EU and competition in Croatia

Babic & Partners Law Firm

Babic & Partners Law Firm regularly advises its stellar roster of institutional corporate clients on EU and competition law issues, including on compliance measures such as dawn raid training. On the contentious front, the firm frequently represents clients in cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, while on the transactional side, clients receive a holistic service which marries corporate advice with merger clearance expertise. Boris Babic and Iva Basaric are the main contacts and are both recommended.

Practice head(s):

Boris Babic; Iva Basaric

Key clients

Beiersdorf

Gorenje d.o.o

Magyar Suzuki Corporation

Merck Sharp & Dohme

Work highlights

  • The firm recently secured Phase 1 merger clearance for Triglav Zavarovalnica on its contemplated joint venture with another Slovenian insurer (and subsequent contemplated acquisition of health services providers).

Bradvica Marić Wahl Cesarec

Praised for its 'business and solutions-oriented approach', Bradvica Marić Wahl Cesarec has the 'necessary resources needed' and the expertise to advise clients across the spectrum of EU and competition law matters, including ensuring compliance procedures are in place for companies operating in the Croatian market, as well as advising on merger control issues. 'Friendly and professional' team head Mislav Bradvica has 'extremely high levels of competition law knowledge', which he imparts to clients, not only in an advisory and non-contentious setting, but also to those subject to investigations and formal proceedings before the Croatian Competition Agency (including numerous cases relating to alleged abuse of dominant position). Ivan Luetić is the other core member of the team, and in addition to his overarching contentious and non-contentious expertise, he also has a niche specialism advising clients within the e-commerce, new technologies and big data space.

Practice head(s):

Mislav Bradvica

Other key lawyers:

Ivan Luetić; Marko Kapetanović; Kristina Rudec

Testimonials

The team is very well-equipped, meaning they have the necessary resources needed for the client to be provided with service at any time. The main individuals have long established (international) experience in dispute competition matters, thus, if necessary, they can also handle complex cases.’

The lawyers are not just providing legal advice and counselling, but they are also business and solutions-oriented.’

Mislav Bradvica’s level of competition law knowledge is extremely high and when needed, he will always give proper advice and guidance on how to react in demanding situations. Besides his professional competence, I was impressed with his friendly, yet professional approach, not only to me as an in-house lawyer but to all colleagues he is working with.’

Key clients

Ledo plus

REWE Group / BIPA

METRO Cash & Carry

Wienerberger (Croatian arm)

Totalna televizija d.o.o. (TOTAL TV)

Serotonin d.o.o. NoJamnica Plus d.o.o.

Moslavina voće d.o.o.

Tele2 AB

Setovia voće d.o.o.

Work highlights

  • Advised Tele2 AB, as local counsel, on the €220m sale of its Croatian business to United Group, a leading telecoms and media provider in South East Europe.
  • Represented large Croatian ice-cream and frozen foodstuff producer Ledo plus on strategic competition law advice associated with tailoring the distribution and entire supply chain.
  • Representing METRO Cash & Carry across a wide range of competition law matters, including the regulation of unfair commercial practices compliance programmes.

Divjak Topic Bahtijarevic & Krka

As one of the few firms in the local market with dedicated resources focused on EU and competition law matters, the 'excellent and very knowledgeable' team at Divjak Topic Bahtijarevic & Krka is well-positioned to assist the firm's impressive roster of domestic and international corporates on day-to-day compliance issues, cases before the Agency, as well as on the concomitant competition law issues associated with transactions handled by the firm. Indeed, under the guidance of 'superb competition lawyer' Mario Krka, the team has perhaps gained most visibility as a result of its involvement in many of the most significant M&A mandates in the local market, including Krka's recent work for United Group on its €220m acquisition of Tele 2.

Practice head(s):

Mario Krka

Other key lawyers:

Lea Mužić

Testimonials

‘It is an excellent and very knowledgeable team. Having dedicated resources to this specialised area of law is a great advantage.’

‘Mario Krka is without doubt the star of the team. He is extremely practical and efficient, in addition to always being available. He finds solutions, not problems.’

‘Mario Krka is a superb competition lawyer and our go-to man for local competition law matters. He has solid English proficiency combined with an in-depth knowledge of the competition law field.’

‘Mario Krka is super approachable, ready to answer the phone at any time, to discuss and advise on the matter in hand!’

Key clients

Japan Tobacco International

AR Packaging

Heineken

Hystead Limited, a subsidiary of Hyprop Investments Limited

PPD (Prvo Plinarsko Društvo)

Energia Naturalis

United Group

Google

RTL Group

Work highlights

  • Provided merger clearance advice to RTL Group on the acquisition of one of the largest Croatian news portals, net.hr – the oldest Croatian news and lifestyle web portal – from Telegram Media Group.
  • Provided the merger clearance advice to United Group related to its €220m acquisition of the Croatian business of Tele 2 AB. This was particularly notable in light of telecom provider Tele 2’s relatively high market share.
  • Advised Energia Naturalis on the merger clearance advice related to its takeover of a controlling share in the Port of Ploče, the company operating one of the main strategic Croatian ports.

Šavoric & Partners

Leveraging the firm's broader transactional strength, Šavoric & Partners is perhaps best-known for its merger control advice to funds and corporates on their M&A activity in the domestic and regional market. Boris Šavorić and Mia Lazić co-head the team that also has expertise in state aid matters and cartel-related investigations.

Practice head(s):

Boris Šavorić; Mia Lazić

Key clients

CVC Capital Partners

Ingka Centres (part of IKEA Group)

adidas

Enterprise Investors

Work highlights

  • Advising CVC Capital Partners on the competition law matters, preparing merger filing and obtaining merger clearance from Croatian Competition Authority for the purpose of purchase of Croatian companies within D-Marin group.
  • Provided competition law advice (including obtaining the merger clearance from the Croatian Competition Authority) to Enterprise Investors Corporation on its acquisition of Istarski Supermarketi.
  • Acted for adidas on potential competition compliance issues regarding their general terms and conditions of business operations and sale agreements.    

Žuric i Partneri

The 'responsive and thorough' team at Žurić i Partneri is particularly effective on behalf of corporate clients seeking to navigate the local competition law issues associated with their domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. As well as his merger clearance expertise, the 'very thorough and reliableEdin Karakaš is also well-versed at advising on abuse of dominance and vertical/horizontal restraints. Daniela Mayer co-heads the team alongside Karakaš.

Practice head(s):

Daniela Mayer; Edin Karakaš

Other key lawyers:

Maja Skansi; Andrej Skljarov

Testimonials

‘The team is responsive and thorough.’

‘Excellent knowledge in telecommunications matters.’

‘ Edin Karakas is very thorough and provides fast and reliable advice.’

Key clients

OTP Banka

Work highlights

  • Advising OTB Banka on its negotiations with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) regarding state guarantees for loans granted to a shipbuilding company and the subsequent drafting and amending of the agreement.
  • Advised a multinational automotive corporation on the review of the new product introduced by the client from the perspective of potential violations of competition legislation, in particular related to tying and bundling, refusal to provide services and release of data to competitors.
  • Advised a multinational payment services corporation regarding its change of business model worldwide (including Croatia), including the assessment of the new model from a competition law perspective.

Bardek, Lisac, Mušec, Skoko in association with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH (Austria)

The 'proactive and responsive' team at Bardek, Lisac, Mušec, Skoko in association with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH (Austria) excels in advising international corporates on the competition law ramifications of investments in Croatian start-ups. Led by Marija Zrno, the team is well-versed at using technology to disseminate information to clients (including the roll out of a dawn raid app) and has also provided many recent publications relating to the domestic and EU-wide competition issues associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Marija Zrno

Testimonials

The team is proactive and responsive.’

Key clients

Felbermayr Holding

Top Games

Pentland

U1ST SPORTS

Invest4SEE RE Investment Holding GmbH

Porsche Digital GmbH

Canon

Porsche AG

Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires

Orpea

Work highlights

  • Providing one-stop-shop investment support (including relevant competition law advice) to SEE-focused real estate developer Invest4SEE, currently investing in several sites in Croatia, with a view to developing sizeable logistic centres.
  • Advising a global car manufacturer on the potential competition law ramifications associated with a proposed new joint venture in Croatia between it and a Croatian-based IT development company.
  • Continuing to support Canon on a variety of competition and compliance topics, including the recent analysis of a variety of non-compete and non-solicitation clauses and reviewing them in the context of marketing, promotion and intermediation service agreement, with comprehensive advice on competition law risks.

Krehic & Partners Law Firm in cooperation with Deloitte Legal

The arrival of the 'very clever and solutions-orientedPerica Miović Petronio in September 2019, from Croatia Telecom, has significantly enhanced Krehic & Partners Law Firm in cooperation with Deloitte Legal's competition law competence, particularly in light of her 'vast and incomparable experience in various competition law matters' that she developed as head of competition law at the domestic telecom incumbent. The 'dynamic and creative' Petronio heads the team and as well as advising her former employer in relation to complex compliance issues regarding the application of its pricing policy for its bundled services applicable on the national market, is also involved in a complex merger clearance mandate involving consolidation between two major Croatia-based construction companies.

Practice head(s):

Perica Miović Petronio

Other key lawyers:

Tarja Krehić

Testimonials

It is a very responsive team, always available and reactive.’

The team’s key strength is its ability to consider a given topic from both sides: as an in-house lawyer, as well as an external lawyer. They can recognise business needs and possibilities and put them in legal frame.’

Perica Miović Petronio is very knowledgeable in the field of competition law and during her work at Croatia Telecom she managed to collect vast and incomparable experience in various competition law matters. She is very clever and solution oriented, which is why I believe she would be recognised as a strong player on the Croatian legal market in this field.’

Perica Miović Petronio brings a key added value to the firm’s competition law expertise. Her attitude and approach mirror both the formal education and more than 15 years of experience with various competition law topics. She sets the framework for the task precisely and efficiently and delivers a to-the-point response.’

‘Perica Miović Petronio is very dynamic, creative and directed towards finding solutions in all circumstances.’

Key clients

Nexe Group, Croatia

Infobip UK and Infobip Croatia

Croatian Telekom Inc, Croatia

Iskon Internet Inc, Croatia

Inter Cars Ltd, Croatia

Stock Ltd., Croatia

MET Holding

Luxotica, Italy

Work highlights

  • Providing comprehensive and multi-jurisdictional structuring and merger control advice to Nexe Group, Croatia, in connection with a merger between dominant sector players.
  • Providing multi-jurisdictional competition compliance advice to Croatian tech unicorn Infobip Ltd.
  • Providing complex compliance advice to Croatian Telekom on issues related to the application of its pricing policy for its bundled services applicable on the national market.

Mamic Peric Reberski Rimac Law Firm LLC

Co-headed by Luka Rimac and Natalija PerićMamić Perić Reberski Rimac Law Firm LLC is well-versed across a wide range of contentious and non-contentious competition law issues, including providing advice to private sector clients on issues related to the abuse of a dominant market position and representing public utilities on state aid matters.

Practice head(s):

Luka Rimac; Natalija Perić

Other key lawyers:

Frano Belohradsky; Martina Strukic Šarić; Nikola Kokot

Key clients

OKTAL PHARMA d.o.o.

ZAGREB CITY HOLDING Ltd.

AUTOTRANS jsc

Work highlights

  • Advising OKTAL PHARMA d.o.o., one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors and wholesalers in Croatia and Southeast Europe, in several competition-related matters.    
  • Advising ZAGREB CITY HOLDING Ltd on state aid matters.
  • Advising the shareholders of Autotrans on the competition law implications associated with its sale to Arriva Hrvatska.

Law Office Mucalo

Competition law is one of the principal areas of focus of Law Office Mucalo and consequently it is able to 'provide innovative solutions' to clients on compliance issues, as well as being extremely adept at representing respondents in hearings before the domestic regulator. Name partner Igor Mucalo is 'very knowledgeable about local and European competition law'; he continues to represent Croatian Telecom in several abuse of dominant position proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Igor Mucalo

Testimonials

The firm provides innovative solutions to clients.’

Igor Mucalo is very knowledgeable about local and European competition law.’

Key clients

Croatian Telecom (member of DT group – Croatian telecom incumbent)

HP – HRVATSKA POŠTA (Croatian postal incumbent)

INA (Croatian oil and gas incumbent)

Ezpada (electricity trading company)

Iskon Internet (major Croatian electronic communications provider)

Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists

Work highlights

  • Representing Croatian Telecom in an ongoing case before the Croatian Competition Agency regarding its alleged abuse of dominance on the PayTV market.
  • Providing regular legal support to major Croatian oil company INA in respect of competition law-related matters.
  • Representing the Croatian Pharmacists Chamber before the Croatian Competition Agency in a case related to exclusive distribution of medicinal devices.

Wolf Theiss - Zagreb branch

Headed by senior associate Luka ČolićWolf Theiss - Zagreb branch is increasingly active advising corporate clients of the firm on the establishment of robust risk management compliance systems to mitigate against any potential competition law infractions. In addition, the team provides merger control advise pursuant to M&A handled by the firm, and also has niche expertise advising clients in the food sector on the implications of the new Act on Prohibition of Unfair Trading Practices in Food Supply Chain.

Practice head(s):

Luka Čolić

Other key lawyers:

Luka Tadić-Čolić

Key clients

Abbott

Bancroft Private Equity

B2 Holding

Baxter

Borealis

Celgene

Chipita

City Ex

DDM Group AG

Emil Frey Holding

Mondelez

Quanex Building Products

Shire

IC İçtaş İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş

Astaldi S.p.A

Work highlights

  • Advising a major regional oil company on the potential abuse of a dominant position by a  Croatian crude oil pipeline operator.
  • Advising a medical devices and healthcare company on distribution requirements for medical devices, including permissibility to sell products only through exclusive retailers in Croatia and representing the client in proceedings before the Croatian Competition Agency.
  • Advising the Turkish-Italian consortium of construction companies Ictas and Astaldi, on complex state aid issues regarding the People’s Republic of China’s state subsidies for steel.

KOVACEVIC PRPIC SIMEUNOVIC LLC

KOVACEVIC PRPIC SIMEUNOVIC LLC provides a 'professional service' to the firm's growing roster of corporate clients across a range of competition law compliance associated with conducting business in the country. Team head Martina Prpić has experience advising on merger control notifications and other competition matters, including prohibited agreements, abuse of dominant position and state aid issues.

Practice head(s):

Martina Prpić

Testimonials

‘The overall services provided by the firm were of a high professional standard, always exhibiting a profound knowledge of legislation and legal practices.’

Key clients

Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development,

OTP banka d.d

PRIVREDNA BANKA ZAGREB – DIONIČKO DRUŠTVO

Zagrebačka banka

CROATIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

BUTAN PLIN d.o.o., a Croatian subsidiary of LIQUIGASS.P.A.

SIGNIFY INTERNATIONAL B.V., Podružnica Zagreb

YTONG POROBETON d.o.o., member of Xella Group

Zavarovalnica Sava, zavaravovalna družba d.d.

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of major Croatian banks on state aid rules in relation to a €72m financing (which was guaranteed by the City of Zagreb) for the construction of a Zagreb-Sljeme cable car with car park.
  • Provides regular corporate housekeeping services, including advice on competition law matters, to the Croatian subsidiary of LIQUIGAS S.P.A., a leading LPG distributor in Italy.
  • Advising the Croatian Banking Association on the adoption and application of its competition policy.

Matekovic Law Firm

At Matekovic Law Firm, managing partner Krešimir Mateković has niche expertise advising pharmaceutical companies on the competition law issues associated with distribution agreements implemented throughout Croatia.

Practice head(s):

Krešimir Mareković

Other key lawyers:

Dora Adžić; Laura Mateković; Ivan Sabljić

Key clients

Adriatic Luxury Development

Asura Multiservis

Aquanautica

China Dynamics (Holdings) Limited

Luxottica South Eastern Europe

Luxottica Group

Mamut fortis d.o.o.

NOVO NORDISK Hrvatska

Omya S.p.A.

Proarh tri

Raiffeisen – Leasing

Renesola

RL – ETA

RL GAMMA

RL BETA

RL Jankomir

Sanofi Aventis Groupe

Sanofi – Aventis Croatia

Sioil

Shire

Super igra d.o.o.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Luxottica South Eastern Europe Ltd, with respect to implementation of Ray–Ban selective distribution system in the Republic of Croatia with all interested undertakings.
  • Providing competition law advice to the Croatian affiliate of NOVO NORDISK, in respect to discounts on medicines to different customers.

Porobija & Porobija

At Porobija & Porobija, managing partner Boris Porobija has expertise representing clients in proceedings before the Competition Agency, as well as in relation to merger clearance matters.

Practice head(s):

Boris Porobija