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Competition

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
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
Competition

Second Extension to the Temporary Framework has been Adopted

Following the draft proposal to further extend the scope of the State Aid Temporary Framework (the "Framework") that was sent to the Member States on the 9 April 2020 by the European Commission, the second extension to the Framework has now been adopted and was put into effect on the 8 May 2020. The Framework was initially brought into effect on the 19 March 2020 and was previously amended on the 3 April 2020. While furthering the scope of the Framework, this second extension will complement the State aid measures covered by the Framework and existing State aid rules. The…
Laura Spiteri
15th May 2020
Competition

Brexit and Competition Law – The Way Forward

On the 31 January 2020 ("Exit Day"), the UK officially withdrew from the European Union ("EU") which led to a plethora of questions about how certain areas of law, including competition law, will operate post Exit Day. This is particularly due to the presence of numerous cross-border transactions among the EU Member States. Despite the UK's withdrawal and it now being considered a third State, a transition period will apply until 31 December 2020 ("Transition Period") during which the functions of the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") – the UK's equivalent to Malta's Office for Competition – will not be…
Laura Spiteri
14th February 2020
Competition

Commission accepts commitments offered by Visa and Mastercard on inter-regional interchange fees

Following the feedback sought by the European Commission (the 'Commission') regarding the commitments offered by Visa and Mastercard further to the Statement of Objections issued by the Commission regarding the competition concerns raised by inter-regional interchange fees ('inter-regional MIFs') for payment transactions, the Commission has accepted the commitments offered by Visa and Mastercard (read more here).These commitments shall be applicable for a period of five years and six months and shall concern inter-regional MIFs applied to payment transactions made using Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron, and V-PAY credit and debit card brands.The accepted commitments and more information about these cases…
Laura Spiteri
10th May 2019
Competition

European Commission Issues Public Consultation on the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation

The European Commission has issued a public consultation to allow interested parties to provide their feedback with regard to competition issues that arise in vertical relationships. The public consultation period opened on the 4 February 2019 and shall continue to run until the 27 May 2019. This public consultation process follows an 'Evaluation and Fitness Check Roadmap' that was carried out from November to December 2018.1 The Block Exemption Regulation (the 'Regulation'),2 which entered into force in 2010 and shall continue to run until 2022, deals with a category of vertical agreements which the European Commission regards as normally satisfying…
Laura Spiteri
12th April 2019