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The Bank of Israel is proposing to regulate the provision of services to licensed cryptocurrency service-providers so that banks will not be able to sweepingly refuse to provide service and will have to formulate a risk management policy.
In December 2021, the Jerusalem District Court dismissed two motions to certify a class action against the leading dairy manufacturer in Israel, Tnuva, for charging excessive prices. Both the motion and the dismissal are part of an intense dispute for years. The dispute revolves around whether the prohibition of a monopolist charging an “unfair” price applies to charging excessive fees. In 2014, the director-general of the Competition Authority published a public statement on the prohibition of excessive pricing by a monopoly.
The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Alex Kushnir (Yisrael Beitenu), recently approved a mechanism for compensation for the rehabilitation of industrial waste damages caused by Rotem Amfert (of the ICL Group). The committee arrived at the mechanism as part of discussions on the extension of the phosphate mining concession currently granted to the company.
The Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection announced this week its imposition of a pecuniary sanction totaling about ILS 3 million on the leading supermarket chain Shufersal for violations of the Clean Air Law. (In particular, the company violated provisions mandating the reduction and prevention of air pollution from its vehicles).
For the first time, the Israel Competition Authority has opened enforcement proceedings against a monopolist for abuse of its dominant position by charging an unfairly high price. Subject to a hearing, the authority intends to impose a pecuniary sanction of ILS 8 million on MBI Pharma Ltd. and personal sanctions on two officers of the company (of about ILS 600,000 each). The company faces accusations of charging an excessive price for Leadiant, a life-saving drug for CTX patients (an incurable genetic disease), which is marketed by MBI Pharma in Israel.
About seven years ago, one of the worst ecological disasters in Israel’s history occurred. During work to divert an oil pipeline, one of the old pipelines belonging to the government company Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co. Ltd. (EAPC) ruptured near the Evrona Nature Reserve. As a result, about five million liters of crude oil poured from the pipeline into the nature reserve located in the Arava Valley.
The Black Shadow hacking group’s attack on Cyberserve, reported a few days ago, has resulted (at this point in time) in the leaking of a database with more than 800,000 records pertaining to various individuals and the exposure of additional databases. This attack raises important questions about the relations between database owners and the third parties with whom they engage to receive various services relating to business activities that incidentally involve their data.
On November 1, 2021, the new Chinese Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) will come into effect. This law is modeled after the well-known European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Like the GDPR, the PIPL will apply not only to Chinese organizations, but also to any organization processing the personal information of people located in China. Therefore, any organization that collects data from China must comply with this new law or risk suffering the consequences.
Categories: Privacy Law
There has been an uptrend in recent years of employers using a variety of technological tools to supervise their employees and oversee the quality of their work. The use of these tools has become more prevalent due to the shift of many organizations to working from home last year.
E-commerce giant Amazon reported in its financial statements at the end of last month that the Luxembourg data protection authority had imposed on it a fine totaling EUR 746 million. The fine appears to have been laid on Amazon for its use of users’ personal data for targeted advertising, in violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The block exemption for non-horizontal arrangements recently underwent a significant change. Beyond changing the name of the block exemption to “Rules of Economic Competition,” a significant amendment was introduced relating to the issue of price restraints in vertical arrangements.
Categories: Competition Law and Antitrust
The Ministry of Environmental Protection recently published the Memorandum for the Climate Law 2021. The memorandum’s main purpose is to create an organizational framework for Israel's handling of the global climate crisis. It follows the developing trend among countries worldwide that have enacted similar climate legislation. According to the memorandum, handling the crisis shall occur on two primary levels. The first is prevention and minimization of greenhouse gas emissions in order for Israel to meet its international obligations under the Paris Agreement. The second is advancing national preparedness for the impacts and harms of the climate crisis.
Categories: Environmental Law
The Bank of Israel published its latest annual review at the end of May. The review includes an announcement by Supervisor of Banks Yair Avidan that he is promoting the formulation of updated comprehensive regulations on environmental risk management, considering the considerable importance he attributes to the subject of the environment.
On June 1, 2021, the regulations that guided the conduct of workplaces during the coronavirus crisis expired. Accordingly, from this day forward, there is no longer a requirement to operate in accordance with the green tag or purple tag directives in the workplace. At this stage, holding gatherings, professional trainings, and group meals at the workplace is permitted, even without observing social distancing.
In light of global capital market investors’ growing interest in the topic of responsible investments, the Israel Securities Authority recently published a proposed outline for corporate responsibility and ESG risk disclosures.
This past year has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for employers in Israel, in terms of both their business activities and their role as employers. Now, when we can perhaps see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Israel’s vaccination campaign, quite a few questions arise.
When competing entities join forces to submit a tender offer, it reduces the overall number of entities competing for a tender. Reducing the number of competing entities may increase the market power of those participating entities against the tender holder and enable them to make less attractive offers.
The Israel Securities Authority recently established guidelines on when a cryptographic currency (token) is considered a security. The ISA determined that Kirobo tokens meet the definition of a security. This is primarily because the The Israel Securities believes investors would intend to purchase the tokens for financial purposes. In addition, these investors would anticipate their holdings to go up in value.
On December 30, 2020, the Israel Competition Authority (ICA) notified SOS, a company in the field of fueling services, it was imposing a financial sanction of NIS 6.3 million on the company. In addition, it imposed a financial sanction of NIS 350,000 on an executive officer in the company. Following a complaint an SOS competitor filed with the ICA, the ICA concluded SOS had entered into exclusivity agreements with its clients. The company also implemented a policy whereby it would not provide fueling services to a client if the client simultaneously engaged with a competing fuel service provider.
Categories: Competition Law and Antitrust
Israel’s Privacy Protection Authority published its guidelines and emphases for protecting the privacy of individuals when conducting COVID-19 epidemiological investigations in workplaces.