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Ad Blocking Declared Legal: German Court Dismisses Discrimination Claims Brought by Publishers, but AdBlock Plus Maker Eyeo is Not Home Free Yet

Posted in Uncategorized

The Regional Court in Hamburg rejected complaints by newspapers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt seeking to have Eyeo GmbH prohibited from selling its AdBlock Plus software. The ruling establishes the important principle that ad-blocking is legal, however there are other cases pending against AdBlock Plus in Germany that suggest that there may be more to come… Continue Reading

Dutch Competition Authority Updates Guidance on Distribution Agreements

Posted in Uncategorized

On 20 April 2015 the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) published new guidance regarding its enforcement priorities in relation to distribution agreements, noting that its enforcement efforts will be focused on agreements having the most significant impact on consumer welfare.  The 28-page document explains that before opening an investigation, the ACM will first… Continue Reading

FCO sends statement of objections to Booking.com

Posted in Uncategorized

On 2 April 2015, the German Competition Authority (FCO) sent a statement of objections (SO) to Booking.com Deutschland GmbH in relation to its use of “best price” clauses in contracts with hotels in Germany.  The FCO takes the view that, following the decision of the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirming the FCO’s decision in proceedings… Continue Reading

EU Announces E-Commerce Sector Inquiry

Posted in Uncategorized

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced today during a speech at the Bundeskartellamt (German Competition Authority) International Conference on Competition her intention to launch a sector inquiry in the e-commerce sector. The sector inquiry will be formally proposed to the Commission in May. Preliminary findings on the sector inquiry could be ready in mid-2016. Commissioner Vestager… Continue Reading

ECJ Confirms Application of Consumer Protection Measure to Cross-Border Services

Posted in Uncategorized

By Miranda Cole and Katharina Grosse-Ophoff In its UPC judgment this week the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has clarified the application of consumer protection laws to, and the jurisdiction of national regulatory authorities over, providers of electronic communications services (“ECS”) that are established in one member state who provide services in another.  The court also confirmed that… Continue Reading

Journalists Nationwide Face Surge of Subpoenas in Federal and State Courts

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Uncategorized

Reporters nationwide have faced a flurry of subpoenas in recent months, calling into question whether journalists can guarantee confidentiality to sources.  The repeated attempts to force journalists to reveal their confidential sources and other information about their newsgathering demonstrate the need for strong reporter “shield laws” on both the federal and state level. Among some… Continue Reading

Safeway Settles ADA Accessibility Lawsuit, Makes Grocery Website Accessible to Visually Impaired

Posted in Uncategorized

Safeway agreed in settlement of a lawsuit brought by visually-impaired customers in California and Washington State to ensure that its website, which allows people to order groceries online and have them delivered to their homes, is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Safeway has already made significant enhancements to its online shopping website to meet the… Continue Reading

House to Consider Bill Excluding Clinical and Health Software from Regulation as Medical Devices

Posted in Uncategorized

On October 22, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a bill serving to “provide for regulating medical software, and for other purposes” in the House of Representatives.  The bill, entitled the Sensible Oversight for Technology which Advances Regulatory Efficiency (“SOFTWARE”) Act (“the bill”), was co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of lawmakers. The bill creates a regulatory… Continue Reading

FDA Releases Final Mobile Medical Apps Guidance

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On Monday, FDA released a final version of its guidance document, Mobile Medical Applications: Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff.    The guidance describes FDA’s approach for regulating certain mobile applications (apps) as medical devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Although the final guidance retains the basic framework of… Continue Reading

New Opinion Examines Privacy Claims Against Online Media

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News organizations are more likely to be liable in privacy lawsuits if their reporting is factually incorrect, according to a federal court opinion issued this week. Shana Edme, who was pursuing a modeling career, uploaded her modeling photographs to Modelmayhem, an industry website.  She alleges that in 2011, the site released pictures of her in… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Media Shield Law

Posted in Uncategorized

 By Kurt Wimmer and Jeff Kosseff The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would prevent federal prosecutors, agencies and civil litigants from forcing journalists to reveal their confidential sources without court approval. In a 13-5 vote, the committee approved S. 987, the Free Flow of Information Act (FFIA), which is sponsored by… Continue Reading

FDASIA Workgroup Releases Draft Recommendations for Regulation of Health IT

Posted in Uncategorized

FDA’s regulation of Health IT under its medical device authorities can be seen as proceeding on two separate tracks during the last year. Track one is FDA’s ongoing policymaking.  In 2011, FDA issued a draft guidance document on mobile medical applications and a final rule on medical device data systems, setting forth an approach for… Continue Reading

FTC, FCC Testify Before Senate On Robocall Fraud

Posted in Telecommunications, Uncategorized

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance held a hearing entitled, “Stopping Fraudulent Robocall Scams: Can More Be Done?”   The hearing takes place two weeks after the FTC celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the its implementation of the Do Not Call Registry and on the heels of the FTC’s recent… Continue Reading

‘The Lawyer’ Recognizes Covington’s Technology and Media Group

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We are pleased to share that The Lawyer has recently shortlisted our London technology and media group for its TMT Team of the Year Award (2013). The publication further recognized the firm’s data protection and sports law work over the past year and our involvement in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. We congratulate… Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Holds that States May Constitutionally Collect Sales Taxes from Out-of-State Internet Retailers If Those Retailers Pay Commissions to In-State Websites

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New York’s highest court on March 28 upheld a New York law subjecting out-of-state internet retailers to New York sales tax collection requirements on the basis of their “affiliate” advertising programs.  Although the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a state cannot constitutionally require a retailer to collect sales taxes unless the retailer has a… Continue Reading

The London Stock Exchange High Growth Segment Opens for Business

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By Matthew Edwards and Jacqueline Clover The new High Growth Segment (“HGS”) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”) has officially opened for business, signalling London’s commitment to supporting the growth of technology companies incorporated in the European Economic Area. The equity-only HGS is targeted specifically at fast-growing companies, providing an alternative… Continue Reading

President Obama Issues Cybersecurity Executive Order

Posted in Privacy & Data Security, Uncategorized

In his State of the Union message on Tuesday, President Obama announced that he had signed an Executive Order addressing the cybersecurity of  critical infrastructure.  President Obama emphasized that in the face of threats to corporate secrets, the power grid, and financial institutions, among others, “We cannot look back years from now and wonder why… Continue Reading