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On 25 November 2021 (Case C-102/20), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that displaying advertisements directly in the e-mail inbox, so-called inbox advertising (“Inbox Werbung”), is only permissible with the recipient’s prior consent. The ECJ’s reasoning can also apply to the legal situation in Switzerland on the basis of the provisions of the Federal Act against Unfair Competition.

On 4 January 2022, the new UK foreign investment review regime under the National Security and Investment Act came into force, completing the overhaul of the UK’s foreign investment rules and commencing operation of a standalone foreign investment screening regime for the first time in the UK.

Covid-19

Emergency Decree 886/2021, published on 24 December 2021, does not extend the prohibition to terminate employment without cause and for lack or reduction of work or force majeure, or to suspend employees for lack or reduction of work or force majeure. The Decree also sets forth a progressive schedule that reduces the additional severance until its finalization in June 2022.

Antitrust / Competition

On 25 November 2021 (Case C-102/20), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that displaying advertisements directly in the e-mail inbox, so-called inbox advertising (“Inbox Werbung”), is only permissible with the recipient’s prior consent. The ECJ’s reasoning can also apply to the legal situation in Switzerland on the basis of the provisions of the Federal Act against Unfair Competition.

Anti-Corruption

This week’s discussion will cover the following: 6 January Investigation Update; White House Anti-Corruption Strategy; New OFAC Anti-Corruption Sanctions; DOJ Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on FARA; and ESG Update: Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s National Risk Committee Identifies Climate Change Initiative in Semiannual Risk Perspective report

United States

On December 16, 2021, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated eight Chinese tech companies to the Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies (“NS-CMIC”) list pursuant to Executive Order 13959, as amended by Executive Order 14032, for their alleged involvement in supporting surveillance of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang, China. On the next day, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) also added 37 new parties to the BIS Entity List, including 25 Chinese companies for their alleged involvement in efforts to develop and use biotechnology and other technologies for military application and human rights abuses. These sanctions are part of an increase in US Government efforts to prevent alleged human rights abuses.

Sanctions

On December 16, 2021, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated eight Chinese tech companies to the Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies (“NS-CMIC”) list pursuant to Executive Order 13959, as amended by Executive Order 14032, for their alleged involvement in supporting surveillance of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang, China. On the next day, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) also added 37 new parties to the BIS Entity List, including 25 Chinese companies for their alleged involvement in efforts to develop and use biotechnology and other technologies for military application and human rights abuses. These sanctions are part of an increase in US Government efforts to prevent alleged human rights abuses.