Latest updates

COVID-19: CCA remains fully operational
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Croatia
  • 28 May 2020

The government recently announced a phased plan to lift restrictions that were imposed in Croatia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many sectors prepare to resume operations, the Croatian Competition Authority has been fully operational since 11 May 2020.

Impact of COVID-19 on Competition Authority operations
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 21 May 2020

On 17 March 2020 the government declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the state of emergency, Competition Authority operations have continued. However, as office access is not permitted, only postal filings and submissions are accepted (ie, in-person filings are not allowed) and face-to-face meetings cannot be held. For now, the Competition Authority's filing and review deadlines remain unaffected.

COVID-19: competition commission deadlines during and after state of emergency
Moravčević Vojnović and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Serbia
  • 21 May 2020

The government recently lifted the state of emergency which had been declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing normal operations to gradually resume. As a result, all deadlines for the Commission for the Protection of Competition and parties to proceedings that ended between 24 March 2020 and 6 May 2020 are now deemed to end on 5 June 2020. This includes the submission of merger notifications, responses to requests for information, decisions and clearances.

Upcoming amendments to Competition Act
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Hungary
  • 21 May 2020

Parliament recently adopted a new act to ensure that the Competition Act fully complies with EU Directive 2019/1/EU (ECN+ Directive). The Hungarian legislature has chosen to apply most of the ECN+ Directive rules to all antitrust proceedings (ie, regardless of whether they are conducted under Hungarian or EU law). However, in certain cases, the scope of the new provisions will be limited to proceedings on an EU legal basis.

Legal implications of remote working – opportunity or threat?
Schoenherr
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Hungary
  • 20 May 2020

What seemed hardly imaginable months ago has become a reality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: sizeable teams in various companies had to switch to remote working within a few days and have now been working remotely for several weeks. This article highlights some of the legal challenges caused by the sudden introduction of remote working.

Constitutional Court upholds Act on Significant Market Power but declares 3% limit on marketing payments unconstitutional
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • 14 May 2020

The Constitutional Court recently upheld the Act on Significant Market Power, despite demands for its repeal by a group of senators almost four years ago. However, the court stated that the provision limiting the amount of suppliers' payments to customers with significant market power to 3% of the suppliers' annual sales is unconstitutional. This decision is of fundamental importance to future cooperation between suppliers and customers.

Third COVID-19 Act: lawfulness of processing employee health data
Schoenherr
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Austria
  • 08 May 2020

Parliament recently enacted the Third, Fourth and Fifth COVID-19 Acts. Although these laws have significantly changed the Austrian legal framework, none of them include data protection provisions. Thus, the legislature appears to have overlooked a significant data protection issue arising from the new law – namely, the conflict of interests between the amended Social Insurance Act and the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

COVID-19: competition law considerations for businesses
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Hungary
  • 07 May 2020

The government recently declared a state of emergency in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and issued a special legal order. To date, no provision has been adopted under the special legal order allowing for a special exemption from the rules of competition law. Affected undertakings must therefore continue to pay attention to competition compliance. This article aims to help companies meet these requirements in view of the European Competition Network's recommendations.

Employment contracts and COVID-19
Schoenherr
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Hungary
  • 06 May 2020

COVID-19 has created completely new challenges in the employment sector. As there is significant uncertainty and a need for detailed information about the situation, this article provides a timeline of employment-related measures that have been introduced to combat COVID-19 in Hungary.

Implications of COVID-19 for legal procedures under Austrian Environmental Law
Schoenherr
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Austria
  • 04 May 2020

In the context of local and personal COVID-19 quarantine measures – and the associated absences of officials and affected persons – a federal law (COVID-19-VwBG) was passed setting out special procedural regulations for administrative authorities, administrative courts, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court. This article discusses the implications for the legal procedures set out in the Environmental Law resulting from the new temporary COVID-19-VwBG.

Crisis management checklist for CFOs
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Slovenia
  • 04 May 2020

The world is entering a period of financial uncertainty due to COVID-19. In this context, the two questions most frequently asked by managers of companies are what are their duties under Slovenian law in the context of general financial uncertainty and what are their options under Slovenian law in terms of adjustment and restructuring of financial liabilities?

COVID-19: telecoms and data protection developments
Schoenherr
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • Austria
  • 01 May 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telecoms providers must now send mass alerts (eg, regional access prohibitions) via text message on order of the government and provide traffic and location data for the purposes of evaluating whether individuals are complying with quarantine orders. In addition, a number of legislative developments have taken place with respect to data protection. This article outlines these recent changes.

COVID-19: state aid scheme sets maximum prices and margins for certain goods
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Poland
  • 30 April 2020

The European Commission recently approved a state aid scheme worth Zl3.5 billion (approximately €700 million) for loans and guarantees to support the Polish economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme will allow the Polish authorities to grant aid to support Polish companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak by providing liquidity support in the form of guarantees on loans and subsidised interest rates for loans. This article addresses the new competition rules under the scheme.

COVID-19: securing receivables while enforcement is suspended
  • Litigation
  • Slovenia
  • 28 April 2020

One of the measures adopted to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Slovenia is the suspension of all non-urgent court proceedings, including enforcement proceedings, until further notice. However, the suspension of court proceedings does not apply to urgent matters, including all security proceedings under the Claim Enforcement and Security Act, provided that they do not require physical contact between the participants.

CPC activity during COVID-19 crisis
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Bulgaria
  • 23 April 2020

The government recently declared a national state of emergency as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This article outlines the impact of this declaration on Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) activities, including in relation to CPC operations and competition law enforcement.

Competition authority seeks to obtain data from mobile phone operators
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • 23 April 2020

To facilitate the detection of anti-competitive behaviour, the Office for the Protection of Competition has proposed an amendment to the Act on Electronic Communication. Based on the amendment, the office would be entitled to request individual activity and location data (ie, date, time, mode of communication and duration) from mobile phone operators. However, access to this data would not be possible without prior judicial written permission.

COVID-19 and new employment measures
Schoenherr
  • Employment & Immigration
  • Hungary
  • 15 April 2020

The appearance and spread of COVID-19 in Hungary has made extraordinary measures necessary. The government has declared a state of emergency and new measures have been adopted. This article summarises the key information for employers with regard to COVID-19.

Increased fines – HCA targets telecom companies
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Hungary
  • 12 March 2020

In the past three months, three telecom giants received unexpectedly heavy fines from the Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) in consumer protection cases. In 2019 the HCA imposed more fines in total for unfair commercial practices against consumers than in cartel cases and, on the basis of its recent decisions, it looks likely to do the same in 2020. These recent decisions also show that repeated infringements are now subject to a stricter assessment.

CPA examines multi-apartment building management market
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Slovenia
  • 05 March 2020

Following media reports on the difficulties involved with replacing managing agents (who are in charge of managing multi-apartment buildings), excessive management costs and the ousting of small managing agents from the market, the Competition Protection Agency has carried out market research on managing multi-apartment buildings. Such issues could indicate a restriction or distortion of competition in Slovenia or abuse of a dominant position of one or more managing agent companies.

New government programme sets course for expansion of renewable energies
Schoenherr
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Austria
  • 24 February 2020

The new government composed of the Austrian People's Party and the Green Party recently presented the government programme for 2020 to 2024, which contains comprehensive measures to promote the expansion of renewable energies. Accordingly, the Renewable Energies Expansion Act, which has been planned for a long time and was drawn up under the penultimate government, is to be enacted as quickly as possible.