In a recent decision, the Commercial Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) has qualified the conditions for the application of disparagement by incorporating the right to freedom of expression in its reasoning.
This case-law development is not neutral for economic players likely to be confronted with situations of disparagement in the conduct of their business operations, particularly in case of unfair competition disputes.
This decision provides an opportunity to revisit the notion of disparagement and its application by French courts in recent years.
Message received loud and clear by the Paris Court of Appeals!
In line with the highly noted decision issued on November 28, 2018 by the Labor Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme court) which, as we commented in December 2018, sent a strong signal to the lower courts by recognizing the reclassification of the agreement between a deliverer and a digital platform as an employment contract, the Paris Court of Appeals held for the first time that the contract binding Uber to one of its drivers ought to be analyzed as an employment contract.
The combined reading of the thorough analysis made by the Court in this recent decision and in the previous decision concerning Twitter offers a valuable framework for identifying provisions that may be considered abusive or unlawful within the meaning of French consumer law and the legislation on the protection of personal data.
There are many legal cases and court decisions concerning the exclusion of shareholders because disputes between shareholders are frequent and the exclusion sensitive to implement practice.
While judges ensure strict compliance with the terms and conditions that govern the exclusion of shareholders, some legal tricks do enable to circumvent the inflexibility of the rules of law.
This is the case in a decision handed down on October 24, 2018 by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) in which it approved a by-laws provision that deprived the shareholder whose exclusion was contemplated of his right to participate in the decision and to cast a vote on the exclusion resolution.
In a previous article entitled “Brexit: Troubled negotiations failed. What next?”, I mentioned the forthcoming adoption of several Ordinances in furtherance of the so-called Enabling Law of January 19, 2019 that authorized the French Government “to take measures by way of Ordinances to prepare for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union”. Since then, six Ordinances were signed between January 23 and February 13, 2019 which underline the urgency and the dangers of a no-deal Brexit, the consequences of which have not be sufficiently anticipated upstream.
The fast-track procedure launched by the French Government even before the vote of the British Parliament that rejected the withdrawal agreement negotiated between the United Kingdom and the European Union made it possible to adopt within an extremely short timeframe these first Ordinances intended to address the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
On January 21, 2019, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (French Data Protection Authority) fined Google LLC 50 million euros under EU Regulation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) for lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent as regards personalized advertisements.
This is the largest fine imposed in relation to the GDPR, the key text in the field of data protection, that came into force on May 25, 2018.
Published on April 25, 2018, Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 as regards cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions has the objective to “provide specific and comprehensive procedures for cross-border conversions, divisions and mergers to foster cross-border mobility in the EU while, at the same time, offering company stakeholders [i.e. employees, creditors and shareholders] adequate protection in order to safeguard the fairness of the Single Market.”
This article provides an overview of the contemplated procedures.
In 2018, the French Ministry of Labor published the pay gaps between men and women: a 9% differential in wage and 25% at the end of the career. Yet, as per the famous principle “equal pay for equal work”, the employer is required to ensure equality of remuneration between employees of either gender, as long as the concerned employees are placed in identical situations.
Obviously, while an annual negotiation on professional gender equality has been mandatory in companies with more than 50 employees since January 1, 2012, the contemplated scheme has not yet fully come into effect.
Persistent gender inequalities have led the legislator to take action again by introducing for employers the obligation to publish indicators relating to gender pay gaps.
We are only two months ahead of the expiry of the two-year timeframe provided for by Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union that will entail the automatic exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, unless if this timeframe is extended or if an agreement on a transition period is reached. Following the UK Parliament’s rejection of the withdrawal agreement concluded in Brussels on November 25, 2018, a no-deal Brexit seems less and less avoidable.
In a Law dated January 19, 2019 and published in the Official Journal on January 20, 2019, the French Parliament has just authorized the Government “to take measures by way of Ordinances to prepare for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.”
Since the entry into force of Regulation 1/2003 on May 1, 2014, the National Competition Authorities (“NCAs”) of the 27 Member States and the European Commission form the “European Competition Network” which aims at ensuring the effective enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
15 years after entry into force of this Regulation, it appeared necessary to extend it in order to standardize the statuses of the NCAs for the purpose of unifying the enforcement of EU competition law. In this context, Directive 2019/1 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market was published on December 18, 2018.
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