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Editorial

Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Serbian Competition Authority Steps Up Antritrust Enforcement

August 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the "Commission") recently intensified its antitrust activities before the new Administrative Act came into effect. In one week alone the Commission initiated four antitrust cases and conducted two dawn raids.

1. What/who will be on the Commission's radar?

Bulgaria: Remedies imposed on fuel companies following cartel investigations

July 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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For the second time in less than five years, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition ("Commission") has opened investigation proceedings regarding prohibited agreements and concerted practices against the major fuel companies in Bulgaria and closed them without issuing penalties.

Significant Amendments to the Romanian Competition Rules - What's New?

July 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The newly adopted Government Emergency Ordinance No. 39/2017 (the "Ordinance") introduces significant changes to Romanian competition rules. For example, it implements the provisions on actions for damages resulting from competition law infringements, as regulated under Directive 2014/104/EU (the "Damages Directive") and sets out new provisions impacting the food/non-food retail sector, as well as the dawn-raid procedure and fines applicable by the Romanian Competition Council (the "RCC") to non-resident undertakings. read more...

Significant amendments to Austrian Competition Law – Part I (Overview)

April 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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On 6 April 2017, the Austrian Parliament adopted significant amendments to Austrian competition law, as set forth in the Austrian Cartel Act ("KartG") and the Act on the Austrian Federal Competition Authority ("WettbG"). The amendments concern three main areas: (i) implementation of the EU Damages Directive; (ii) introduction of an additional transaction value test in merger control; and (iii) certain adjustments to strengthen public enforcement of antitrust infringements. read more...

Slovenia Adopts New State Aid Legislation

April 2017 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Slovenia adopted a new law regulating rescue and restructuring state aid, which entered into force in mid-February. When notified to the European Commission as a state aid scheme, it will allow the Republic of Slovenia to support companies and cooperatives in difficulty without having to notify support mechanisms in accordance with the provisions of the law as an individual aid measure to the European Commission. read more...

Slovenia: Do companies have the right to be heard during a dawn raid?

November 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The Slovenian courts were recently asked to rule on companies' right to be heard during unannounced investigations (so-called 'dawn raids') by the Competition Protection Agency. read more...

EU: News on linking from the CJEU

September 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The CJEU already had the chance to rule on the legitimacy (under copyright law) of hyperlinks to copyrighted works in the Svensson (C-466/12) and Bestwater (C-348/13) cases. In both cases the court came to the conclusion that hyperlinks to copyrighted works freely available on another website are not "communications to the public" (ie a "new public") and therefore do not require the consent of the right holders. read more...

Bulgaria takes steps to implement Directive 2014/104/EU

September 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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On 2 September 2016, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition proposed a draft act for amendments (the "Draft") to the Competition Protection Act (the "CPA"). These amendments aim to implement Directive 2014/104/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 26 November 2014, on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law, for infringements of competition law provisions of Member States, and of the European Union (the "Directive"). read more...

Hungary: HCA and NIPN conclude cooperation agreement for pharmaceutical consumer protection cases

August 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare suppliers have always been of special interest to the Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) due to the associated public health concerns. In light of this, the HCA has concluded several cooperation agreements with other agencies to facilitate the investigation of these markets. Initially, the agreements were developed with the authorities responsible for the authorisation and monitoring of medical devices and food supplements. read more...

"Brexit" - BrexIP?

July 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Besides coverage of the UEFA-championship, news of the UK vote on "Brexit" dominated the news last week. While it is too early for an in-depth analysis of the ramifications of a possible "Brexit" on IP rights – not only because despite the vote it is not yet decided whether the UK will in fact withdraw from the EU, but also because the specific mechanisms of such withdrawal will most likely be regulated in an agreement pursuant to Art 50 (2) of the Lisbon Treaty – enterprises should also monitor the developments in this field of law. Below is a small foretaste on issues related to key IP-rights: read more...

Hungary: Update - first gun jumping decision swiftly followed by three more

May 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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This competition newsletter is an update to our previous insight on the first gun jumping decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA"), where we set out the background to the Hungarian suspension clause and the calculation of fines in more detail. read more...

First gun jumping decision of the Hungarian Competition Authority

May 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA") has imposed a fine of HUF 1 million (approx EUR 3,200) on CEE Holding Group Limited and Olympic International Holdings Limited, for implementing a concentration prior to authorisation by the HCA (cf Vj/145/2015., the decision may be found here). read more...

Competition law - First Romanian follow-on damages case

April 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In October 2015, the Bucharest Court of Appeals awarded damages in a follow-on action for the first time. read more...

The Polish Competition Act – a year after substantial reform

February 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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A year has passed since major amendments to Polish Competition Law came into force on 18 January 2015 ("the Amendment"). The reform introduced significant changes, not only to the merger control regime, but also in the area of antimonopoly practices (anti-competitive agreements and abuse of a dominant position). read more...

Participation of associations in cartels: another twist in the saga

February 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In 2014 the Competition Agency issued a decision on the Association of Orthodontists cartel –to date, one of the most controversial cases it has considered. read more...

Austria: RPM Judgment of the Austrian Supreme Court against Austrian food retailer SPAR

November 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The Supreme Court upheld a decision of the Cartel Court against SPAR, a leading company in the Austrian food retail sector, concerning collusion on resale prices (Resale Price Maintenance; RPM) with suppliers of dairy products. At the same time, the court increased the fine imposed by the Cartel Court tenfold, i.e. from EUR 3 million to EUR 30 million.Read more...

Turkey: Recognition & Enforcement of an Award

September 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Enforceability of a foreign award in Turkey requires a recognition lawsuit to be filed before the Turkish courts. The Code on International Private and Procedure Law (number 5718) (the “Law”) explicitly regulates the terms and conditions in this respect. Read more...

Hungary: Competition Authority Fines Retailer Auchan an Unprecedented 1 billion forints

April 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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On 23 March 2015, the Hungarian Competition Authority ("Competition Authority") imposed a fine of over 1 billion Hungarian forints (HUF 1,061,300,000, corresponding to more than EUR 3.5 million) on the retailer Auchan on the basis of the Hungarian Trade Act for abusing its significant market power. This marks the highest fine ever imposed in the sector by the Competition Authority in Hungary. read more...

Croatia: Agency continues resale price maintenance battle in food and retail sectors

February 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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On November 10 2014 the Competition Agency announced that it had concluded another proceeding dealing with resale price maintenance, as prohibited under Article 8 of the Competition Act[1], which mirrors Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. read more...

CZ: Czech Competition Authority is not authorised to enter business premises without a warrant

November 2014 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The European Court of Human Rights ("ECHR") recently acknowledged a complaint by Delta Bakery (the "judgment") and confirmed that the Czech Competition Authority (Úřad pro ochranu hospodářskĂ© soutěže, "CCA") violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights ("Convention") when entering the Delta Bakery premises without first obtaining a warrant. read more...

Austria: Judgment sheds light on joint ventures under the country’s merger control*

October 2014 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Austrian merger control continues to capture non-full-function joint ventures. Joint ventures covered by merger control are sheltered against parallel assessment under the Austrian rules against anticompetitive agreements (no dual control). read more...

AT/EU: New Sanctions Regime against Russia

August 2014 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The European Union has recently agreed to an additional, higher level of sanctions against Russia. The new packages include (i) severe restrictions on doing business in Crimea or Sevastopol, (ii) a significant expansion of the list of designated persons and entities (see our newsletter of 28 March 2014), and most importantly (iii) severe limitations on the ability of Russian state banks to access (capital markets) financing, embargoes on weapons sales (including dual-use goods), as well as prior authorization requirements for the transfer of sophisticated oil drilling technology. pdf read more

Austria: Recent Supreme Court ruling leaves many questions re. 'hidden contributions in kind' open

June 2014 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In a recent decision, the Austrian Supreme Court considered the validity of the payment of a cash consideration to a public limited-liability company in the course of an increase of its stated capital (decision dated 25 March 2014, file no. 9 Ob 68/13k). As a consequence of the current Austrian jurisprudence on this matter, any and all business transactions that occur in a substantive and temporal connection with a formal increase of the stated capital - including debt-equity swaps - must be made under the disclosure and examination rules for contributions in kind. read more... 

Romania: New perspective on dawn raids and leniency following criminal legislation amendments

April 2014 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The entry into force in Romania on 1 February 2014 of the new criminal codes implementing laws - i.e. Law no. 187/2012 and Law no. 255/2013, respectively - brought important changes to certain non-criminal laws such as Competition Law no. 21/1996 republished, as further amended and supplemented ("Competition Law"). 

Czech Republic: Last chance to apply for more favourable investment incentives

January 2014 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In January and February 2014, companies considering investments in the Czech Republic will have a last opportunity to apply for investment incentives under a more favourable regime that allows for a ceiling of regional investment aid for large companies of up to 40%. New guidelines, issued by the European Commission and applicable to national regional aids, will come into force on 1 July 2014 and will lower that ceiling to 25%. In addition, the new guidelines will also come with a higher administrative burden placed on applicants for investment incentives, and with stricter rules for their granting. read more...

Croatia: Defining public authorities' role in market price negotiations

November 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In one of the last sessions convened before the expiry of three Competition Council members' mandates, the Competition Agency terminated the proceedings against undertakings operating in the dairy products market on the grounds that there were no longer any legal grounds for further conduct. read more...

Hungary: Changes to Competition Act on the horizon

October 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The Hungarian competition act currently deviates from the EU competition law regime in several noteworthy aspects. However, Hungary is about to take a further step to bring its rules in line with EU rules.

Amendments to the Competition Act - Update part II

September 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The Amendments to Croatia's Competition Act that entered into force at the beginning of July 2013 ("Amendments") inter alia aim at removing the procedural loopholes that had been observed over the past few years (see our legal insight of 27 August 2013 on the changes to the Croatian merger control regime). Some of these amendments significantly influence the procedural rights of undertakings. read more...

Croatia: Amendments to the Competition Act

August 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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At the beginning of July 2013, the Republic of Croatia acceded to the European Union and thereby completed its two-decade long endeavours to attain EU Membership. 

Hungary: Easing administrative burden on companies filing for merger clearance?

July 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The Hungarian Competition Authority ("GVH") has amended the documents - including the merger filing form - related to merger control proceedings, with the declared aim of further decreasing the administrative burdens placed on market players. Read more...

Client Alert: Amendments to Austrian Competition Law

February 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In December 2012, the Austrian Parliament adopted changes to the Austrian Cartel Act as well as the Austrian Competition Act that will enter into force as of 1 March 2013 (Austrian Cartel and Competition Law Amendment Act; KaWeRĂ„G 2012). Although the Amendment does not lead to a major overhaul of the current system, several changes are noteworthy: 

CEE: The Corruption Perception Index 2012

January 2013 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Transparency International ("TI") released its Corruption Perception Index 2012 ("CPI 2012") earlier today. The Corruption Perception Index ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. The index, which reflects the views of observers from around the world, offers a yearly snapshot of the problem of corruption by ranking countries from all over the globe. The index covers issues such as free access to information, bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, and the enforcement of anti-corruption laws. The CPI 2012which is available at: http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/ ranks 176 countries.

AT: Act on Presentation of Energy Performance Certificates

November 2012 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Based on the new EU directive on the energy performance of buildings, the Austrian legislator revised the Act on the Presentation of Energy Performance Certificates ("Energieausweis-Vorlage-Gesetz", BGBl I 27/2012); the new act will come into force on 1 December 2012.

EU: Commission proposes new ECB powers for...

September 2012 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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banking supervision as part of planned European banking union

On 12 September 2012, the European Commission ("EC") published its proposal for a single supervisory mechanism ("SSM") which covers the granting of far reaching supervisory powers to the European Central Bank ("ECB") over the Eurozone credit institutions starting 1 January 2013.

EU: Industrial site contaminations likely to be-come more transparent in...

September 2012 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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M&A transactions in near future

As of 7 January 2013, certain industries will become subject to more stringent envi-ronmental investigation and reporting obligations. From that date, the operators of those industrial installations that are subject to the IPPC/IED regime will have to draw up so-called "baseline reports" comprising site-related soil and groundwater information. Drawing-up that report will go hand in hand with investigating the en-vironmental state of the industrial sites concerned. Any contaminations will become transparent to national authorities and supervisory bodies. This possibility should be duly considered in M&A transactions.

EU: ECJ rules on cross-border conversions

August 2012 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In a series of landmark cases, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has shaped European company law by exploring the scope of the freedom of establishment with regard to companies. In its latest decision, VALE (Case C-378/10), issued on 12 July 2012, the ECJ had to rule on the possibility of so-called cross-border conversions.

The Handbook of Competition Enforcement Agencies 2011

January 2012 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Wolf Theiss.

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Neli Nedkova and Dessislava Iordanova - Wolf Theiss

In 2010 the activity of the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the Commission) showed a trend of increasing focus on compliance shifting slightly from the antitrust area. Proceedings that have started and the most recent decisions show that this trend is likely to continue in 2011.

Slovakia: New regime for merger control regulation in Slovakia

November 2011 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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In July 2011, the Slovak Competition Authority (“SCA”) launched a public consultation concerning changes in the Slovak merger control regime. The law amending the merger regime was adopted on 19 October 2011 and will be in force as of 1 January 2012.

Country Reports

September 2011 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Serbia
SERBIA POWERS UP: NEW ENERGY ACT ADOPTED
Hungary
THE NEW HUNGARIAN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT ACT
Poland
POTENTIAL PRACTICAL PROBLEMS WITH TRANSFERRING ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS IN CASE OF ACQUISITIONS AND RESTRUCTURINGS

New Regulations Governing Fining and Leniency Policy

February 2011 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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New Regulations Governing Fining and Leniency Policy Bring Serbia’s Competition Law Regime Closer to EU Standards

Identifying and Mitigating Anti-corruption and Anti-trust Compliance Risks

February 2011 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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Multi-digit Euro fines for anti-competitive behaviour and continued press coverage of bribes have moved compliance programmes ever more into the focus of attention. They shall help prevent impermissible behaviour, but how to organise a compliance pro-gramme?

Council of the European Union adopts amendments to Prospectus Directive

October 2010 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Schönherr.

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The amendments to the Prospectus Directive aim to address deficiencies in the existing le-gal framework relating to securities prospectuses with a view of improving legal clarity and reducing burdens for issuers and intermediaries, while at the same time enhancing investor protection.

The revised UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

October 2010 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Wolf Theiss.

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On 25 June 2010, the United NationsCommission on International Trade Law(UNCITRAL) adopted its revised arbitrationrules (the UNCITRAL Rules).1 The newrules replace the successful UNCITRALArbitration Rules adopted in 1976 (the1976 Rules).2 The revision was not intendedto change the structure, the spirit or thedrafting style of the 1976 Rules, and shouldmaintain the flexibility that contributed totheir success in the past.3 

Procedural aspects of customs seizures of counterfeit goods in Austria, Romania and Slovenia

October 2010 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Wolf Theiss.

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THE WAR WAGED BY INTELLECTUALproperty (IP) rights holders in the EU againstinfringement by shipments of goods hasrecently become more intense. These rightsmainly relate to trade marks, design andcopyright, and IP rights holders pursue theirclaims through the customs authoritiesof EU member states.  

Carrying out cross-border mergers in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe

October 2010 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Wolf Theiss.

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AFTER ADVISING A CLIENT ON MERGING Agroup of companies across a number ofcountries, we realised there was a need fora fi rm-wide eff ort to research and compilea guide on how to successfully carry outmulti-jurisdictional mergers. The projectfocused on the 12 countries in central,eastern and south-eastern Europe whereWolf Theiss has offi ces. The eff ort resultedin the publication last autumn of Cross-Border Mergers in CEE/SEE – Practioner’sGuide (LexisNexis 2009). 

Competition law developments in CEE and SEE countries

October 2010 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Wolf Theiss.

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LAST YEAR SAW AN INCREASE IN LEGISLATIVEactivities concerning competition law inseveral central and eastern European (CEE)and south-east European (SEE) countries.The non-EU member countries in the regioncontinue to harmonise their competitionlaw regimes with international standardsapplicable in most jurisdictions in the EU.This should facilitate the competition lawassessment for undertakings active innumerous jurisdictions across Europe. 

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