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Providing short-term leases combined with ancillary services may be qualified as hospitality business

The Supreme Administrative Court recently held that short-term leases combined with ancillary services (e.g. cleaning, boat rental, providing bed sheets or wood) should be judged according to its subject-matter as concluding accommodation contracts, not lease contracts for an apartment or building that are intended to secure housing. As a consequence, this conclusion means that the providers of such leases must have a requisite trade licence and must duly designate leased real estate as business premises. This ruling may be relevant to the regulation of the so-called shared economy in the area of real estate (such as Airbnb).

(Judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court No. 3 As 360/2017 of 14 January 2020)

31. 3. 2020

Are pay for delay agreements anticompetitive?

On 30 January 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its long-awaited assessment under competition law of pay for delay deals in the pharmaceutical industry. A drug's original developer and generics manufacturers commonly conclude such agreements in patent dispute settlements, where the parties agree to end the dispute in return for holding off on marketing a competitor's generic drug.

The ECJ assessed that a patent holder and a producer of generics could be considered potential competitors, even if they are not both on the market. It also clarified that patent dispute settlements as such are not anticompetitive. However, postponing the market entry has only a commercial purpose and is therefore more likely to be seen as anticompetitive and may also result in abuse of a dominant position.

24. 2. 2020

All damaged parties should have the right to compensation for harm caused by a cartel

In a preliminary ruling procedure, the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed that the law of the Member States must make it possible for compensation for damages caused by a cartel to be granted to persons who are not direct participants in the market in which the cartel operates. The dispute in the main proceedings was brought by the state of Upper Austria against a cartel of elevator manufacturers. Upper Austria provided soft loans to support the construction of apartment buildings. As a result of the increased elevator prices caused by the cartel, Upper Austria granted a higher volume of loans and the loss it suffered consisted in the opportunity cost of not investing these funds at a higher interest rate. The CJEU concluded that the cartel could also be liable for such damage.

17. 2. 2020
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