Latest updates

Serbian Competition Authority increases dawn raid activity
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Serbia
  • July 19 2018

The Serbian Competition Authority has increased its dawn raid activity over the past year. Although conducting dawn raids has been a part of the authority's remit since 2009, no such raids were carried out until the end of 2015. To date, the authority has conducted dawn raids in approximately 10 of its proceedings. The majority of these raids were conducted to establish the existence of restrictive agreements.

Competition Agency assumes State Aid Commission's powers
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Montenegro
  • July 12 2018

The most important change introduced by recent amendments to the Competition Act is that a single authority will be responsible for protecting competition and state aid in Montenegro. As a result of Montenegro's accession to the European Union and its obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, the State Aid Commission's responsibilities will now fall within the remit of the Competition Agency.

Influencers have been targeted by the HCA, but what about buying followers?
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Hungary
  • July 05 2018

With the global development of the Internet, life has changed radically in just a few decades, and legislation can barely keep up. The Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) has been monitoring developments and has not been afraid to intervene in the interests of fair competition and the protection of consumer rights. Influencers have recently been targeted by the HCA, especially regarding their promotional activity.

One step closer to enforcing Fourth AML Directive: changes for private companies regarding ownership transparency
  • White Collar Crime
  • Romania
  • July 02 2018

The government recently approved a draft legislation transposing the Fourth Anti-money Laundering Directive and introducing, among other things, important changes for private companies with regard to their reporting duties and transparency of ownership. Some of the new requirements for non-listed companies are of particular importance, as they will be key for combating money laundering and terrorism financing. The bill will also introduce stricter reporting duties and penalties for non-compliance.

Competition Authority fines firm for restrictive clauses in lease agreements
Schoenherr
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Czech Republic
  • June 28 2018

Restrictive clauses are common in commercial lease agreements. Such clauses can limit a landlord's ability to lease property to other tenants, restrict a tenant's business activities to a certain geographical area or control the subleasing of property. Restrictive clauses in lease agreements may appear to be problem-free and reflective of the contractual freedom of the parties, which forms one of the pillars of civil law. However, when certain restrictive clauses are scrutinised, a number of issues can become apparent.

Decline in turnover as grounds for dismissal
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Hungary
  • June 27 2018

Hungarian law generally requires employers to justify the termination of an employment relationship, and economic grounds generally serve as valid grounds for dismissal. A recent Supreme Court case clearly shows that even when an employer has a rightful interest in dismissing certain employees for economic grounds, the justification of the dismissal must be formulated correctly in accordance with the law. Otherwise, employers may have difficulties protecting themselves in court.

Recent competition developments in merger control field
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Poland
  • June 21 2018

Merger control is one of the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection's main areas of activity, as it deals with 170 to 220 filings annually. Recent notable developments in this regard include proceedings initiated against Gazprom and its five partners involved in the financing and construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the unconditional approval of Cyfrowy Polsat's takeover of Netia.

CPC deems minimum hotel accommodation prices anti-competitive
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Bulgaria
  • June 14 2018

The Ministry of Tourism recently proposed the introduction of minimum prices for sites categorised as 'accommodation places'. However, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) opined on the proposal's compliance with competition rules. The CPC highlighted the fact that accommodation prices depend on many factors other than category, which makes it practically impossible to set a minimum price for a category that would be adequate in every case.

The time has come: Federal Procurement Act 2018 just around the corner
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Projects & Procurement
  • Austria
  • June 12 2018

More than four years after the entry into force of the new EU Public Procurement Directive, more than two years after the deadline for transposition and more than one year after publication of the first transposition draft, the time has come. Following the resolutions of the Council of Ministers and the Federal Council, it can be assumed that the Federal Procurement Act 2018 will enter into force by July 2018.

Privacy-related representations in M&A agreements
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • IT & Internet
  • Austria
  • May 15 2018

Companies regularly store information about their customers, clients, employees, investors, partners and vendors. Privacy and data security are therefore important aspects of most M&A transactions. Although the risk of non-compliance with privacy laws may result in severe negative consequences, many M&A agreements still lack adequate privacy-related representations and warranties.

Privacy-related representations in M&A agreements
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Austria
  • May 09 2018

Companies regularly store information about their customers, clients, employees, investors, partners and vendors. Privacy and data security are therefore important aspects of most M&A transactions. Although the risk of non-compliance with privacy laws may result in severe negative consequences, many M&A agreements still lack adequate privacy-related representations and warranties.

Right to clean air – latest developments
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Austria
  • May 07 2018

In general, the Austrian legal system does not give individuals the right to force the legislature to act in a specific way or pass concrete laws. Normally, only political pressure can combat inaction. However, when it comes to air quality, things are different. The Austrian Higher Administrative Court has declared that individuals who live in a territory where the air pollution limits are exceeded have the right to demand that measures under the Air Immission Protection Act be enacted or amended.

Proposed amendments to gas ordinances and balancing system
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Austria
  • May 07 2018

To comply with the applicable EU regulations, E-Control recently published draft amendments to the Gas System Charges Ordinance 2018 and the Gas Market Model Ordinance. In response to international criticism, E-Control also proposed a redesign of the Austrian gas balancing system. In order to implement these amendments in the current Austrian gas market, a proposal to establish a virtual interconnection point at Baumgarten has also been drafted.

Squeeze-outs of minority shareholders: methods and pitfalls
Schoenherr
  • Company & Commercial
  • Romania
  • May 07 2018

The squeeze-out of minority shareholders in closely held companies is a controversial issue made more complex by the large number of Romanian companies with minority shareholders. Historically, state-owned companies were privatised through the management-employee buy-out method, which allowed employees to receive shares in former state-owned companies. As such stakes were often granular, many minority shareholders are dormant or even unaware of their participation in these companies.

Proposals to alter national Data Protection Act
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • IT & Internet
  • Austria
  • April 24 2018

Members of Parliament recently filed an application to amend the Data Protection Act 2018 in order to clarify certain aspects which have led to confusion over the past couple of months. In addition to several provisions relating to competence, the proposed act, among other things, contains a rephrased version of the fundamental right to data protection, introduces the mandatory appointment of data protection officers and suggests enabling the matching of images with explicit consent.

Food supply chain: changes to the menu
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Slovenia
  • April 19 2018

Following an examination by the Competition Protection Agency regarding unfair trading practices in the food supply chain, the government drafted a proposal to amend and supplement the Agriculture Act. Parliament accepted the amendment on March 22 2018 and it will enter into force on April 19 2018. Nevertheless, all of the changes in relation to the food supply chain (with the exception of fines) will apply from January 1 2019.

Use of electronic documents in employment relationships
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Hungary
  • April 11 2018

With the constant development and advancement of digital technologies, the use of paper-based documents is gradually decreasing in all areas of life. This trend has inevitably affected the employment sector, as both employers and employees have an increasing need to reduce the volume of paper-based documents used in employment relationships. At the same time, the use of electronic documents has raised several practical questions.

Competition authority's first decision on unfair use of contractual advantage in food sector
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Poland
  • April 05 2018

Almost eight months after the Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in Trade of Agricultural and Food Products came into effect, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) issued a decision regarding Cykoria SA's abusive practices. The case was closed with a commitment decision, which is unlikely to be appealed. Therefore, the courts will not provide their assessment of the OCCP's interpretation of some of the vaguer terms used in the act.

Private damages directive implemented in law
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Bulgaria
  • March 15 2018

The Act for Amendment and Supplementation of the Competition Protection Act was recently promulgated in the State Gazette. The new act follows the scope of the EU Damages Directive and applies to infringements of the Competition Protection Act regarding prohibited agreements and abuse of dominance.

FMA publishes new circulars concerning PRIIPS and remuneration policies
Schoenherr Attorneys at Law
  • Insurance
  • Austria
  • March 13 2018

The Financial Market Authority (FMA) recently published a new circular concerning key information documents for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products. The FMA had already published a revised version of its circular on sound remuneration policies and practices on January 19 2018.