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An extensive amendment to the Labor Code currently under discussion in the Czech Parliament is scheduled to become effective on July 1, 2017, although the effective date might be postponed due to certain delays in the legislative process. 

CMS has advised Indian automotive components manufacturer Pricol Ltd. on its acquisition of PMP PAL International s.r.o., a Czech company which manufactures automotive windscreen wiper parts, from PMP Auto Components (part of the Ashok Piramal Group). The sellers were advised by India's DSK Legal.

The Czech Parliament recently passed a bill amending the country’s Pharmaceutical Act to restrict the exportation of pharmaceuticals from the Czech market that has, in the past, resulted in a shortage of some medicinal products within the country. The Czech pharmaceutical market is thus facing a substantial change once the amendment becomes effective on December 1, 2017.

The Deal:  On February 16, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that Glatzova & Co. had advised Denemo Media s.r.o. on its acquisition of a 50% shareholding in FTV Prima, with Allen & Overy advising Modern Times Group, the seller. Denemo Media is a Czech joint venture between Alphaduct, a.s. (with 75% ownership) and GES Media Asset, a.s. (with 25% ownership). Alphaduct, a.s. is owned by Czech businessman Vladimir Komar. GES Media Asset a.s. is part of the GES Group, which already owned 50% of FTV Prima Holding.

Legislators on both the European and Czech level have been active in adopting new regulations that influence several areas of the modern economy. Financial services, with consumer finance on one side and markets in financial instruments on the other, have been at the center of these efforts. Financial regulation is not, however, the only measure heavily affecting banks, investment firms, and FinTech companies by putting new compliance requirements in place. Another huge legal instrument – the General Data Protection Regulation adopted on the EU level in 2016 – imposes new requirements on all companies dealing with personal data.

Czech lawyers, not known for ebullience, are nonetheless finding it hard to keep the smiles off their faces. After a decade of disappointment and struggle, if the Managing Partners at Czech firms are to be believed, the last remnants of the global financial crisis have dissipated and business is booming. As spring rolls through Central Europe, the sunshine is both meteorological and metaphoric. Prague is basking in the warmth.

A friend of mine, who’s a partner in a Hungarian law firm, told me this week that those of us living in the Czech Republic are “lucky to have a domestic economy.” In making this comment, he was contrasting the Czech situation with Hungary’s relatively high dependence on foreign direct investment (FDI) and to a degree of stagnation affecting his country at the moment. 

As the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Payment Services in the Internal Market (PSDII) introduces a number of changes to existing Czech legislation, a completely new Payment Services Act regulating the provision of payment services will be adopted in the Czech Republic. PSDII should be implemented by January 13, 2018.

As consumers conduct an ever-increasing amount of their shopping and banking on-line, the digitalization revolution is having a significant effect on both industries, and payment service providers – companies offering online services allowing merchants to accept electronic payments by, among other forms, credit cards or bank-based payments such as direct debit, bank transfer, and real-time bank transfer based on online banking – are working with both merchants and banks to facilitate their operations.