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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.

The Law on Amendments to the Energy Act entered into force on 14 August 2020. It encompasses a set of changes aiming to simplify the existing procedures and to promote the development of the Montenegrin energy sector, especially in the context of the pending alignment of Montenegrin laws with the EU's acquis, as required under the negotiation chapter no. 15.

In addition to the classic tasks of a competition authority, the Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA") is also entitled to take action against unfair commercial practices against consumers if such practices are capable of significantly affecting competition. Following the first market study in the field of consumer protection in 2019 relating to the application of digital comparison tools (DCTs), the HCA did not hesitate to apply its findings in practice. In early 2020 it imposed a record fine on Booking.com BV for unfair commercial practices of misleadingly advertising certain hotel rooms with "free cancellation" and engaging in pressure selling. This is now followed by a decision establishing unfair practices of the biggest local market player, Szallas.hu, a main competitor of Booking.com. However, this time no fine was imposed.

As of 11 October 2020 the EU FDI Screening Regulation is in force, ending the long wait for a Union framework to screen foreign direct investments. The umbrella spanned by the EU FDI Regulation is a further (crucial) building block in the EU's endeavors to tighten and coordinate the screening of foreign direct investments.

Schoenherr's Czech office has advised KB SmartSolutions, s.r.o. on the acquisition of an almost 25% stake in Platebni Instituce Roger a.s, from Echilon Capital s.r.o. BPV Braun Partners advised Echilon Capital on the transaction, and Setina, Komendova & Partners advised Platebni Instituce Roger's CEO Adam Soukal and CTO Tomas Slobodnik.

By virtue of Government Decree 408/2020 (VIII.30.), Hungary closed its borders to non-Hungarian citizens as of 1 September 2020. The new rules abolish the tricolour system of green, yellow and red countries we reported on earlier, qualifying literally all countries as red.

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