The current backbone of the EU’s e-Commerce Directive was adopted 20 years ago. Since then, the landscape of the digital economy has changed significantly, as most online platforms in use today did not exist in 2000. As a result, many digital experts claim that competition enforcers have failed to tackle some of the specific challenges created by the new digital platforms.
Recently published case law from Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition – the Hungarian acronym is OGYEI – deals with various aspects of pharmaceutical promotional activities and interactions with health care providers. The OGYEI investigated the commercial practices of Aramis Pharma Kft., Lilly Hungaria Kft., and Sager Pharma Kft., and imposed fines following the discovery of infringements.
Almost a year ago, in March 2020, the Hungarian regulator – the NMHH – announced that 5G frequency licenses had been auctioned for a term of 15 years with a 5-year extension option to Magyar Telekom, Vodafone, and Telenor (a fourth operator, Digi, did not acquire a 5G license). These three operators spent a total of HUF 125.8 billion on these 5G licenses, enabling them to provide next generation mobile broadband services. Vodafone started 5G services in downtown Budapest in 2019 on previously-acquired frequencies, using the newly acquired frequencies to improve coverage in other cities and certain rural areas. The 5G services – as well as related applications and technology products – are expected to fundamentally change the industry, as demand for broadband services has increased exponentially due the widespread introduction of home office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original foreign direct investment screening regime was adopted in Hungary pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council and became effective on January 1, 2019. Instead of amending the original regime, a new parallel FDI screening regime was introduced in late May 2020 to protect Hungarian strategic sectors during the COVID-19 period. This second regime was fine-tuned in the middle of June, 2020 and then again at the end of October, 2020. The notification obligation under the second regime is applicable to relevant transactions made before June 30, 2021.
In accordance with worldwide trends, Hungarian public markets are not showing the signs of exponential growth that private markets are. The legislative environment for public listings has not changed significantly in Hungary since 2019, when Act CXX of 2001 on the Capital Market was heavily amended in order to be fully harmonized with the European Union’s Prospectus Regulation (2017/1129 EU). That modification made public issuances easier, as it dispensed with the requirement that prospectuses must be prepared for listings of securities with unit values of at least EUR 100,000.
Emerging new tendencies in economic activities have reached Hungary in the last few years. The most important driving force behind this change is the shifting of consumption into the online space, which inevitably entails a change in market structure. As a result, new products that are exclusively or partially available online have appeared, the geographical coverage of products has widened, and other services related to online consumption have become increasingly important. Social media, influencer marketing, and targeted advertisements all contribute to the popularity of the new market as well. Hungarian consumers are now able to fulfil a significant portion of their product and service needs through e-commerce channels. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to push economic activities online, the role of digital distribution channels has increased even more.
This past year brought significant privacy-related regulatory challenges to business operations. The pandemic situation and lockdown, the ever-rising number of data breaches, the invalidation of the EU-US Privacy Shield, and the challenges arising from the uncertainties of BREXIT have all tested compliance departments to the full.
As the world continues to fight the challenges presented by COVID-19, some guidance on the effects on litigation of the COVID-19 crisis can be discerned from the past year. We know that some sectors have suffered more than others, and participants in industries most affected by COVID-19, like airlines, HORECA, tourism, entertainment, and the commercial real estate sector have already become involved in related legal disputes, such as contractual disputes concerning supply chain disruptions. The big question is whether the pandemic qualifies as a force majeure or a material adverse change that could allow the contracting parties to walk away.
On February 8, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Oliver Koppany and Csaba Rusznak had joined KNP Law Nagy-Koppany Lencs & Partners in Budapest. Rusznak will lead the firm’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group, while Koppany, who joined as Foreign Legal Counsel, is preparing to take over the management of the firm from his mother, KNP Law Founder and Managing Partner Kornelia Nagy-Koppany. We spoke with Koppany and Rusznak to learn more about their background and plans for the future.
Any COVID-19 vaccine related questions addressed to a candidate during a job interview may cause serious legal problems, since the answers can influence the employer’s judgement of the applicant positively or negatively, which can potentially lead to discrimination. Moreover, the refusal of the vaccination cannot serve as a basis for the termination of the employment relationship by notice – indicates act Ban & Karika Attorneys at Law.
After more than a year of the Covid pandemic, there is hope that vaccinations will allow us to beat the virus and get back to normal life. We will be able return to our workplaces, meet our colleagues face to face and work together more efficiently. However, this is not yet possible, since not all of us are vaccinated or have existing immunity to Covid.
“The tax number of one of my companies was deleted due to some blunder, but we corrected it” – so begins a widely-known and innocent story that could happen to anyone. Then we realise in terror that due to this “blunder”, the Court of Registration refuses to register our company, or that the tax authority wants to delete the tax number of one of our existing companies. Could this have been avoided? What can be done?