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The European Commission’s Article 22 Policy: A New EU Approach to Non-Notifiable Deals

On 26 March, the Commission published a communication on Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation, setting out new guidance on how it will handle transactions that would usually evade merger control review as they fell below the turnover-based jurisdictional thresholds. The changes aim at encouraging EU Member States to refer more transactions to the Commission even where the transactions do not meet the national merger control thresholds. This could expand EU jurisdiction over transactions involving start-ups, nascent competitors and innovative companies, such as in digital, pharmaceutical and biotechnology. The new policy is likely to result in non-notifiable transactions being notified voluntarily to the Commission or national competition authorities of the Member States. The communication also states that the Commission may investigate transactions which have completed, a risk which will need to be assessed and addressed in transaction agreements.

Crafting a solution to Schrems II: Is a permanent fix possible?

On July 16, the EU’s highest court once again delivered a bombshell data protection ruling by annulling the EU-US Privacy Shield. The Schrems II decision has many US companies—including big tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft—trying to figure out what’s next. In this webinar, MLex journalists, Mike Swift and Matthew Newman, give an update on the situation and moderate a discussion with an expert panel of regulators and industry thought leaders from the US and EU about the fallout from the court’s ruling and the mitigating factors that may influence how to resolve this vexing issue.

The Rise of the US Data Privacy Issues in Covid-19 World

Data privacy issues are being amplified in the US—a country where coronavirus has hit the hardest and there is now a glaring gap of federal data privacy and protection laws. The California Consumer Protection Act, or CCPA, went into effect January 1 and is set to start being enforced this summer. However, COVID-19 could change the path of what many were expecting from this new law and potentially the future of data privacy laws across the country.

The Asian Response to Data Privacy Issues in a Covid-19 World

Asia was the first region in the world to experience the outbreak of Covid-19, which happened at a time when many countries in the region were already working on substantial revisions to laws dealing with technology-related data-privacy concerns. The crisis put into stark relief the trade-offs between the risks to privacy and the risks to public health of using, or not using, technology in such public-health emergencies.  The reactions of governments and the public to the use of technologies such as contact-tracing applications have been varied. South Korea and Australia provide case studies highlighting the challenges regulators face, especially as privacy issues have emerged in recent years as the subject of major policy developments in the US and Europe.

European Privacy Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Covid-19 has raised privacy questions around the world but nowhere more so than the EU, which has the world’s strictest data-protection regime. Regulators are scrambling to invoke exemptions to the General Data Protection Regulation, while governments are desperate to roll out new contact-tracing apps, among other measures, to support the lifting of their lockdowns. But those apps also show why they can’t ignore privacy concerns, as they will need buy-in from a majority of citizens if they are to be effective.