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The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action was able to fend off an attempt by Taiwanese chip supplier GlobalWafers to have the foreign trade law condition for the Siltronic takeover established by means of an urgent appeal. The Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg dismissed GlobalWafers’ appeal against the ruling of the Berlin Administrative Court passed shortly before (OVG 1 S 10/22).

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BLOMSTEIN has represented Vodafone in a successful challenge to a merger clearance of a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and EWE AG. Following an appeal by Vodafone and complex court proceedings, on 22 September 2021 the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf annulled the 2019 clearance decision issued by the Federal Cartel Office for “Glasfaser Nordwest”, a joint venture to expand the fibre network in the north-western part of Germany.

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When the arsenal of enforcement tools for the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) was stocked up in January 2021 with the overhauled German competition law, bets were high which of the GAFAM would be hit first. Wasting no time, the FCO immediately put its new powers into action in two high-profile cases: Facebook came first, Amazon followed foot with an investigation announced yesterday. At the same time, the FCO has reallocated staff and resources to increase its focus on e-commerce and the digital economy and even created an entire new division for this. What should players in the digital economy watch out and prepare for?

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Today is one of the rare days where the city of Berlin is covered with a very light white layer of snow; the long expected new competition law chose this day to enter the stage and silently enter into force. We summarize the main changes, which may well make some noise in the months to come.

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Margrethe Vestager, EU commissioner for competition policy, recently issued a stern public warning to car manufacturers. The European Commission is currently investigating the companies for their role in Germany’s infamous car emissions scandal. Businesses that intend to cooperate in the area of cybersecurity would do well to reflect on the commissioner’s warning as well. Cars and IT? At first glance, few parallels come to mind between the traditional automotive sector and the relatively new field of cybersecurity. Yet both areas face disruptive technological challenges that companies can only overcome together. The cautionary tale of the German carmakers offers vital antitrust lessons for technical cooperation far beyond the confines of the automotive industry.

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The subject of cybersecurity has gained in importance within Germany and the European Union. There is a growing need to protect the digital market, and players’ IT systems therein, against cybersecurity threats. In the last two years, 68% of enterprises have registered cybersecurity attacks against them. According to the President of the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Informationstechnologie or BSI), the number of malware programs that we currently know of in Germany (roughly 800 million) grows each day by 390,000. Consequently, European and German legislators have taken measures in order to strengthen cybersecurity, thereby imposing a multitude of new obligations on EU Member States and enterprises. This briefing aims to provide an overview of the most relevant cybersecurity legislation and the requirements affected parties must meet.

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Digital information and online communication are becoming more and more important. As a result, people are increasingly aiming to protect their IT systems against attacks. Cybersecurity considerations play a special role in governmental restrictions on foreign direct investments (FDI) to protect against foreign interference in key infrastructure or security-related sectors. In Germany, this has led to increased scrutiny of M&A transactions by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (FMEA) – not limited to companies active in key areas of software development or IT security.

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The digitalisation of global trade is constantly expanding. In the 21st century data will become the most important commodity, according to a report in the German newspaper “Handelsblatt”. The continuing development of 3D printing technology makes it possible to send, instead of the actual goods, data that can then be used to print the goods directly at the receiving end. The more the digitisation of trade develops, the more important cybersecurity products are becoming.

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Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important. In the wake of cyberattacks on the German parliament, the foreign office and on prominent public figures, there is now greater awareness of the need for the state and companies to protect the integrity of their existing IT systems. The following article explains how a public contracting entity can achieve a higher standard of cybersecurity through its procurement procedures. Another related article provides an overview of some of the particularities that arise in the procurement of cybersecurity goods and services.

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Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important. In the wake of cyberattacks on the German parliament, the foreign office, and on prominent public figures, there is now greater awareness of the need for the State and companies to protect the integrity of their existing IT systems. The following article will provide an overview of some of the particularities that arise in the procurement of cybersecurity goods and services. Another article explains how a public contracting entity can achieve a higher standard of cybersecurity in its procurement procedures.

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