News & Insights

  • 27/06/2022
  • News

The European Commission adopts the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) alongside new Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (VGL)

On 1 June 2022, the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”) and Guidelines on Vertical Restraints (“VGL”) took effect. These introduce a number of important changes to the application of the EU competition rules to a wide range of vertical agreements affecting all sectors of the economy. In these VBB Insights, we analyse in detail the most important changes and their potential impact on market participants.

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    • 08/08/2022
    • Newsletters

    VBB on Competition Law, Volume 2022, No. 7

    The July 2022 issue of our newsletter, VBB on Competition Law, which covers major developments in competition law at the European Union, UK and Member State levels.

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    • 05/08/2022
    • Newsletters

    VBB on Belgian Business Law, Volume 2022, No. 07

    The July 2022 issue of our Belgian Business Law newsletter reporting on the latest developments in a range of areas, including competition, data protection, intellectual property and labour law.

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    • 01/08/2022
    • News

    CJEU rules that judgments on awards circumventing the Brussels Regulation cannot form the basis for non-recognition of irreconcilable judgments

    In a recent judgment in the case of London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Limited v. Kingdom of Spain (Case C‑700/20, Judgment of 20 June 2022), the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a preliminary ruling holding that arbitration proceedings initiated in the United Kingdom and the resulting award could not block the recognition of a Spanish judgment requiring an insurer to compensate Spain for the environmental damage caused by the Prestige oil tanker off the coast of Spain.

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    • 29/07/2022
    • News

    European Union Imposes Severe Sanctions on Russia

    In response to Russia’s recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine on 22 February 2022 and its continuing military aggression against Ukraine starting on 23 February 2022, the European Union (“EU”) has adopted several packages of sanctions severely restricting economic relations with Russia, Russian entities, and persons. VBB’s Guide to the EU sanctions against Russia has been updated to cover the “maintenance and alignment package” published on 21 July 2022. The Guide identifies the relevant regulations, explains what sanctions apply, and flags key compliance actions.

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    • 26/07/2022
    • News

    AGGIORNAMENTO — Riepilogo Delle Sanzioni Adottate Dall'Unione Europea Contro La Russia

    Con l’inizio del conflitto in Ucraina, l’Unione europea ha adottato una serie di misure restrittive contro la Russia, volte a colpirne, inter alia, settori strategici della sua economia. Questa breve nota ha l’obiettivo di fornire uno strumento di rapida consultazione del complesso quadro sanzionatorio adottato dall’UE.

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    • 20/07/2022
    • Newsletters

    VBB on Belgian Business Law, Volume 2022, No. 06

    The June 2022 issue of our Belgian Business Law newsletter reporting on the latest developments in a range of areas, including competition, data protection, intellectual property and labour law.

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    • 19/07/2022
    • Articles

    European Commission Continues to Pursue "Gun Jumping" Merger Control Proceedings against Illumina and Grail

    On 20 August 2021, the European Commission (the Commission) said that it would investigate whether Illumina’s decision, made public on 18 August 2021, to acquire Grail pending the Commission’s review of that transaction under Regulation 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (the Merger Regulation) is in breach of the “standstill obligation” provided for by Article 7, Merger Regulation. Pursuant to this provision, a concentration notifiable under the Merger Regulation must not be implemented until after the Commission has approved it (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News and Insights of 24 August 2021).

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    • 15/07/2022
    • News

    European Commission Publishes Proposal for Regulation on Substances of Human Origin

    On 14 July 2022, the European Commission (the Commission) published its long-awaited Proposal for a Regulation on standards of quality and safety for substances of human origin intended for human application (COM(2022) 338 final; the proposed Regulation) and an accompanying Q&A document (see, attachments). The proposed Regulation updates the current regulatory framework to improve safety and quality standards applicable to substances of human origin (so-called SoHOs). SoHOs include blood, tissues, cells and any other substances of human origin like human breast milk and microbiota. SoHOs can be directly intended for human application but can also be used in preparations or in manufactured products. Article 2 of the proposed Regulation provides for a list of “SoHO activities” that fall within the scope of the proposed Regulation. The list includes activities such as donor recruitment, processing of SoHOs, distribution, import and export of SoHOs and human application of SoHOs.   The proposed Regulation will apply to all SoHOs. Only solid organs used for transplantation will remain regulated separately under the Organs Directive (Directive 2010/45/EU). In view of the broad definition of the term SoHOs, the proposed Regulation will be future-proof in the sense that it will automatically apply to new substances of human origin that can be applied to patients. A key aspect of the proposed Regulation is that it empowers the Commission to adopt implementing acts regarding patient, donor and offspring protection. However, in the absence of such implementing acts, “SoHO entities” (which are defined in Article 3(24) as “organisation[s] legally established in the Union that carr[y] out one or more of the SoHO activities”) will have to apply standards established by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare of the Council of Europe. The aim is to ensure that technical rules applicable to SoHO activities remain updated and to avert the accumulation of obsolete rules which would stand in the way of novel SoHO-based treatments and new medical techniques. For purposes of enforcement, the Commission devised a supervision mechanism based on national Competent Authorities. Chapters II and III of the proposed Regulation are dedicated to, respectively, “Competent Authorities” and “SoHO Supervisory Activities”. The rules enable extensive coordination between the different national Competent Authorities and the Commission. According to the Commission, increased harmonisation in the field of SoHO activities between EU countries could bring significant improvements in treatments such as stem, cornea, or skin transplants. Facilitated exchanges of SoHOs could even save lives, especially for conditions like blood cancer for which blood supply is of critical importance. The proposed Regulation will now be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament. Once the final text is agreed, adopted and published, most of the provisions will take effect after a transition period of two years.

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