The "Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains" (Gesetz über die unternehmerischen Sorgfaltsverpflichtungen in Lieferketten; hereafter "Supply Chain Due Dili-gence Act") entered into force in Germany on 1 January 2023.
On 19 October 2022, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 on a Single Market for Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital Services Act) (the “DSA”). The DSA sets out the harmonized legal framework for the EU internal digital services market in order to safeguard it from negative effects caused by national laws that impose different local requirements for providers of intermediary services.
Recently, a bill was introduced in Luxembourg's parliament seeking to set up a national screening mechanism for foreign direct investment in Luxembourg.
In September last year, the Austrian legislator in-corporated a sustainability exemption into Austrian competition law ("Sustainability Exemption"). This was unprecedented given that, so far, the competi-tion authorities in the Netherlands and Greece had only issued vision documents, discussion papers and guidelines on the components of cooperation to increase sustainability between competitors.
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“CPC”) recently announced the opening of an investigation into the national e-commerce market for consumer goods and services. The sector inquiry comes as no surprise given the increased dynamics and the rapid growth of consumer e-commerce during the pandemic coupled with certain competition law infringements which were identified and sanctioned by the CPC in recent proceedings.
This article deals with the amendment (the "Amendment") of Act No. 143/2001 Coll., on the Protection of Competition (the "Competition Act"), which is currently being discussed by the Government of the Czech Republic, and is expected to come into force in January 2023. The Amendment's main objectives are:
a) the transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (the "ECN+ Directive"); and
b) the introduction of various other changes to Czech competition legislation, such as the extension of leniency programmes to vertical agreements, the clarification of terminology regarding the settlement process, the possibility of the Czech Competition Office (the "Office") to propose commitments in favour of preserving competition, and joint and several liability of competitors forming a single competitor for offences.
On 10 May 2022, the European Commission ended a four-year review and consultation period with the adoption of the revised Vertical Block Exemption Regulation ("VBER") and Guidelines on Vertical Restraints ("VGL") . The new VBER and VGL will enter into force on 1 June 2022 and should remain in force for the next twelve years. Contracts already in force on 31 May 2022 will need to be brought into line with the new rules within a transitional period of one year. The VBER serves as important guidance for companies when performing self-assessment under Article 101(3) TFEU. It is directly applicable and provides meaningful safe harbours, since it creates a rebuttable presumption that the agree-ments are in compliance with the conditions laid down in Article 101(3) TFEU.