Latest updates

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.

New opportunities for renewable energy: Austrian government programme 2020 to 2024
Schoenherr
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Austria
  • 24 February 2020

Austria's new coalition government consisting of the People's Party and the Green Party recently published its programme for the legislative period 2020 to 2024. The programme is called Taking Responsibility for Austria and should make Austria a pioneer in climate protection. The Paris Agreement climate targets are to be met at all costs, while the Climate Protection Act should ensure that Austria does not exceed its CO2 budget.

Judicial authorisation of transfer of shares with restricted transferability
Schoenherr
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Austria
  • 17 February 2020

The Supreme Court recently dealt, for the first time, with the judicial authorisation of a transfer of shares with restricted transferability in joint stock companies. The court's legal reasoning will be of great interest, especially for parties undertaking transactions where only a block of shares is sold and a transfer restriction is included in the articles of association, as is often the case in Austria.

Response to ECJ decision on measuring air pollutants
Schoenherr
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Austria
  • 03 February 2020

Following a European Court of Justice decision concerning the air quality measurement criteria set out in the EU Air Quality Directive, individuals in affected areas and non-governmental organisations can now take direct action in Austria against wrongfully installed air quality measuring points. The Austrian Higher Administrative Court recently addressed this matter and explained how those concerned in Austria should proceed.

CPC introduces simplified and more extensive merger filing guidelines
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Bulgaria
  • 30 January 2020

The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) recently introduced new merger filing guidelines. The former guidelines did not differentiate between transactions, despite potential competition concerns. The new guidelines address this practical problem and provide for two types of filing: a simplified merger filing for mergers that are unlikely to raise competition concerns and a more extensive merger filing for concentrations which are expected to significantly affect the relevant markets.

Parliament eases procedure for setting up new companies
Schoenherr
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Romania
  • 13 January 2020

A series of minor yet impactful amendments will shortly be introduced to the Companies Law, making it easier for investors and entrepreneurs to set up a new company. Parliament adopted the amendments in order to reduce the red tape surrounding company incorporation and encourage investment in the Romanian economy.