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Schoenherr has advised Christian Bamberger, SK Capital GmbH, Foxyflo GmbH, Christian Waldheim, and Martin Mrvka on the sale of 100% of shares in Austrian communication-platform-as-a-service companies ATMS, SMS.AT, and WebSMS to Norwegian Link Mobility Holding ASA. AGP Advokater AS and EY Law advised Link Mobiliy on the transaction, which closed on November 16, 2020.

The adoption of Directive 2014/104/EU ("Damages Directive"), which introduced a level playing field for the private competition law enforcement regime among EU Member States, has paved the way for private enforcement to gain more traction in the EU.

Dentons has advised Umweltbank Aktiengessellschaft, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank EG, and two investment funds managed by Triodos Investment Management on the acquisition of a majority stake in Opportunity Banka a.d. Novi Sad, a Serbian bank, from Opportunity Transformation Investments inc. Andric Law Office provided Serbian advice to the buyers, and Schoenherr reportedly advised Opportunity Transformation Investments.

On 20 March 2015 the Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA") imposed a staggering fine on Auchan for abusing its significant market power. The HUF 1.06bln (approx. EUR 3m) fine is the highest ever imposed by the authority for the infringement of the Trade Act (Act CLXIV of 2005 on Trade). Although the decision is from 2015, the Hungarian courts put an end to the judicial review only now. The Supreme Court of Hungary has upheld the HCA's decision in its entirety.

Since this spring, the Czech Republic has been struggling with the coronavirus SARS CoV-2. The response to the pandemic in the field of labour law was the creation of the so-called Antivirus programme, which aimed to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic by providing a state-backed financial contribution to salary costs. This should prevent mass redundancies and keep unemployment levels under control. Schemes A to C of the Antivirus programme were created on an ad hoc basis as an immediate response to the negative effects of the pandemic.

Due to considerable variations in the prices of medicine within the EU, parallel trade –  cross-border resale of trademark-protected pharmaceutical products by a third party without the authorisation of the IP rights holder – is common in the pharmaceuticals market.

The Czech office of Schoenherr has advised the Auto Palace Group, a Czech subsidiary of the Dutch AutoBinck Group, on the acquisition of car dealerships in Prague and Karlovy Vary from CarPoint Karlovy Vary s.r.o., which was advised by Baroch Sobota.

The political landscape in the Czech Republic might soon see a change, Schoenherr Partner Vladimir Cizek says, as “the recent regional elections shook the position of the leading party.” Still, he doesn't expect it to have much impact on foreign investment. He notes that previous political changes have not dissuaded investors from coming to the country, and their stream has been constant for decades.

As of 1 September 2020, Hungary closed its borders to non-Hungarian citizens again. The rules abolished the tricolour system of green, yellow and red countries qualifying literally all countries as red. The rules introduced then – by a recent legislative amendment – remain in force until 1 December 2020.

Schoenherr has successfully represented Austrian AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG in a Frankfurt-seated arbitration against Taiwan's PharmaEssentia Corporation. The tribunal awarded AOP declaratory relief, damages, costs, and interest, and dismissed all counterclaims.

Until 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition had never prohibited a concentration. In 2018, however, in consecutive decisions, the CPC prohibited the acquisition of CEZ by Inercom and the acquisition of Nova TV by the investment group PPF. In 2019 two other transactions – Eurohold/CEZ and Emko/Dunarit – were blocked.

Already struggling with the international coronavirus pandemic, Bulgaria has recently found itself dealing with a major internal political crisis as well – one which, ironically, despite the general incentive towards social distancing, has brought people outside of their homes and onto the streets of the nation’s major cities.

Although, like many other CEE jurisdictions, Slovenia experienced major COVID-19-related market turbulence in the first half of 2020, the market has nonetheless seen some interesting developments as well – and more activity is likely to follow in Q3 and Q4.

The Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) has initiated an investigation against TikTok, the popular social media platform. TikTok's capacity to generate vast amounts of consumer data and shower its users with ads has already sounded several alarm bells as regulators attempt to make sense of the phenomena that is digitalisation. The HCA took the initiative to scrutinise the platform with a focus on consumer protection.

Schoenherr has advised the MET Group on the acquisition of a 100% stake in a 42MW wind park in the Kavarna region of Bulgaria from Enel Green Power. Memery Crystal provided English law advice to the MET Group. CMS advised Enel Green Power on the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory clearance. 

Schoenherr at a Glance

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu