Digital technologies are transforming our world and shaping a new landscape in several areas of law, including copyright, data privacy, and consumer transactions. Please join Hogan Lovells as we discuss the European Commission’s ambitious Digital Single Market strategy and what it means for US companies with digital presence in the EU. Our panelists, from key European jurisdictions, will take a closer look at what is expected to follow from the Commission in the copyright area and will also expand on what these new laws mean for US companies.
Continue the conversation over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres after the CLE presentation.
Date: Wednesday May 18, 2016
Location: Hogan Lovells’ New York office
Contact: Amber Civitella
Kindly RSVP by May 16: Complete event details here
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization legislation took a major step forward on April 19th as the Senate overwhelmingly passed its bill 95-3. Although it is only an 18 month bill (the measure authorizes FAA programs until Sept. 30, 2017), the bill includes many reforms that impact airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturers and operators, and airline passengers.
The bill aims to enhance airport security, and streamline the process for certifying new safety systems for aircraft. In addition, it seeks to increase consumer protections for passengers and strengthen cyber-security safeguards for both airborne and ground systems. The bill also includes changes that would impact UAS integration. While some of the provisions will move integration forward, others are troubling to the industry. Much work remains to pass meaningful legislation to support these different stakeholders.
Highlights of the legislation include:
On 19 April 2016 the European Commission published its Communication ‘ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market‘. The Communication was part of the wider ‘Digitising European Industry’ announcement on 19 April – read our blog here for full details of what was announced.
The ICT Priorities Communication thrusts into the limelight an obscure but vitally important area of policy: the setting of common technical specifications for ICT products and services, particularly those related to the ability of different devices to communicate with each other. According to the Communication, common standards that ensure interoperability between digital technologies are the foundation of an effective Digital Single Market.
The Communication identifies numerous challenges faced by the current legal framework through which technical standard setting at a European level takes place. It concedes that rising to them will require a more focused and sustained approach to standardisation by the Commission, including a greater level of political support. At stake is nothing less than the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU’s digital economy.
The EU Commission looks set next month to release a new communication providing policy guidelines as to the direction it wishes to take for on-line platforms. While the official Communication is scheduled to be released in mid-May, Statewatch.org has just made available a draft version (tentatively dated 25 May) entitled “Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market – Opportunities and Challenges for Europe”. The draft communication addresses a number of key issues and gives a fairly complete idea about the direction that the EU DSM strategy is taking for on-line platforms, OTTs, ISPs, E-Commerce, and the overlap between those sectors.
While more in-depth analysis will follow on this and other Hogan Lovells weblogs, here is a brief summary of the draft Communication’s major points:
On 22 April 2016, the European Commission published for comment the first set of commitments offered in the UK Pay-TV investigations. Those commitments represent an important milestone in the Commission’s efforts to reduce the effects of territorial restrictions in content licensing agreements and may foreshadow the legislative proposals which the Commission has announced for the coming months.
On 23 July 2015, the European Commission adopted a Statement of Objections against six major Hollywood studios and Sky UK. This Statement of Objections alleges that these seven undertakings breached Article 101(1) TFEU by concluding licensing agreements that contained clauses which partition the internal market by granting absolute territorial protection to Sky UK.
According to the Commission, these agreements had as their object the restriction of competition because they:
In a major new development, the FAA has sent the Small UAS NPRM to the White House for a final interagency review. This means that a final small UAS rule is coming soon – and that NOW is the last opportunity to influence the rule before it is released.
Before any significant regulatory action takes effect, it first must go through a review process at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the White House. OIRA is located within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within the Executive Office of the President. It is commonly said that OIRA is the most important agency in Washington, DC that nobody has heard of. OIRA reviews draft regulations before they are implemented and reviews and evaluates cost/benefit analyses to determine whether the benefits of a rule would justify the costs.
We are now at an extremely important step in the rulemaking process, which provides industry stakeholders with one final opportunity to provide additional input before the final rule is released.
On April 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protraction Bureau, unveiled standardized consumer broadband labels that will list information about the price and performance of fixed and mobile broadband service. While the FCC will not require broadband providers to adopt the broadband labels, the FCC explained that the labels will provide a safe harbor for complying with the enhanced Open Internet transparency requirements that the FCC adopted in March 2015. The consumer broadband labels could provide broadband providers with a convenient method of displaying their Open Internet disclosures. However, broadband providers must ensure that their disclosures, including their network management, privacy, and other policies comply with the FCC’s Open Internet transparency requirements, and eventually, the FCC’s proposed new privacy rules.
The Asia Pacific region is undergoing significant development in data protection and cybersecurity regulation. These changes are impacting all business sectors.
Anticipating a new phase of development across the region we are delighted to share our latest briefing discussing the key trends and issues.
Click on the link below to read all about it. “Asia Pacific Data Protection and Cybersecurity Guide 2016“
We hope you find the information useful. If you have any concerns or want to find out more, please do get in contact with us.
On 7 April 2016 the European Commission released its VAT Action Plan, which provides a pathway to the creation of a single Value Added Tax (VAT) area in the European Union. The Commission considers the current VAT system to be a core element of the single market that should assist in facilitating trade within the single market. However, the Commission believes that the VAT system has been unable to keep pace with the development of the globalized modern digital and mobile economy.
Antitrust regulators around the globe reinforce the importance of innovation for the assessment of mergers and acquisitions.
The European Commission this month published a policy brief on the role of innovation in merger control within the European Union (EU) outlining the Commission’s approach to the assessment of innovation in the context of merger control. In addition, EU Commissioner Vestager in a speech on 18 April 2016, in line with previous announcements, signalled the Commission’s intention to re-examine its thresholds for notification with a view to enabling the Commission to examine the acquisition of innovators with “a lot of good ideas but not yet much in the way of sales.”
The Commission’s approach is largely mirrored by recent practice of the FTC and the DOJ when assessing the impact of a merger on innovation. The US agencies often focus on the effect that a pending transaction will likely have on innovation, even if the competitive significance of the target company is not fully reflected by its current sales.