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Category Archives: EU and Competition

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German Federal Court: Property Sellers Who Withhold Usage History Risk Liability

FCJ decision finds that mere suspicion of contamination resulting from a sold property’s past use constitutes a defect. By Patrick Braasch and Christian Thiele The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) has ruled that an abstract suspicion of contamination resulting from a sold property’s past use already constitutes a material defect — irrespective of the … Continue Reading

Real Estate Transfer Tax: Putting an End to Share Deals?

The Conference of the German Ministers of Finance has announced measures against so-called share deal structures following the conclusion of the respective technical federal-state working group. By Tobias Klass Background So-called share deal structures have been the focus of German political debate about real estate transfer tax (RETT) for some time. The coalition agreement already … Continue Reading

New UK Government Powers Over Smaller Transactions Raising National Security Concerns

Buyers of businesses that produce military or dual-use goods, certain aspects of computing hardware, or quantum technology for supply in the UK should carefully assess the risk of governmental intervention if their targets fall within the scope of the new regime. By Jonathan D. Parker and Calum M. Warren On 11 June 2018, the UK … Continue Reading

Cartelised Products: In or Out of EEA? Only a Trial Will Tell

England may become an increasingly attractive forum for follow on damages claims, particularly those involving indirect cartelised product purchases initially acquired outside EEA the in wake of iiyama decisions. By Oliver E. Browne and Hayley M. Pizzey Summary The English Court of Appeal has held iiyama’s two claims against cathode ray tube (CRT) cartelists and … Continue Reading

English Court of Appeal Re-Affirms Pro-Enforcement Stance Toward Foreign Arbitral Awards

Decision encourages a deferential approach to enforcing foreign awards in England and confirms narrow interpretation of the public policy exception under the New York Convention. By Oliver E. Browne and Samuel Pape The English Court of Appeal has confirmed the enforcement of a China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) award rendered in Beijing, … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrencies and Prepaid Cards Face Closer AML Regulation in the EU

New EU anti-money laundering measures have been approved by European legislators. By Stuart Davis and Charlotte Collins The European Parliament and Council have finally signed off on the text of the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (known as MLD5). Overview The new directive is of particular interest to the FinTech sector as, amongst other things, MLD5 … Continue Reading

UK Ratifies the Unified Patent Court Agreement

Patent holders must prepare a patent strategy before the Unified Patent Court system takes effect. By Deborah J. Kirk On 26 April 2018, the UK government confirmed that the UK has now ratified the international agreement (the Agreement) to set up a Unified Patent Court for Europe (the UPC). Whilst the government promised this move … Continue Reading

Leaving Germany? Cross-Border Migration of German Real Estate Companies

Cross-border migration of German real estate companies is generally possible, however its admissibility must be determined on a case-by-case basis. By Christian Thiele International real estate investors continue to favour German real estate, however, the same does not always apply to German real estate companies. International real estate investors, for instance, often find German capital … Continue Reading

First Use of ESMA Temporary Product Intervention Measures

ESMA to introduce measures to restrict the provision of CFDs, and prohibit the provision of binary options, to retail investors in the EU. By Nicola Higgs and Charlotte Collins The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced the first use of its new product intervention powers under MiFID II. ESMA had announced before MiFID … Continue Reading

CAT Rules on Disclosure in Peugeot S.A. and others v NSK Ltd and others

The CAT’s specific disclosure ruling addresses the use of licensing to support anticompetitive behaviour. By John D. Colahan and Calum M. Warren On 2 March 2018, the Chairman of the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) granted an application for further specific disclosure in Peugeot S.A. and others v NSK Ltd and others. The disclosure relates … Continue Reading

CJEU Offers Improved Protection for Luxury Goods in Coty Ruling

By Jonathan Parker and Calum Warren Summary The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has handed down its much-anticipated judgment in Case C-230/16 Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente GmbH (Coty). The case concerns the legality of a prohibition of sales on third-party platforms discernible to the public within Coty Germany’s selective distribution … Continue Reading

Payments Innovation and Competition in Retail Banking Services Stay High on FCA Agenda for 2018

By Stuart Davis and Brett Carr Driven by payments innovation and new regulation, 2018 is cited as the year for some of the most significant changes retail banking has seen. At the Westminster Business Forum for Digital Payments, Adoption, Innovation and Policy Priorities, Graeme McLean (Head of Banking, Lending & Distribution at the FCA) appraised … Continue Reading

CMA Imposes Fixed Penalty on Hungryhouse for Failure to Comply With Information Request

By Jonathan Parker and Anuj Ghai Summary The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has imposed a £20,000 fixed penalty on Hungryhouse Holdings Limited (Hungryhouse). The CMA imposed the penalty under Section 110 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA02) for failure to comply, without reasonable excuse, with a requirement the CMA issued in a notice pursuant to section … Continue Reading

Unified Patent Court Update: Ratification Could Take Place in the Coming Months

By Deborah Kirk The Delegated Legislation Committee’s (DLC) support for the Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017 (the Order) suggests a swift approval of the Order by the House of Commons. Presuming a rapid approval by the House of Lords thereafter, this could mean the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPC Agreement) is ratified … Continue Reading

ESMA Provides Further Clarity on Initial Coin Offerings in Europe

By James Inness and Stuart Davis Following our 7 November 2017 blog “Europe as a Hub for Initial Coin Offerings”, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published two statements on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The statements underline ESMA’s interest in ICOs as a means to raise capital for enterprises, particularly given their rapid … Continue Reading

Pharma and Biotech: Key Trends and Legal Risks

By Hanna Roos, Oliver Browne and Robbie McLaren How to thrive amid uncertainty? This was the question we explored at the 35th FT Global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Conference. Here are five key industry trends and corresponding practical legal tips to help companies stay protected and seize opportunities. “Access”, Not “Excess” The industry is facing pressure on … Continue Reading

Europe as a Hub for Initial Coin Offerings?

By James Inness and Stuart Davis Initial coin offerings (ICOs) involve issuers offering virtual coins or tokens that are created and disseminated using blockchain or distributed ledger technology. Virtual coins resemble cash in a number of ways but may also afford holders additional rights, such as the ability to access the platform or software, or participate … Continue Reading

3 Changes to the EU Trade Mark Regime: What Applicants Need to Know

By Deborah Kirk Changes to the Regulation on the EU Trade Mark came into effect on 1 October, 2017 that alter the process of registering trade marks. These changes aim to harmonize trade mark practices across the European Union while increasing legal certainty and clarity for trade mark applicants. In particular, applicants should note three … Continue Reading

New EU-Certification Mark Added to IP Armory

By Deborah Kirk European Union (EU) trademark law is currently undergoing significant reform, with the most recent change of particular relevance to certification mark holders or to those interested in applying for certification marks. The EU-certification mark, introduced on 1 October 2017, widens the categories of trade mark protections that are available at the EU-level. … Continue Reading

How Will Court of Appeal Decision in Sabbagh v Khoury and others Affect Future Article 6(1) Cases?

By Oliver Browne and Daniel Harrison The Brussels Regulation provides for an exception to the general rule that a claimant must sue a defendant in the EU Member State where the defendant is domiciled. The exception allows a claimant to sue a defendant where a co-defendant (the “anchor” defendant) is domiciled instead, if the claims … Continue Reading

New German Foreign Investment Rules Threaten Deal Timetables

By Jana K. Dammann de Chapto and Joachim Grittmann The German government has tightened the rules for its review proceedings for M&A involving non-EU investors, with changes to its German Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung) that significantly increase foreign investment oversight. The new rules, which came into force on 18 July 2017, introduce a … Continue Reading

CMA Updates its Penalties Guidance for UK and EU Competition Law Infringements

By Jonathan Parker and Calum Warren On 2 August 2017, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a consultation on proposals to amend the Office of Fair Trading’s 2012 guidance as to the appropriate amount of a penalty for infringements of the prohibitions against anti-competitive agreements and an abuse of a dominant position contained … Continue Reading

What Will the New EU Prospectus Regulation Mean for Issuers?

By James Inness A new prospectus regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/1129) (the Regulation) will come into direct effect on 20 July 2017, with a small number of provisions applying immediately and the remainder applying from 21 July 2019. The changes under the Regulation will likely be relevant to issuers both before and after Brexit. Which Provisions … Continue Reading

New EC Guidelines to Improve Non-Financial Information Reporting

By Paul Davies, Michael Green and Ei Nge Htut On 26 June 2017, the European Commission (the EC) published non-binding guidelines on the methodology for reporting non-financial information by certain large companies and groups (the Guidelines) as required by Article 2 of the Directive 2014/95/EU amending the Accounting Directive on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity … Continue Reading
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