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Competition Law and Enforcement in the Western Balkans – Seminar at the Law Societies, Brussels Office on 7 May 2012 hosted by Babić & Partners law firm

May 2012

1. Background

The Western Balkans is a region on the move. Croatia became the 28th EU member country on 1 July 2013. Accession negotiations are gathering pace with Serbia, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (“FYROM”). Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo are moving steadily towards candidate status. These developments will trigger significant changes in the way these economies are run. But after some decades of reconstruction on a national basis, businesses and governments will have to adapt to a European approach and competition policy will have an important part to play. This seminar, organized by law firm Babić & Partners, Zagreb, Croatia looked at the reality of competition law enforcement in the region, key trends and developments as well as practical tips based on previous transactions and matters handled by the speakers.

2. Faculty

2.1 Introduction

Alison Hook, Director, Hook International, London

2.2 Facilitator

Margaret Doyle, Columnist, Reuters Breakingviews, Thomson Reuters

2.3 Speakers

Dag Johansson, Policy Co-ordinator, International Relations, European Commission, Brussels, gave a personal view on the topic: “Pitfalls and Challenges for Emerging Competition Regimes”.

Boris Babić, Senior Partner, Babić & Partners, Zagreb, Croatia, spoke on antitrust law and enforcement issues across the Western Balkans (in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and FYROM especially)

Iva Basarić, Senior Associate, Babić & Partners, Zagreb, Croatia, presented a case study: “Multi-jurisdictional Merger Control Filing in the Region”.

3. Some of the topics discussed:

–  Convergence as a balancing act: must allow flexibility and be adapted to country-specific circumstances;
–  Oversimplification and misinterpretations (e.g. definition of dominance);
–  Competition authority’s, priority setting and project management;
–  Multi-jurisdictional merger control filing in the region: case study;
–  Cartels and leniency: how does it work and what industries are likely targets;
–  Relationship between EU competition law and local laws;
–  Regional convergence: is there in fact a model law in the region and how this affects the enforcement;
–  Landmark cases, enforcement record and trends.


4. Additional information


For further information, including presentations from the Seminar, please contact us at