Israel updates


Contributed by Levitan, Sharon & Co
Statutory damages under Aviation Services Law cannot be claimed in class actions
  • Israel
  • 13 January 2021

In August 2020 the Central District Court dismissed several requests for the certification of class actions which had been filed against different airlines on the basis that statutory damages under the Aviation Services Law cannot be claimed in class actions. In all of the cases, the airlines' main argument was that according to the Class Action Law, the court cannot award compensation where proof of damage is not required.

Direct flight to final destination instead of delay in first segment not considered cancelled flight
  • Israel
  • 04 March 2020

The Tel Aviv District Court recently approved an appeal filed by Ukraine International Airlines and determined that the provision of alternative flight tickets resulting in a delay of less than eight hours following a delay in the first segment of a journey did not constitute the cancellation of a flight under the Aviation Services Law. The decision overturned a Small Claims Court decision and provides clarity on the meaning of a 'cancelled flight' under Israeli law.

Lightning damage to aircraft on incoming flights – Aviation Services Law special circumstances
  • Israel
  • 13 November 2019

In most cases, flights are operated by aircraft that arrive at an airport from a previous flight. As such, flights are sometimes delayed or cancelled due to a delay or cancellation of the previous flight. The Tel Aviv District Court recently denied a motion for leave to appeal filed by a passenger whose claim regarding the cancellation of his flight due to lightning damage to the aircraft which had occurred during the previous flight was denied by the Tel Aviv Small Claims Court.

What is considered a cancelled flight under the Aviation Services Law?
  • Israel
  • 14 August 2019

The Small Claims Court recently rejected two passengers' claim that their flight should be considered a cancelled flight under the Aviation Services Law. The case examined whether an airline should pay compensation for a missed connecting flight when passengers book two flights from the same company with a short connection time.

Courts underline passengers' duty to arrive at departure gate on time
  • Israel
  • 29 May 2019

Under the Aviation Services Law (Compensation and Assistance for Flight Cancellation or Change of Conditions), passengers who are denied boarding are entitled to compensation. However, in two recent district court judgments concerning passengers that were denied boarding, the courts found that passengers must arrive at the boarding gate on time. As this duty had not been fulfilled in either case, the airlines were not obliged to pay compensation.

Banking & Financial Services

Initial public offerings – an overview
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co
  • Israel
  • 02 July 2019

The second half of 2018 was characterised by a sharp decrease in the number of equity and debt initial public offerings in Israel and a significant rise in bond yields. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and the Israeli Securities Authority continue to promote various initiatives to encourage non-Israeli issuers to list on the TASE, including the publication of a bulletin clarifying the rules that apply to the public offering of securities, listing and delisting and ongoing disclosures by dual-listed companies.

Competition & Antitrust

Contributed by Tadmor Levy & Co
ICA publishes draft public statement regarding joint bidding by competitors
  • Israel
  • 11 March 2021

The Israeli Competition Authority recently published a draft public statement regarding the submission of joint bids by competitors in tenders. The draft proposes an interpretation of the Competition Law that may significantly affect the business activities of entities operating in Israeli tender markets. Foreign entities that consider participating in bids in Israel as part of a group should be aware that they may need to obtain the competition commissioner's prior approval.

Competition Tribunal provides important guidance on retroactive discounts
  • Israel
  • 05 November 2020

The Competition Tribunal's recent judgment thoroughly analysed the legality of target discounts offered by a dominant firm to its customers. The tribunal adopted a cautious approach towards retroactive target discounts, ruling that such pricing schemes could be condemned even if an equally efficient competitor was not excluded by the target discount and the level of market foreclosure was limited.

Attorney general takes cautious and restrained approach regarding excessive pricing
  • Israel
  • 25 June 2020

The attorney general (AG) recently submitted his opinion regarding the applicability of the excessive pricing prohibition under Israeli law and the appropriate test for its application. Adopting the Israeli Competition Authority's current opinion regarding excessive pricing while opposing the broad approach taken by the court in the Central Bottling Company case, the AG maintained that the Supreme Court should determine that the Competition Law prohibits monopolists from setting unfairly high prices.

ICA addresses application of Economic Competition Law during COVID-19 crisis
  • Israel
  • 09 April 2020

The Israeli Competition Authority recently published several clarifications regarding the application of the Economic Competition Law 5748-1988 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The clarifications refer to three main issues – namely, collaboration arrangements between competitors, gun-jumping rules in merger cases and postponement of reports required under the Law for the Advancement of Competition in the Food Sector 2014.

ICA updates methodology for determining monetary penalties
  • Israel
  • 19 December 2019

In February 2019 the Israel Competition Authority (ICA) published for public consultation a draft amendment to Public Statement 1/16: Considerations of the Competition Commissioner in Determining the Amount of a Monetary Penalty. Following public comments on the draft amendment, the ICA has now published a final amended statement. As such, the ICA's new methodology for imposing monetary penalties has taken full effect.

Corporate & Commercial

Coronavirus and contract law
  • Israel
  • 23 March 2020

The ongoing global outbreak and spread of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a dramatic event of global proportions, with far-reaching implications for a wide range of areas. The spread of COVID-19 directly affects many aspects of commerce and business – both domestic and international. Contract law in Israel provides several tools for dealing with such situations, including the doctrine of frustration, force majeure clauses, 'approximate' or 'cy-pres' performance and consumer protection legislation.

Corporate Tax

Contributed by Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co
Business models for marketing and sales operation – tax implications
  • Israel
  • 12 March 2021

Transfer pricing rules deal with pricing and profit attribution rules of international transactions performed between two or more related parties (eg, a parent and its subsidiary). This article provides a high-level overview of some of the common business models used by local entities that are engaged in the distribution, sale and marketing of their group's products and analyses the potential transfer pricing ramifications thereof.

Taxation of investment funds
  • Israel
  • 22 January 2021

Among the primary tools for encouraging inbound investments in Israel is the special tax regime for private investment funds. Over the years, the Tax Authority has issued substantial guidance and numerous private rulings under the Income Tax Ordinance, providing significant tax benefits to foreign investors and private investment funds operating in Israel. This article outlines the income tax arrangements applicable to private investment funds operating in Israel.

Challenges in taxation of oil and gas partnerships
  • Israel
  • 04 December 2020

Recent years have seen a significant increase in publicly raised capital on the stock market by partnerships engaged in oil and gas exploration, which presents challenges due to existing tax legislation in Israel. In general, the process established in the law creates a distortion under which present partners will pay additional tax for past partners who benefited from the partnership's profits in a particular year.

Recent tax ruling provides for priority technological enterprise status for cloud services
  • Israel
  • 25 September 2020

The Tax Authority recently published a tax ruling addressing priority technological enterprise status with respect to an Israeli company that engages in the development and provision of cloud service platforms. The ruling provides that, subject to the Investment Law, income derived from the right to use a company's cloud platforms will be classified as income generated by a technological enterprise and, therefore, will be entitled to the Investment Law's reduced tax rates.

Intercompany transactions – burden of proving arm's-length pricing
  • Israel
  • 26 June 2020

The Israel Tax Authority (ITA) recently published a tax circular to clarify cases in which a transfer pricing study filed by a taxpayer will be considered to fulfil legal requirements and thus shift the burden of proof in the assessment process framework to an ITA inspector, in contrast to the general rule that the burden of proof rests with the taxpayer.