Earlier this year, the EU Commission announced that it was placing a renewed focus on stamping out cartel behaviour in EU markets. Since then, the EU has introduced many measures and policies aimed at uncovering and punishing cartel behaviour. The EU had previously issued its biggest cartel fine to date totalling €2.9 billion against five truck manufacturers involved in a price-fixing cartel – MAN, Daimler, Volvo, Iveco and DAF; with Scania the only company not to agree a settlement, leading to their being hit now with a fine of €880 million after a five year investigation.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published draft GDPR guidance on contracts and liabilities between controllers and processors. The paper, which is currently open for consultation until 10 October, aims to provide practical guidance and explain the fundamental requirements that all contracts between controllers and processors must meet by 25 May 2018 in order to be GDPR compliant. The guidance also seeks to help organisations understand the new responsibilities and liabilities of processors.
On 22 June 2017, a new suite of NEC contracts – known as NEC4 – were made available. NEC3 is widely used in the construction industry, especially by UK public sector bodies, and NEC4 is likely to become similarly popular.
The General Data Protection Regulation will come into force throughout the EU, including the UK (despite Brexit) on 25th May 2018. The UK Government is busily preparing for its implementation. GDPR will bring about the greatest change to data protection law in thirty years. Below we have highlighted some of the main considerations for energy and natural resource companies and provided some guidance to aid GDPR compliance. There are only eight months until the GDPR takes effect and organisations should be acting now!
Care is always needed when making allegations of IP infringement in the UK. This is because unjustified threats may be actionable. The current law has been criticised for being overly complex and long standing reforms are about to take effect. The key provisions of the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017 come into force on 1 October 2017. The Act introduces much needed consistency into UK law by aligning the rules for patents, design rights and trade marks on the making of unjustified threats. It also introduces greater certainty for those alleging IP infringement.
Following a recent consultation, the Employment Tribunals of England, Wales and Scotland have issued a joint response confirming that they will be increasing the bands of compensation for injury to feelings awards in discrimination cases (sometimes referred to as the “Vento Guidelines”) from 11 September.
A rise in the number of people getting married or divorced in later life has led to concerns over the possibility of a corresponding rise in the number of pension benefits being paid to the wrong person. The issue has been highlighted by mutual insurer Royal London, which is concerned that people may not remember to update the named beneficiary on their pension policies when their marital status changes.
The Barclay Review, published on 22 August 2017, set out 30 recommendations to the Scottish Government for improving the business rates system. Rather than a complete overhaul, the proposals would result in modest changes to the current system which will affect ratepayers in different ways.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have issued a fine of £1.45 million to PING Europe Limited for breaching competition rules. The fine issued concerned agreements entered into with two UK retailers that prohibited online sales of PING golf clubs. The CMA, and the European Commission, have both made clear in recent months that they are taking an interest in how online sales are managed. This fine serves as a reminder to organisations that restrictions of this kind are a breach of competition law and could expose an organisation to a fine of up to 10% of global annual turnover.