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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 19 Issue: 1
(January 2017)


The Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) issued its decision in joined cases C-203/15 Tele2 Sverige AB v. Post- och telestyrelsen and C-698/15 Secretary of State for the Home Department v. Tom Watson and Others, on 21 December 2016, ruling that a general obligation to retain data imposed on providers of electronic communications services by Member States exceeds the limits of what is strictly necessary and cannot be justified within a democratic society; the ruling provides a strong basis for a legal challenge to the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (‘IP Act’). / read more

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) announced on 19 December 2016 that it is to carry out a sector-wide enforcement investigation into the online secondary tickets market, triggered by concerns that the practices in this sector may violate consumer protection law. The CMA’s investigation is aimed at both secondary ticketing platforms and businesses selling tickets. / read more


The European Commission is in a rush to reform the EU’s ePrivacy Directive, and its draft new legislation proposes a major shake-up of existing laws on cookies, direct marketing and confidentiality of communications. Nick Johnson and Georgina Graham of Osborne Clarke LLP review the implications of the draft for online advertising and direct marketing. / read more

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) launched on 7 November 2016 a campaign around price-fixing in the online sector, a warning to online sellers and a reminder to businesses of the consequences of anticompetitive behaviour in such markets. The campaign includes the publication of a Guidance Document, which makes a number of points of note to online sellers. Becket McGrath and Harriet Swan of Cooley (UK) LLP provide analysis of the CMA’s campaign and the context in which it has appeared. / read more

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (‘CASL’) came into force on 1 July 2014, but further enforcement provisions are yet to take effect: CASL’s private right of action provisions enter force on 1 July 2017. These provisions permit, in the case of an unauthorised commercial electronic message, a private right of action against the sender for the recipient’s actual loss, if any, plus statutory damages, subject to certain limitations. H. David Edinger and Kyle Thompson of Singleton Urquhart LLP discuss how CASL’s private right of action provisions will work and what they mean for litigation around CASL. / read more

On 28 November 2016, the European Council agreed a draft regulation to ban unjustified geoblocking between Member States (the ‘Regulation’). The Regulation retains all the main features of the draft released by the Council in May last year. However, as Nick Fenner, Partner at TLT LLP explains, a number of practical concerns for online sellers have now been addressed, with the intention of providing increased clarity and assurance for businesses. The Regulation is due to be in force by the end of this year. / read more

Business-minded social media users in Russia hoping for a New Year thaw in relations between the Russian authorities and social media providers are going to be disappointed. As a recent decision of the City of Moscow Court stands, LinkedIn’s website will continue to be blocked, which means that six million registered users in Russia are currently unable to access their accounts. Dr Lana Haworth of MMS Law discusses the block and the reasoning behind it. / read more

On 1 December 2016, the European Commission proposed a package of legislation on modernising VAT for cross-border B2C e-commerce transactions. This new set of rules arises from previous commitments made by the Commission as part of its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, relating to the need to reduce VAT-related burdens and obstacles to online cross-border sales. Rui Cabrita, Partner at Solegal Avocats, discusses the main modifications suggested by the Commission, which concern the adaptation of the current rules to small businesses operating in the digital market, the VAT treatment of small consignments from sellers located outside the EU, and the VAT treatment of eBooks. / read more

About Digital Business Lawyer:

The monthly publication providing authoritative insights and thought leadership on the legal/regulatory issues affecting online business, covering distance selling, contracts, domain names, adblocking, advertising, cloud computing, net neutrality, e-privacy, data protection, cyber crime, the Internet of Things, social media, internet taxation and software / read more

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