Competition & Antitrust

Antitrust laws in the region and the practice of national competition authorities are based on EU acquis to a large extent. There are though some important differences between the national rules and EU acquis: e.g. the existence of a formal individual exemption regime in some countries, lower block exemption thresholds for vertical agreements and lack of formal settlement option. Yet, in many cases competition authorities heavily rely on the case law and soft law of the European Commission and EU courts. 

Antitrust rules are vigorously enforced in Serbia and the region. Be it cartels, vertical restraints or dominance abuse, regulators are active, equipped and constantly monitoring the market. Cases involving entire industries and foreign companies are nothing strange. Dawn-raids became a frequently used investigative tool, especially in Serbia where this is how most of all investigations start. The investigations can take years. Fines are capped at 10% of the annual group turnover, but fines ranging up to even 7% have been imposed.

Serbia is certainly the country with vigorous competition law enforcement and the Serbian competition authority one of the most active regulators in the region. Companies should therefore do all they can to prevent competition law issues. Raising awareness among employees and management on competition law and implementing robust compliance programs is highly recommendable.

Our team has experience with the enforcement of the antitrust laws. We have a deep understanding of authorities’ approach. Our team members have acted in major cases and complex internal compliance programs and reviews. Our sector approach helps us understand your business environment and get to grips with your issues. We provide services in all areas of antitrust law, especially:

  • Reviews and internal investigations
  • Carefully tailored compliance programs aimed at raising awareness, identifying risks and recommending appropriate course of action
  • Cartels, cooperation within business associations, concerted practices, information exchange, market parallelism
  • Distribution, franchising, agency and other agreements with vertical restraints 
  • Dominance abuse practices, including commercial conditions, rebate schemes, categories management and exclusivity arrangements
  • Private enforcement