• International Updates

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    February 2017 - News Update EU State Aid Special

    In 2011, the Greek company OPAP was granted an exclusive license to operate 35.000 Video Lottery Terminals ("VLT Agreement") in Greece. Several companies filed a complaint with the Commission in which they submitted that the grant involved incompatible state aid. In 2012, the Commission concluded that the VLT Agreement was free of state aid. The complaining companies brought an action for annulment of the decision, which the General Court dismissed in 2013. Read more

    January 2017 - European Account Preservation Order Regulation entered into force

    Regulation (EU) No. 655/2015 regarding the preservation of bank accounts (European Account Preservation Order (EAPO)) entered into force on 18 January. This Regulation facilitates cross-border debt recovery. A preservation order is cross-border if a bank account is held in a Member State other than (i) the Member State of the court where the EAPO request has been submitted or (ii) the Member State where the creditor is domiciled. Read more

    January 2017 - News Update EU Vertical Agreements Special

    For a long time vertical agreements (i.e. agreements for the sale or purchase of goods/services between parties operating at different levels in the supply chain) have not been a priority in the enforcement of competition law by competition authorities (public enforcement). However, this has changed in the last couple of years, especially since the European Commission ("Commission") initiated a sector inquiry into e-commerce to identify possible anti-competitive practices in vertical relations in 2015. Read more

    January 2017 - Houthoff Buruma Partner Laura Parret inaugurated as Endowed Professor of State Aid in European Legal Order

    On December 6, 2016, Professor Laura Parret held her inaugural lecture titled: What, for whom and how? The role and identity of state aid rules, at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. In her lecture, Parret argues that the system of state aid rules is showing significant signs of crisis. Read more

    January 2017 - Entry into force of EU tax transparency rules

    As of January 1 2017, Member States are obliged to automatically exchange information on all new cross-border tax rulings that they issue. This is the result of Directive 2015/2376 regarding mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation. Aim is to ensure that where one Member State issues an advance tax ruling or transfer pricing arrangement, any other affected EU Member State can monitor the situation and the possible impact on its tax revenue. Read more

    January 2017 - Brexit relevant? EU competence in free trade agreements – AG Sharpston opinion

    On December 21 2016, AG Sharpston issued an opinion that is regarded as an important indicator with respect to trade agreements that will have to be entered into between the EU and the UK after a Brexit. The opinion related to the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Singapore (the ‘EUSFTA’), which was initiated in September 2013. Read more

    January 2017 - EU proposal on tougher privacy rules for telecom and internet services

    On January 10, 2017 the European Commission announced its proposal for a regulation to ensure stronger privacy in electronic communications, while opening up new business opportunities. The proposed measures aim to update current rules, and extending their scope to all electronic communication providers. They also aim to create new possibilities to process communication data and reinforce trust and security in the Digital Single Market. At the same time, the proposal aligns the rules for electronic communications with the new world-class standards of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Read more

    December 2016 - News Update EU December - State Aid Special

    On Tuesday 6 December 2016, Professor Laura Parret held her inaugural lecture as Endowed Professor of State Aid in European Legal Order at Utrecht University. The inaugural lecture is titled: ´What, for whom and how? The role and identity of state aid rules´. In her inaugural lecture, Parret argues that the system of state aid rules is showing significant signs of crisis. She refers to recent high-profile cases in which the European Commission has opposed favourable tax regimes for multinationals on the basis on the European state aid rules. Parret: "It is time for a debate about the role and identity of state aid rules. It is no longer appropriate for the European Commission to have such a monopoly position when it comes to determining whether state aid is permissible." Read more

    December 2016 - OECD finalized negotiations on the Multilateral Instrument (MLI)

    On November 24, 2016 the OECD finalized negotiations on the so-called Multilateral Instrument (MLI) that will implement tax treaty measures resulting from the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The measures are meant to reduce tax avoidance and treaty abuse by multinational organizations. More than 100 jurisdictions, including... Read more

    December 2016 - Dutch legislator aims for introduction of collective damages action in the Netherlands

    On November 16, 2016, the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice submitted a bill to the Dutch Parliament introducing collective claims for damages in the Netherlands. Currently, the available collective redress mechanisms under Dutch law are limited. The bill introduces the option for certain legal entities, a Dutch foundation (stichting) or association (vereniging) to collectively claim damages for an entire class. Read more