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- The EU pushes for new competition law instruments with far-reaching consequences for the digital sector
On June 2, 2020, the European Commission (“EC”) launched two parallel public consultations that could mark a turning point in the ongoing battle against ‘Big Tech’ in Europe: The first consultation concerns the introduction of a regulatory framework to tackle the market power of large digital platforms acting as “gatekeepers”, which would be included in the Digital Services Act (“DSA”).
- The Use of Insurance to Manage the Risk of Investment Screening
The present note summarizes part of a broader study on investment screening insurance: Teoman Hagemeyer and Jens Hillebrand Pohl, “Managing the Risk of Self-Judging Security Exceptions Through Insurance: How Recent M&A Practice Copes with Investment Screening” (currently under peer-review).
- MDCG guidance for consultations of authorities on devices incorporating a medicinal product
On 10 June 2020, the MDCG issued guidance MDCG 2020-12 on the transitional provisions concerning the consultation of authorities regarding devices incorporating a substance.....
- Advocating in a Time of Crisis: Navigating the Brussels Bubble as Coronavirus Grips Europe
A new European Commission and Parliament is a difficult enough challenge at the best of times. Throw in a global pandemic and it could seem daunting. Advocating to protect your policy interests may not seem an urgent priority at a time of crisis, but it still matters. As the political and business communities continue to focus on managing public concerns and the immediate implications of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the day-to-day advocacy programme continues, albeit under very different circumstances. So, how is Brussels adapting to these extraordinary times. What should you be prioritising? Please see full Publication below for more information.
- EU intervenes to protect competition in the European Single Market from foreign subsidies
On June 17, 2020, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted a White Paper aimed at dealing with the distorting effects from foreign subsidies in the EU Single Market (see the EC’s press release announcing the White Paper). This latest initiative by the EC is part of its new Industrial Strategy for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe announced earlier in March (see the EC’s press release of March 10, 2020, introducing the new Industrial Strategy).
- Processing personal data for a "legitimate purpose"
Article 6 of the GDPR provides a list of legal grounds on which companies can rely for the lawful processing of personal data, among which are explicit consent and legitimate interest. In accordance with preamble 47 of the GDPR, direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest and this legal ground is often used in this respect.
- Competition Authority Merger Filing Status During COVID-19 (UPDATED)
As governments around the world work to stem the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, merger control authorities in jurisdictions around the globe are adapting their operations and procedures. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Belgian DPA Issues Guidance on Temperature Measurements in the Context of COVID-19
In the context of their return-to-work policies companies are seeking solutions to detect individuals with fever at the entrance of their premises with the aim of preventing further contamination within the buildings.
- Abuse by non-dominant companies? Belgian rules prohibiting "abuses of economic dependence" now enforceable
As of 1 June 2020, a new form of competition law infringement will be enforceable in Belgium*in addition to the prohibitions on anti-competitive agreements and abuses of a dominant position. The new Article IV.2/1 of the Belgian Competition Act (CA), applicable in the B2B context only, now prohibits companies from abusing a non-dominant position vis-à-vis companies that are "economically dependent" on them. While this kind of competition law infringement does not exist at EU level, similar provisions can be found in other EU member states and have been more regularly enforced in recent years (e.g., recently in France resulting in fines of over €1 billion). Please see full Publication below for more information
- The AFMPS issues third version of the Alternative Test Protocol for surgical face masks
On 3 June 2020, the AFMPS issued the third version of the Agency’s alternative test protocol (ATP) for surgical face masks. The alternative test protocol was initially published on 14 April 2020, and allowed masks that had not undergone a conformity assessment procedure in accordance with applicable standards to be placed on the Belgian market.
- Class Actions Now Available in Belgium
Belgium has joined the ranks of other European countries that allow for the possibility to file a collective claim, more commonly known as a class action. There is clearly a global trend in favor of class actions and Belgium is no exception, testing the waters by enacting legislation that provides...
- Registration Open for “Nano in Belgium” Workshop
The Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, the FPS Employment, Labor and Social Dialogue, and the FPS Economy, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), Self-Employed and Energy will hold a workshop on “Nano in Belgium” on October 22, 2015. The workshop will focus...
- Facebook Wins Appeal Over Storing Non-User Data in Belgian Court
The Belgian data protection authority has lost its legal battle with Facebook over whether the social network could track the online activities of non-Facebook users in Belgium who visit Facebook pages....
- Belgium Adopts Law Enacting EU Directive on Private Antitrust Damages
On June 6, 2017, Belgium adopted legislation ("Law") transposing the EU directive on private antitrust damages (Directive 2014/104, ("Directive")). The Law became applicable on June 22, 2017, and is expected to boost private competition law enforcement in Belgium and should...
- New Legislation for Local Staff of Diplomatic and Consular Missions in Belgium: New Rules, More Uncertainty
As of 15 February 2018, a multitude of new rules apply to local staff of embassies and diplomatic missions in Belgium. This change does not impact the staff of international organizations, contrary to what trade unions are stating. For diplomatic missions, taking appropriate action to implement...
- Reform of the criminal liability regime applicable to legal persons
The law of 11 July 2018 recently modified the Criminal Code and the preliminary section of the Code of Criminal Procedure (article 5) with regard to the criminal liability of legal persons (the "Law"). The Law drastically reforms and broadens the scope of criminal liability of legal...
- Recent developments in Belgium regarding production and research into cannabis products
Following the change of mind that is taking place in many jurisdictions around the world, Belgium is gradually taking steps relating to the production and research into cannabis products for medicinal purposes. As such, two recent parallel evolutions are noteworthy....
- The Energy Performance Contract: a sustainable investment to fast track energy efficiency?
An ambitious target of energy consumption - As part of the clean energy for all Europeans’ package, Directive 2018/2002 of 11 December 2018 on Energy Efficiency contains an ambitious target of at least a 32.5% reduction in energy consumption by 2030....
- Reform of the Belgian Civil Code
The new Belgian Civil Code (the Book on Goods) has just been approved by parliament, which will affect the Real Estate sector. On 30 January 2020, the Belgian parliament adopted an important piece of legislation that will significantly affect the Real Estate sector....
- Competition Authority Merger Filing Status During COVID-19
As governments around the world work to stem the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, merger control authorities in jurisdictions around the globe are adapting their operations and procedures....