Following pressure from parliament, the Swiss Federal Council last year launched a consultation process on new legislation for the review of foreign investments. In May 2023, the Swiss Federal Council has taken note of the results of the consultation on the proposed investment control law. A majority of the participants in the consultation argued that the proposed investment control law would weaken Switzerland’s attractiveness as a business location, while a significant minority sees a clear need for action and is in favor of introducing foreign investment screening also in Switzerland.
The legal framework for the labelling of vegan and vegetarian alternatives to meat is continuously evolving and also differs from country to country. In Switzerland, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office had put forward a very strict interpretation, deeming as deceptive and thus prohibited any use of animal designations in the labelling of vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives. In a recent decision, the Administrative Court of the Canton of Zurich rejected this strict approach and deemed the use of the terms “planted.chicken”, “like chicken”, “like pork”, “pulled pork”, “vegan pork” or “chicken from plants” on the packaging of vegan meat alternatives as not deceptive.
After pressure from Parliament, the Swiss Federal Council has against its own intentions opened the consultation process on new legislation to screen foreign investments in future also in Switzerland and has published a draft investment control law (“Draft ICL”). By implementing foreign investment control mechanisms, Switzerland would follow the global trend towards stricter regulation of foreign investments. According to the Draft ICL, the new law would apply to acquisitions of domestic companies by foreign investors. The main objective is the aversion of possible threats to public order and national security resulting from acquisitions of domestic companies by foreign investors. The final aim is to create investment controls in a new and stand-alone federal law.
In August 2022, the Swiss Competition Commission launched an investigation against the multinational healthcare company Fresenius Kabi Group.
The Swiss Parliament has adopted new provisions in the Swiss Cartel Act regarding the business conduct of companies with relative market power, the freedom of powerful companies to set prices, and geo-blocking practices. The revised Swiss law will enter into force on 1 January 2022.
As a result of the extraordinary situation resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in Switzerland, the Executive Board of the Federal Procurement Conference (FPC) has issued recommendations for the public procurement of goods and services and contractual matters during the current COVID-19 crisis. The main goal is to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Swiss economy from a public procurement perspective.
The recommendations are valid during the exceptional situation as defined in the COVID-19-Ordinance 2 on measures to combat the coronavirus (SR 818.101.24) and for six months after the end of the exceptional situation.
However, owing to federalism, procurement law is not uniform. The recommendations of the FPC are not legally binding and, thus, the cantons may deviate from them.