE extension of investment portfolio | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#09/03/2017<p><em>We are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić team has supported the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) in a recently closed extension of the investment portfolio of EFSE to UniCredit Bank Serbia. The transaction involved new EUR 20 million financing of UniCredit Bank Serbia, which will serve to finance housing loans for private households in Serbia. </em></p><p><em>Our work included the provision of legal advice to the lender in connection to the financing of the project.</em></p><p><em>Partner Maja Jovančević Šetka and </em><em>attorney at law in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić</em><em> Ivona Vučković</em><em>, Senior Associate,</em><em> lead the Karanović & Nikolić team in both transactions.</em></p>
Termination due to actions of employee constituting criminal act Termination due to actions of employee constituting criminal act | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/03/08/Termination-due-to-actions-of-employee-constituting-criminal-act.aspxTermination due to actions of employee constituting criminal act Termination due to actions of employee constituting criminal act | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#08/03/2017<p>​Amending the Labour law in July 2014 raised some arguable and sensitive issues regarding termination of the employment contract when employee's behaviour represents criminal act. In fact, it was the employer who decided if an employee's behaviour represent a criminal act. This is why the Constitutional Court found it important to define (i) if an employer competent and authorized to decide if certain behaviour is a criminal act and (ii) if termination on this ground is in breach of the presumption of innocence.</p><p>The Constitutional Court reasoned that this provision of the Labour Law essentially awards the employer with court's competences, because the employer determines if certain behaviour represent a criminal act. In the other words, the Constitutional Court considers that this was in breach the constitutional guaranties of the right to due process, legal certainty and the rule of law. </p><p>Given that the Constitutional Court published its decision 24 February 2017, it was then that the unconstitutional provisions ceased to be effective. This means that this provision is no longer applicable in any way.</p><p>This decision will have a strong impact to all pending labour disputes dealing with annulment of termination on the ground of the now unconstitutional provision of the Labour Law. According to some recent court practice, if the courts found that termination reasons are not in accordance with the law, they wold re-evaluate the employee's conduct prior to termination in order to check if there may have been other grounds for termination. However, this court practice is still far from being common, so it is unclear if the courts will engage in this review of employee's conduct in situations when the only reason for termination was formed under the now-unconstitutional provision.   </p><p>Additionally, this decision of the Constitutional Court will also affect disputes already terminated. In cases when a provision of the law is found to be unconstitutional, employees have right to request from the employer to amend that specific resolution rendered on basis of an unconstitutional provision of the law. This can be done within the six months from the date of publishing the decision, i.e. until 24 August 2017, but only if such resolution was received less than two years from the day the unconstitutionality of a provision is published (in this case 24 February 2015). In case the employer refuses to amend resolution based on unconstitutional provision, employee could file a claim before the court requesting annulment of the unconstitutional resolution and damage compensation. However, in case the employee's request or claim is finally rejected, the employee has the right to challenge this via the procedure upon constitutional claim, where the Constitutional Court has the right to order <em>restitutio in integrum, </em>damage compensation or rectifying the consequences in some other way. </p><p>Employers should keep in mind that rulebooks and employment contracts should be amended in order to be compliant with the decision of the Constitutional Court.  </p><p>In any event, employers may wish to review pending litigations as well as all terminations in the past two years to see if there have been terminations on the basis of the now-unconstitutional provision (employee's behaviour which represented a criminal act), in order to mitigate potential negative effects.</p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family:"times new roman",serif;font-size:9pt;">This has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not act upon any information presented in this document without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter.</span></span></p>
Karanović & Nikolić employment team contributes to the Shepherd and Wedderburn’s European Employment Law Update for 2017 Karanović & Nikolić employment team contributes to the Shepherd and Wedderburn’s European Employment Law Update for 2017 | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/02/27/Karanović--Nikolić-employment-team-contributes-to-the-Shepherd-and-Wedderburn’s-European-Employment.aspxKaranović & Nikolić employment team contributes to the Shepherd and Wedderburn’s European Employment Law Update for 2017 Karanović & Nikolić employment team contributes to the Shepherd and Wedderburn’s European Employment Law Update for 2017 | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#27/02/2017<p>​Karanović & Nikolić employment team has assisted Shepherd and Wedderburn in the development of The European Employment Law Update for 2017.</p><p>European Employment Law Update for 2017 provides an overview of the vital reforms being introduced to European employment law over the next year, including areas such as seconding employees, increased protections for whistleblowers, and legislation changes related to increased work-life balance. Key considerations related to traditional employment areas such as increases to the minimum wage and unfair dismissal are also assessed.</p><p>Lawyers cooperating with Karanović & Nikolić have contributed with the latest Employment Law matters and legislative changes in relation to Southeast Europe region. More specifically, contributions were made with summaries in regards to New Labour Laws in Bosnia and Herzegovina, new Collective Bargaining Energy Agreement, accession to Geneva Convention and new Law on Whistleblowers' Protection in Macedonia, an adoption of the General Collective Agreement, amendment to the Branch Collective Agreement for the Construction and Building Materials Industry and Law on foreigners in Montenegro. Moreover, we reviewed new Branch Collective Bargaining Agreement, New Law on Conditions for Secondment of Employees Abroad and the minimum salary amendment in Serbia and establishment of employment relationship in the case of a civil law contract in Slovenia.</p><p>Karanović & Nikolić head of the Employment Practice, Milena Papac comments: "We are thrilled to contribute to the European Employment Law Update. This opportunity allow us to inform the business sector in relation to the legislative developments of Employment Law in the Balkan region and to reiterate our position as respected regional legal powerhouse in the Balkan Region".</p><p>The European Employment Law Update can be downloaded <a href="http://shepwedd.com/knowledge/european-employment-law-update"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a>.</p>