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Comment by Jonathan Branton, Head of EU and Competition at DWF.
The European Commission has announced it is extending seven State aid Regulations and guidelines which would otherwise have expired on 31 December 2020. The exemptions, which include the commonly used General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) and De Minimis will now expire on 31 December 2022. The Commission has also opened a consultation exercise on whether to further prolong or refine the rules after 2022.
Recent developments on “Gun Jumping”
A new UK merger control regime affecting transactions with implications for national security comes into force on 11 June 2018. It will result in many smaller deals than previously becoming subject to the risk of investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS).
There remains no guarantee that, from the intended Brexit day of 30 March 2019, the current tariff-free movement of goods between the two territories will not cease. Various models for future relationships are in debate, but the UK is currently ruling out the simplest (and least change) model of remaining in a customs union with the EU.
The Court of Appeal has concluded that software supplied electronically and not on any tangible medium did not constitute "goods" within the meaning of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.
On 6 March 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") rendered an important judgement in case C-284/16, Slovak Republic v. Achmea. The CJEU declared invalid the investor-State dispute settlement ("ISDS") arbitration clause in the bilateral investment treaty between the Netherlands and Slovakia ("intra-EU BIT").
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)'s terms of reference for its wholesale insurance broker market study, published in November 2017, are clear on possible conduct by brokers which the FCA may intervene to regulate. They are much less clear on the dynamics of the market and why intervention should be the favoured route.
The article informs on the outcome concerning the lawsuits for EU Commissions`s failure to act concerning the evaluation of about 2,000 botanical health claim applications since 2010. The current regulatory limbo for food manufacturers concerning the on-hold claims continues.