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New Rules for Online Intermediation Services

On 12 July 2020 a new piece of legislation came into force, respectively Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services (Regulation 2019/1150). The aim of the Regulation is to ensure the fair and transparent treatment of business users by online platforms.

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Legal Alert - Changes regarding the Fire and Civil Protection Endorsements and Permits

New rules regarding the issuance of fire and civil protection endorsements and permits will be applicable from 7 June 2020. The new provisions were enacted under Order no. 66/2020 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, published in Official Gazette no. 370 of 8 May 2020, which amends the Methodological norms regarding the fire and civil protection endorsements and permits, approved by Order no. 129/2016 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The amendments will enter into force 30 days after the order is published with the Official Gazette.

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Pricing Algorithms

Companies are increasingly using algorithms to improve their price structures, to size their production or distribution at market demand or to forecast its trends. Their use often occurs in markets where:

• the costs of providing services to consumers vary considerably (for example, in terms of loans or insurance),

• demand fluctuates much faster than the supply (for example, for hotel or ridesharing services), or

• companies have a wide range of products for which they need to determine prices, and price algorithms bring significant cost advantages (for example, in retail).

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Rescue and Restructuring Aid for Companies in Financial Difficulty: Case Studies

Two recent decisions announced by the European Commission on February 24, place Romania in the position to recover over EUR 583 million plus interest as incompatible state aid granted to CFR Marfa, respectively to the National Uranium Company.

The European Commission found that the railway transport operator CFR Marfă received at least EUR 570 million incompatible state aid from Romania, through a debt write-off and failure to collect debts from the company.

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Key Takeaways in Terms of Competition Law Enforcement in 2019

The Competition Council has launched in February 2020 the report on its activity during 2019. From the perspective of the investigations carried out, the data show that the authority had important interventions in the market, respectively 14 investigations finalized with the application of fines totalling EUR 20.3 million, 9 other newly initiated investigations regarding violations of competition law and a total of 32 ongoing investigations into potential anti-competitive conducts at the end of 2019.

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Pay for Delay: New Ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union Related to Patent Settlement Agreements

On 30 January 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a decision with respect to a request for a preliminary ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal of the United Kingdom, which was to examine the legality of a sanctioning decision taken against several generic drug manufacturers and the pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline in connection with amicable settlement of patent disputes.

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Competition Rules for Participation in Tenders

Public tenders are continuously scrutinized by the Romanian Competition Council. Since the beginning of 2020, the authority announced that it has finalized two investigations concerning bid rigging on the market for the acquisition of road signs, respectively on the market for acquisition of security services.

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Private Enforcement of Competition Law: What’s New?

While the difficulties in bringing an action for private damages in front of national courts remain substantial, the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-435/18 Otis and Others v Land Oberösterreich and Others sheds some light by establishing that persons not operating as suppliers or as customers on the market affected by a cartel may still request compensation for loss caused by that cartel.

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The Interplay Between Competition Law, GDPR and Consumer Law

The rise of the digital economy has generated difficulties for enforcers in identifying the regulatory path which should be followed in cases such as those related to unfair terms imposed to online users.

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New Amendments to Construction Laws

On 6 January 2020, the Romanian president promulgated a new Law no. 7/2020 amending Law no. 50/1991 on authorization of construction works “Law 50” and Law no. 10/1995 on quality in construction “Law 10”. The new law will enter into force after publication with the Official Gazette of Romania. The main amendments are briefly presented below

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PeliPartners acting for Mitiska REIM in the refinancing of the Intercora retail portfolio

This year, FRI has secured a EUR 27mln facility from Erste Group AG for refinancing the Intercora portfolio, comprising 7 retail parks, acquired in 2007. PeliPartners was the legal consultant of Mitiska REIM in this project.

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Amendments to Urbanism Law

On 29 July 2019, Law no. 151/2019 (“Law 151/2019”) for amending and supplementing Law no. 350/2001 on land planning and urbanism (“Law 350/2001”) entered into force. The amendments included in Law 151/2019 refer mainly to the regime and protection of informal establishments (in Romanian “asezari informale”) which are usually located in the outskirts of urban or rural localities, comprised of improvised dwellings made of recovered materials and / or dwellings made from conventional construction materials.

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New legislation on prevention and control of money laundering and terrorist financing

On 18 July 2019 a new piece of legislation regarding the prevention and control of money laundering and terrorist financing was enacted, namely Law no. 129/2019 published in the Romanian Official Gazette no. 589 on 18 July 2019, which has recalled Law no. 656/2002 regarding the prevention and sanctioning of money laundering and terrorist financing.

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PeliPartners assisted AFI Europe in signing the pre-sale agreement for the acquisition of the majority stake holding in Casa Radio

PeliPartners assisted AFI Europe, a leading real estate development and investment company in Central and Eastern Europe and a prominent player on the Romanian market, in the negotiation and signing of the pre-sale agreement for the acquisition of 75% of the participation in the project company developing “Casa Radio”, a public-private partnership, from a company controlled by Plaza Centers NV.

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First fine in Romania in application of GDPR

The National Supervisory Authority For Personal Data Processing has announced on 4 July 2019 the issuance of the first fine in the application of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC.

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Change in Law 10/1995

On 7 May 2019, the President promulgated Law no. 97/2019 for amending and supplementing Law no. 10/1995 on quality in construction. The law will come into force three days after publication with the Official Gazette. The declared purpose of the new Law is to cover a legislative gap allowing buildings which were unfit for dwelling purposes to be placed on the real estate market. The new Law provides that investors and building owners may allow the use of a building (new or refurbished) only after the reception upon completion of works. The previous form of Law no. 10/1995 required that owners allow the use of a building after reception upon completion of works is performed and proper permitting is secured. This obligation continues to be in force.

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Construction works performed without or in breach of building permits

On 8 April 2019, the High Court of Cassation and Justice rendered a decision for interpretation of the law (in Romanian: recurs in interesul legii) regarding construction works performed in the absence of or in breach of the building permits.

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