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Should Parliament have a say over whether Britain could remain in the European Economic Area? Introduction The UK Government faces yet another challenge over its determination to take the UK out of the EU and the EEA Single Market without Parliamentary approval which could further complicate Brexit. The British people on 23rd June 2016 confirmed through the EU referendum result they wanted to leave the European Union. However the big question the EU referendum result did not address was what –Read More–

The UK Supreme Court on 18th November 2016 gave permission to the Lord Advocate of Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government , to intervene in the UK Government’s forthcoming appeal against the English High Court’s decision that the UK Government can only trigger Article 50 with the consent of the UK Parliament . The Welsh Government was also given permission to intervene as well. However the Scottish intervention is potentially significant to the Brexit process given its unique legislative –Read More–

On 19 October 2016, the Scottish Court of Session in the Renfrewshire Council case [ 2016 ] CSOH 150 CA 78/16 (Dem-Master Demolition Ltd V Renfrewshire Council as lead authority for Scotland Excel) confirmed that a contracting authority has no duty to allow a tendering party to correct errors after a tender deadline. The Court considered that equal treatment should take priority when handling tender errors, in accordance with obligations set out in the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (2012/88). –Read More–

On 28 September 2016, the German government proposed legislation to amend the Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB) for the ninth time. Presuming that it will pass the further steps required, the proposed amendment is going to expand the merger control for mergers and acquisitions of start-ups, particularly of internet companies. In the future, the turnover of the merged or acquired companies is no longer the only relevant aspect. As well as turnover, the size of the transaction is to –Read More–

On the 7th November 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a campaign to remind online sellers that agreeing and discussing price level with competitors is illegal and can result in serious penalties. In the context of Black Friday, Christmas and the January sales promotions, this was a salutary lesson. The CMA has warned online sellers against price fixing after finding evidence of collusion by sellers using internet marketplaces. On 12th August 2016, the CMA held that two –Read More–

A resounding judicial victory was scored in Italy this fall by Bryan Cave’s affiliated office (“SILS”) on behalf of the Volkswagen Group. The Supreme Court of Italy (“Corte di Cassazione”) rejected all claims brought against VW by a local car dealer (B Automobili) in a long-running, complex case involving an alleged “abuse of a dominant position” by VW. The plaintiff alleged the violation of Italian antitrust rules (specifically Section 3 of Law No. 287 of 1990) on the basis of –Read More–

On 19 October 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued an important judgment concerning the German law on fixing prices of retail prescription drugs. In the case before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, the German Parkinson’s Disease Association teamed up with the Dutch mail-order pharmacy DocMorris to obtain better terms for German patients. In Germany there is a uniform retail price on medicinal products sold to patients in Germany, irrespective whether they are sold online –Read More–

The European Commission’s state aid decision against Apple and Ireland could have consequences for other multinational companies In a highly politically charged decision, the European Commission has decided that Ireland granted Apple illegal state aid amounting to €13 billion as a result of selective tax treatment. It is believed that the Commission is currently reviewing more than a thousand similar types of tax rulings, involving other EU member states and companies, as part of its ongoing investigation into their granting –Read More–

After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality has only been a few months, the Prime Minister announced on 2 October 2016 that Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union would be triggered in March 2017, starting a two year countdown to the UK leaving the EU. Alongside what has become the world’s most famous procedural announcement, the Prime Minister laid out her Government’s first stab at legislative direction, but stating that there would be a ‘Great –Read More–

On 9 August 2016, following their retail banking market investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that large banks well established in the personal and small business retail market do not have to compete hard enough for customers with smaller and newer banks. To tackle this issue, and to enable customers to make more informed choices when deciding which bank to open an account with, the CMA has adopted several new requirements to which retail banks in the UK –Read More–

The recent Communication from the European Commission on cross-border e-commerce is likely to have a significant impact on online trading within the European market. The proposals are designed to break down artificial barriers created by online suppliers that restrict the freedom of choice for online buyers located in different EU member states. The final version of the proposals is expected next year with legislation coming into force in mid-2017. It is therefore advisable that online suppliers closely follow the debate –Read More–

On 1 July 2016, the UK High Court held in the case of The Software Incubator Limited -and- Computer Associates UK Limited that intangible software may qualify as “goods” for the purposes of the application of the Commercial Agency Regulations 1993 (“the Regulations”) (implementing Council Directive 86/653/EEC on the co-ordination of the laws of EU Member States relating to self-employed commercial agents). This decision marks a significant movement in the law. Previous case law had explicitly excluded software which was –Read More–

On 18 July 2016, Germany moved another step closer to enshrining a right for distributors in selective distribution systems to sell over online marketplaces. This is not sudden move by the German courts, in fact we have reported similar stories in May 2014 and September 2014. The current matter is a request from a German Court for a preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The court asked several questions relating to the interpretation of Article 101 of the –Read More–

The 13 July 2016 saw the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announce that it had sent a questionnaire to a large sample of hotels throughout the UK. As part of a joint monitoring project with the European Commission, this project has also been launched by several competition agencies in the EU. The purpose of the project is to study how changes to hotel room pricing policies and a variety of other investigations have affected the online hotel booking sector. In –Read More–

Car rental sales in the United Kingdom amount to an estimated £1.2 billion industry. However attempting to rent a car normally means surfing through various price comparison websites in search of a easily understandable and affordable deal with no hidden charges only to be surprised at the last minute by an unexpected but unavoidable charge. In a crackdown on price comparison websites who are often found to blur the real cost of renting a car, the UK’s Competition and Market –Read More–

On 20th June 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) released an open-letter offering advice to public authorities to help spot anti-competitive activity during a tender process. This is known as bid-rigging. This open letter is primarily designed to help purchasers detect bid-rigging and to avoid becoming a victim of it. The most common types of bid-rigging are: bid rotation, where companies agree to take turns in having an attractive bid, ensuring they all have an agreed share of –Read More–

What you need to Know? Despite the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, companies doing business in the UK can still continue to trade with the European Union in exactly the same way as they have done in the past. The UK is still a member of the EU and until it negotiates an exit deal or the two year period for the re-negotiation for such a deal expires the UK remains a full member of the European Union –Read More–

On the 25th May 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) issued a statement of objections to five of Britain’s most prestigious modelling agencies alleging an infringement of Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). The CMA’s investigation, which was launched back in March 2014, has revealed that the five prominent agencies may have exchanged sensitive and confidential competitive information and colluded to fix prices –Read More–

As cloud storage has widely spread, there have been growing concerns from the UK authorities about whether consumer rights are effectively protected. New guidelines for consumers and a new checklist for industry bring fresh obligations to providers, who should follow the new developments closely. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently launched a review of compliance with consumer law in the cloud storage industry. In this context, it is critical for companies offering cloud storage services to keep abreast of –Read More–

Britons are due to go to the polls to vote in a referendum on 23rd June 2016 to decide whether the UK should remain a member of the EU, or exit (a so called “Brexit”). As many readers will be aware, there is no certain answer on what effect, whether positive or negative, Brexit would have on the UK economy or individual sectors of it. Below, we summarise a few key considerations when considering the effect of Brexit on the –Read More–

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