What are the hot topics for the future of distribution in the European Union?
The European Commission (EC) has published stakeholders’ contributions to the consultation on the review of Regulation 330/2010 (better known as the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation or VBER) and its accompanying guidelines (the Vertical Guidelines). The publication of stakeholder contributions is a significant step in the ongoing review, as it provides an overview of the topics that will be at the heart of the debate on the review of the VBER and, more broadly, on the future of distribution in the European Union (EU). Unsurprisingly, the top three topics covered in the contributions relate to the level of control that manufacturers can exert over their distribution networks via online sales restraints, selective distribution and resale price maintenance (RPM). In this note, we take a closer look at the stakeholders’ contributions, as well as their implications for the review of the VBER and the Vertical Guidelines.
Read more here, here and here
Webinar: Dentons’ EU Vertical Restraints Webinar Series
We are pleased to invite you to join us on October 24, 2019 in the second instalment of the EU Vertical Restraints Webinar series where our speakers, Yves Botteman and Jean-Nicolas Maillard (Belgium), Josef Hainz (Germany), Marc Kuijper (the Netherlands), Agnieszka Stefanowicz-Barańska (Poland), from across the Dentons network address one of the most heavily prosecuted vertical conduct in Europe: resale price maintenance. (Part 1) – State-of-play of enforcement and policy within Europe: Aligned or diverging positions? Why join? Read more here.
Click here to register.
Tip of the month by Nextlaw Inhouse
You may have heard about the recent arrests of compliance officers. To put these matters in proper context, the allegations were quite specific about the individuals’ alleged personal involvement in the investigated conduct itself. In a major civil or criminal compliance investigation, many people are potentially at personal risk (officers, directors, and management) and the arrest of two compliance officers while significant cannot be called a “trend.” But it does highlight the significant personal risk that can accompany corporate misconduct.
Tip: Aside from the obvious advice of telling people not to break the law, destroy documents, or lie to or mislead regulators, it is critical to have clear policies and procedures (that are consistently followed) penalizing civil and criminal wrongdoing, incentivizing reporting, and protecting whistleblowers.
Sanctions law implications for virtual and digital currencies
With the increased use of sanctions as a foreign policy tool by western states, individuals and entities carrying out transactions with virtual and digital currency, especially virtual and digital currency service providers, should be aware of their sanctions obligations. Increasingly, sanctioned individuals, entities and countries are attempting to use such currencies to bypass the global financial system, through which sanctions are imposed.
Despite increased scrutiny from regulators, the use of cryptocurrency to evade sanctions remains difficult to detect. Given its decentralized nature, limited requirements of digital keys to process transactions, and frequently concealed identities. Those who transact in such currency, or facilitate transactions, risk inadvertently dealing with a designated person and assisting prohibited activities in breach of their obligations under sanctions law.
Argentina prepares for their new personal data law with Resolution No. 4/2019
On January 2019, the Argentine Data Protection Agency (DPA) issued Resolution No. 4/2019, Guidelines and Best Practices, regarding the application of the Argentinian Data Protection Law No. 25,326. The Resolution aims to unify the criteria of the DPA and to smooth the way for the implementation of the New Data Protection Law, which is currently being reviewed by Congress. Where does the significance of this new law lie? This new bill is aligned with the principles and regulations introduced by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).Other countries such as Chile and Colombia have also been reviewing their own data protection laws and submitting draft bills to Congress in order to align their regulations with the GDPR. In 2018, Brazil, which previously lacked a specific law to regulate data protection issues, approved its General Data Protection Act, also in line with GDPR provisions.
New judgment on cookies
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled on a 2013 cookies dispute. According to the facts analyzed by the Court, Planet49 included a checkbox ticked by default on their website for a promotional lottery, with the intention to use these cookies as part of an advertising network for behavioral advertising purposes in relation to direct marketing. The CJEU concluded that a pre-ticked checkbox does not constitute valid consent. It also decided that the party dropping the cookies should include information on the duration of the cookies, and whether or not third parties may have access to them.
Please see the complete text of the judgment here
Costa Rica introduces a corporate criminal liability law
Costa Rica recently became the latest country in Latin America to introduce a corporate criminal liability law, following the example of countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and most recently Peru. The law enforces criminal liability against legal entities (public or private) that are registered and domiciled in Costa Rica, and also foreign companies that have agencies, subsidiaries or branches or that carry out business in Costa Rica. It applies to criminal offenses committed by an organization’s employees or representatives, who are involved in corruption issues or domestic and transnational bribery, regardless of the value.
Compliance Management Systems (CMS)
Updating your compliance management system in line with the EU Whistleblower Directive
Now that the new EU Whistleblower Directive has been formally adopted, member states have two years to transpose the new rules into their national law, and organizations have two years to update their compliance management system and whistleblower policy.
The main takeaways are:
- Companies of over 50 employees or municipalities of more than 10 000 inhabitants have an obligation to create effective and efficient reporting channels.
- Whistleblowers are encouraged to use internal channels within their organization first, before turning to external channels which public authorities are obliged to set up.
- Persons protected include those with a range of profiles e.g. employees, including civil servants at national/local level, volunteers and trainees, non-executive members, shareholders, etc.
- The new rules have a wide scope, covering areas such as public procurement, financial services, prevention of money laundering, public health, etc.
- The rules introduce safeguards to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, such as being suspended, demoted and intimidated.
- The rules create an obligation to respond and follow-up to the whistleblowers’ reports within three months.
To find out more, please attend Dentons’ webinar on October 29, 2019