Blogs

  • Montenegrin courts step up activity related to the decisions of the Agency for Protection of Competition

    Montenegrin courts have recently intensified their activities in the competition area. As is well known, the Montenegrin Agency for Protection of Competition ("Agency") does not have the authority to issue fines but may request from the competent misdemeanour court to do so. In the period from August to October this year, misdemeanour courts in Montenegro decided on two such requests from the Agency. In the proceedings against the company "Šafran" d.o.o. Bar, the Misdemeanour Court in Ba...

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  • Strasbourg Court enhances employer's obligation to respect privacy

    On 5 September 2017, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in the case of Bărbulescu v. Romania (Application no. 61496/08). The judgment will have an effect of stepping up the obligation of employers to respect privacy of communication of employees at work. This is of relevance to Serbian employers as well, given that European Convention of Human Rights ("Convention"), as interpreted by this judgment, is part of Serbian legal system. The case involves a R...

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  • Bosnian DP Agency weighs in on criminal background checks

    At the end of August this year, the Bosnian Data Protection Agency ("Agency") made available to the public a decision rendered on 24 April 2017, which sheds light on two important issues concerning the so-called criminal background checks. The decision makes clear that, under Bosnian law, an employer may not lawfully require a job applicant or current employee to disclose his (non)conviction for a criminal offence, and that employer is not entitled to obtain from the competent authorities the p...

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  • Commission for the protection of competition imposes its first fine ever for gun-jumping

    The Serbian Commission for the Protection of Competition ("Commission") has recently fined local IT company Prointer a total of approx. EUR 56,000 (approximately 0.25% of its relevant turnover) for implementation of a concentration prior to obtaining merger clearance. This is the Commission's first gun-jumping case. In 2015, Prointer acquired 50% of capital in Serbian company Alti, one of the leading distributors and manufacturers of computers, consumer goods and communication technologies in ...

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  • Commission for the protection of competition launches probe into leading ice-cream manufacturer's unilateral practices for the second time

    The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition ("Commission") performed a dawn raid on 30 May 2017 on the ice-cream manufacturer Frikom on the allegations of abuse of dominant position on the market for the distribution and sale of ice-cream. Frikom, which has already been in the Commission's crosshairs before, faces accusations of exclusionary abusive conduct in the form of exclusive dealing and exclusivity rebates for the second time in seven years. Frikom's anti-trust record Frikom, ...

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  • Too much video surveillance in a Montenegrin tavern

    In December 2016, the Montenegrin Personal Data Protection Agency ("Agency") conducted an inspection related to video surveillance in a tavern in the city of Kotor. The Agency made a formal finding that a majority of cameras - both inside and outside the tavern - were positioned in a way that results in excessive data processing. The owner of the tavern complained about the finding, and in February 2017 the Agency issued a decision  rejecting the complaint on substantive grounds. Even in r...

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  • Stabilisation clauses and state aid

    The fact that NIS, Serbian oil company in majority ownership of Russian Gazprom, has been enjoying a preferential "mining fee" regime thanks to the Serbia-Russia inter-governmental agreement (IGA) concluded in 2008, has been much discussed in the press. The IGA in question was the legal basis for the acquisition by Gazprom of 51% of issued shares of NIS for the purpose of implementation of the project for modernization and reconstruction of NIS' technological facilities. The IGA provides for a ...

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  • Montenegrin Competition Agency to assume new powers and take over state aid control

    The Agency for Protection of Competition of Montenegro ("Agency") has just published its 2016 Report, providing us with a detailed account of its activities in the previous year. The report is especially interesting for its pronounced criticism of the current competition law enforcement system in Montenegro, as well as for its announcement of a new competition protection legislation. Current enforcement system does not work Even though the Agency has consistently complained of the difficultie...

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  • Serbian competition watchdog fines oil producers after one of its most comprehensive infringement analysis to date

    On 13 March 2017, the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia ("Commission") fined Victoriaoil and Vital, two out of four players on the market of oil products in Serbia, a total of approx. EUR 258,000, for entering into an anticompetitive horizontal agreement concerning refined consumable sunflower oil. The decision is remarkable for its use of regression economic analysis. But not everything in the garden is rosy – the decision has already received critici...

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  • (Un)constitutionality of dawn raids in the competition law investigations in Serbia and Montenegro

    The Montenegrin Agency for Protection of Competition announced on 22 March 2017 that it had carried out a dawn raid at the premises of a transport company in Cetinje. The Agency did not specify in its announcement which competition infringement is being investigated in this case, but it confirmed that "the party to the proceedings had shown a high degree of co-operation". It remains unclear whether the party had consented to the search of its premises and documents. This event prompts us to co...

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