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Latest issue - Vol 16 (2018) - Issue 2

EU geo-blocking regulation – practical steps for franchise businesses

Ariane Le Strat, Bird & Bird, London, UK

Cracking down on geo-blocking has been a crucial element of the European Commission's Digital Single Market project. It was also an important focus area of its e-commerce sector inquiry and the final report of May 2017 featured in depth analysis of geo-blocking levels across the EU. The Commission is clearly of the view that geo-blocking limits cross border trade within the internal market through geographical market segmentation. The latest instalment of the Commission's crackdown, the Geo-Blocking Regulation will have a wide impact on businesses across the EU.

Franchising in Africa: growth in the industry and data privacy and protection issues

Kendal H. Tyre, Jr. and Nia Newton, Nixon Peabody, and Diana Vilmenay, Gray Plant Mooty, Washington, D.C., USA

Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Multinational companies, including international franchisors, are paying close attention to this growth as they realize opportunities for investment in this burgeoning market. As interest in African-based investment rises and African countries work to strengthen their economies, the franchise industry in particular has grown in popularity as a medium to achieve the economic stimulus that these African nations seek. Oftentimes, this also means that these nations are working to ensure that their laws and regulations are in line with current global standards to facilitate cross-border business. One area that has become increasingly important in this effort is data privacy and protection.

From the desk of the GC

Mark Abell, Bird & Bird, London, UK

An interview with Les Wharton, Chief Legal Officer, Coverall North America Inc.

How Australia’s franchising regulator establishes its enforcement priorities

Michael T. Schaper, Ph.D., Deputy Chairman, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney University, Canberra, Australia

This article outlines the system used by one national regulator of franchising, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, to develop its annual enforcement, litigation and education-related priorities in the sector. The author explains how those priorities are established, the current and past priorities of especial interest to the franchising community, and the utility of developing such a process.

New franchise legislation announced in The Netherlands

Dr Mark Abell, Bird & Bird, London, UK

Franchisors considering entering the Dutch market need to be aware that the Netherland's Government announced on 23 May 2018 that it is preparing legislation intended to strengthen the position of franchisees.

Spanish franchisors’ registry temporarily suspends the obligation to register

Lourdes Ayala and Antonio Ballesteros, Bird & Bird, Madrid, Spain

Following the failure of a newly established digital registration platform, the Spanish economy ministry suspended franchisors’ legal duty of disclosure and registration. This article provides an overview of these obligations and the recently imposed stricter criteria for registration. The authors consider the legality of the suspension and the implications for franchisors.