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Antitrust, Competition and Trade

Influencer Marketing: Protection for Consumers from #sponsored Posts on Social Media

We all know how important advertising is in the business world. Traders use advertisements as marketing tools to inform customers and consumers about their products. With the rise of technology and social media, advertising is now taking diverse forms. Companies are increasingly turning to a more powerful tool, the ‘influencer’, to advertise their products. This phenomenon is also evident locally.  This article purports to analyse what constitutes influencer marketing and the protection afforded to consumers by Maltese law. What is an ‘influencer’? Maltese law does not define what an influencer is. However, the Consumer Affairs Act (the ‘Act’) defines a…
Laura Spiteri
9th February 2024
Antitrust, Competition and Trade

The Rise of the Influencer: Consumer Protection and #Sponsored Content

Are you an influencer? Do you earn money or other benefits by creating content on social media? Influencers that are offered deals to advertise a brand’s products over social media platforms will qualify as traders and should thus disclose their adverts in a transparent manner. Over the coming weeks, the European Commission will be screening online posts to identify any sponsored posts uploaded to social media by influencers which could mislead consumers. This article will briefly consider your obligations, as an influencer, on the digital market. The rise of social media has given brand owners the ability to push their…
Laura Spiteri
24th October 2023
Antitrust, Competition and Trade

CJEU Rules that FDI cannot Restrict Fundamental Freedoms

In a recent response to a request for a preliminary ruling made by a court in Hungary, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ‘CJEU’) delivered an interesting ruling on the applicability of the Foreign Direct Investment Regulation (the ‘FDI Regulation’). The FDI Regulation establishes a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union (the ‘EU’) on the grounds of security or public order by the Member States. In the recent Xella judgment, the Hungarian Court asked the CJEU whether preventing foreign investors – including companies based in the EU but over which a…
Laura Spiteri
6th September 2023
To Notify or Not to Notify? Merger Control Rules in Malta
Antitrust, Competition and Trade

Should the Gun be Jumped? A Brief Insight into Merger Control in Malta

Merger control constitutes the analysis carried out by the Office for Competition (the ‘Office’) in its assessment of those corporate transactions notifiable to it. The aim behind such an assessment is for the Office to consider whether that transaction – taking the form of the creation of a ‘concentration’ – is likely to impede effective competition. The Control of Concentration Regulations1 identify three types of concentrations: mergers, when two or more undertakings previously independent of one another fuse together resulting in an amalgamated new entity. acquisition of control, which consists of the acquisition of (in)direct control in an undertaking either…
Laura Spiteri
28th February 2023
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Antitrust, Competition and Trade

ECN+ Directive: Amendments Made to Competition Act Now in Force

This article was written by Dr Annalies Muscat and Dr Laura SpiteriIn the light of Malta's transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (the 'ECN+ Directive'), various amendments to the Competition Act (Chapter 379 of the laws of Malta) (the 'Act') have been made. The ECN+ Directive sets out rules to ensure that national competition authorities have the necessary guarantees of independence, resources, and enforcement and…
Laura Spiteri
8th September 2021
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Planning & Environment

Circular Economy: Beverage Containers Recycling Regulations in Force

This article was written by Dr Michael Psaila and Dr Laura SpiteriOn 31 July 2020, the Beverage Containers Recycling Regulations (Legal Notice 311 of 2020 and hereinafter referred to as the 'Regulations') came into force. The aim of these Regulations is to further the circular economy by establishing a Beverage Container Refund Scheme (the 'Scheme') to enhance the collection and recycling of beverage containers and reduce littering.These Regulations implement the provisions of Directive 94/62 on packaging and packaging waste and form part of the Maltese Government's Single-Use Plastics Products Strategy for Malta 2020-2030. An operator licensed by the Resource, Recovery…
Laura Spiteri
4th August 2020