parliment flags

In July 2015, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) took a look back at the year 2014, in a published Report, and pinpointed the magnitude of its powers to curb anti-competitive practices. As evidenced below, the data reported by the FCA testifies to the efficiency of less adverse and more preventive tools favored by the FCA such as the leniency programme — pursuant to which partial or total immunity may be granted to a company which comes forward to report an –Read More–

On the 3rd December 2015, the EU Commission called time yet again on EU Member States enticing multinationals to become resident through favourable tax treatments. It announced a public investigation into a multinational burger bar’s tax treatment by the state of Luxembourg, under the suspicion that Luxembourg was affording the multinational unlawful state aid through the favourable treatment. This investigation comes hot on the heels of similar recent investigations by the Commission into a multinational coffee chain in Holland and –Read More–

On 22 October 2015, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published the provisional findings of its 18 month investigation into the UK’s £16 billion small and medium-sized enterprise (“SME”) and personal current account (“PCA”) sectors, and opined that UK banks are not being put under sufficient competitive pressure to adequately protect the interests of customers and innovate in the market. The banking sector is largely dominated by four main players which make up 85% of the SME banking market and –Read More–

On Tuesday 6 October, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) decided that the EU / US Safe Harbor regime for data transfer is no longer safe. Background on the EU-US Safe Harbor The EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (the “Directive”) states that personal data may only be transferred to countries outside the EU when an adequate level of protection is guaranteed. Because the laws of the United States are not considered by the European Union to provide an adequate level –Read More–

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has responded today to the first super-complaint to be brought in relation to the groceries sector. The complaint was raised on 21 April 2015 by Which?, the largest independent consumer body in Europe, who has spent the last seven years investigating suspect supermarket pricing practices. The CMA’s response is significant as it reprimands commercial pricing practices used in many other industries. The super-complaint raised the four main issues discussed below: Firstly, Which? alleged that –Read More–

Passengers of severely delayed flights may claim compensation from airlines, unless the airline shows the delay was due to “extraordinary circumstances”. One year ago, on 11 June 2014, the English Court of Appeal in Huzar v limited the scope of this “extraordinary circumstances” defence. It is now a year on and compensation claims have been slow to take off. The legal representative of the Claimant in that case has recently stated that 19,500 delayed passengers are still miles away –Read More–

On 5 March 2015, the European Court of Justice (CJEU), ruled in favour of greater patient protection and compensation after a question of product liability was referred to them by a German court. The facts relate to faulty implantable pacemaker and cardioverter devices. The German court had asked two questions of law of the CJEU on preliminary ruling, both relating to the Product Liability Directive 85/374 (the Directive). These questions were whether: Article 6(1) of the Directive (which concerns whether –Read More–

French law n°2015-195 of 20 February 2015, transposing EU law on aspects of intellectual property and cultural heritage (“Law of 20 February 2015”), is part of an effort to strengthen the protection and promotion of French and European cultural heritages, in particular in terms of related rights. Transposition of Directive 2011/77/EU The amendments made to Article L.211-4 of the French Intellectual Property Code, on the term of protection of related rights, are the most remarkable contributions of the Law of –Read More–

The EU has proposed reforms to its Wire Transfer Regulations which will increase “Know Your Customer” (KYC) requirements under EU anti-money laundering (AML) laws. The reforms are expected to be passed and come into force later this year. A link to a copy of the latest publicly available draft of the proposed amended Regulation is set out below. Summary Essentially the reforms will impose new obligations on payment service providers (PSP) acting on behalf of the recipient or “payee” of –Read More–

Section 33 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) (the “PDPO”) prohibits the transfer of personal data to places outside of Hong Kong unless certain conditions are met, but it is not currently in force and there is still no indication as to when it will be brought in to force. However, recently (29 December 2014) the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner issued its “Guidance on Personal Data Protection in Cross-border Data Transfer” which is supposed to serve as a –Read More–

On 26 January 2015, the Export Control Organisation (“ECO”) of the UK’s Department of Innovation & Skills (“BIS”) issued a reminder that the deadline for holders of Open General and Open Individual Export Licences to file the first annual report of activity under certain of these open licenses is the end of January 2015. Holders of these open licenses will no doubt already be aware of the reporting requirement, which was mandated under the UK’s Strategic Export Control Transparency Initiative –Read More–

On Thursday 29 January at 2pm EST, Bryan Cave will be running an FCPA enforcement webinar. The webinar will include a short primer on the FCPA before discussing enforcement trends over the past year and how they affect your compliance programme. Further details including panelists and sign up details can be found by following this link.  

The US Congress has passed and President Obama is expected to sign the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014” (“the Act”), which gives the President authority to impose certain secondary sanctions on non-US persons that make “significant” investments in special Russian crude oil projects. In addition, the President is authorized to impose a specified sanction on foreign financial institutions that are determined to have knowingly engaged in significant transactions involving certain defense and energy-related transactions or facilitated certain transactions for any Russian person that is a –Read More–

There has been substantial debate and some confusion over how you identify when a restriction is a restriction ‘by object’ or ‘by effect’ under Article 101 and 102 TFEU. This debate follows on from the Commission’s recently publishing a revised De Minimis notice and certain policy papers in June 2014 and the recent European Court of justice case in Groupement Des Cartes Bancaires (“GCB case”). We reported on the De Minimis notice and a list of restrictions ‘by object’ in –Read More–

On 27 November 2014, the CMA laid out its hit list of likely sectors and priorities for investigation in 2015. The CMA, as the main UK competition watchdog and consumer champion, has a mandate to enforce effective competition in markets in the interest of consumers. It has a wide discretion in dictating its own agenda. The list of 6 priorities the CMA has identified in its Strategic Assessment are: Online and the digital economy (more on this below) Technology and –Read More–

9 December 2014 Webinar: Comparative review of US and EU Antitrust/Competition law on the interface between IPR and competition law including their approach to Standard Essential Patents. The exclusive rights conferred by Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are not absolute. In certain cases the enforcement of IPRs can undermine or infringe other rights and laws such as antitrust/competition law. The challenge for US & EU antitrust/competition regulators is striking the right balance between fostering innovation and stimulating free and effective competition. –Read More–

On 10 November 2014, the EU Council of Ministers formally adopted the Commission’s Directive on antitrust damages. The Directive will be formally signed by the EU Parliament at the end of November, starting a two year countdown in which each EU Member State must adopt the Directive into their own national legislation. The Directive aims to raise and standardise many aspects of antitrust or competition litigation throughout the EU, meaning the ability of victims of anti-competitive behaviour to claim compensation –Read More–

Difficulties often manifest themselves in transferring data from the ‘safe’ EU to the ‘unsafe’ US. Difficulties also exist with US law enforcement authority requests for access to such data, which is often not permitted under EU law. Jana Fuchs, an Associate with Bryan Cave LLP, examines the problem and potential solutions. When a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) is finally able to check the box to ‘implement sufficient EU data protection adequacy measures for data transfers,’ nerves are often frayed and a level of frustration remains. For global companies, the path to centralise data management (e.g., –Read More–

The issue of night work is topical in France since changes in the labor market and the economy have led to a doubling of the number of employees working at night over the past two decades, concerning about 3.5 million workers, or one employee out of seven. The issue of night work has recently crystallized for certain brands like Monoprix, Carrefour City, Sephora … The Law defines night work as “all work performed between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.” (Article –Read More–

On 21 October 2008, in a co-ordinated effort with national competition authorities, the European Commission conducted dawn raids at the premises of a number of smart card chips producers across various EU Member States. The Commission was investigating possible violations of EC Treaty rules which prohibit cartels and anti-competitive conduct such as price fixing, customer allocation and the exchange of commercially sensitive information. Some six years later, on 3 September 2014, the European Commission rendered its decision, finding four companies –Read More–