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On December 30, 2020, the Israel Competition Authority (ICA) notified SOS, a company in the field of fueling services, it was imposing a financial sanction of NIS 6.3 million on the company. In addition, it imposed a financial sanction of NIS 350,000 on an executive officer in the company. Following a complaint an SOS competitor filed with the ICA, the ICA concluded SOS had entered into exclusivity agreements with its clients. The company also implemented a policy whereby it would not provide fueling services to a client if the client simultaneously engaged with a competing fuel service provider.
Categories: Competition Law and Antitrust
Israel entered another general lockdown, which began at midnight (January 8, 2021) and will continue until January 21, 2021. We have summarized the main guidelines concerning workplace activity during lockdown. The final and binding version of the regulations regarding workplace activity during lockdown have yet to be published.
The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) has announced that, temporarily, it will not initiate or recommend taking enforcement measures against corporations licensed in portfolio management, investment advising, and investment marketing that have not fulfilled professional liability insurance requirements.
Categories: Capital Markets
Israel’s Privacy Protection Authority published its guidelines and emphases for protecting the privacy of individuals when conducting COVID-19 epidemiological investigations in workplaces.
Last July, the National Labor Court issued an important ruling on a service user’s obligation to take part in the termination and hearing process for contract workers employed on site. According to that ruling, the extent of the service user’s participation in the hearing depends on the circumstances. Accordingly, in our previous update, we tried to predict the criteria that would be taken into account, in order to analyze how the National Labor Court’s ruling should be applied in various scenarios.
The COVID-19 crisis has thrown many employers into economic difficulties. In these uncertain times, many employers are asking themselves if they are obligated to pay their employees bonuses. Just before the end of 2020, the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court issued a new ruling on this very subject.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, many employers have been forced to reduce employees' salaries. Such reductions, when not made through agreements or in an orderly fashion, may be fertile ground for claims regarding material worsening of work conditions, effective termination proceedings, and creating a stress-filled work environment.
Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection imposed a financial sanction of NIS 634,000 on Bazan Group's Gadiv Petrochemical Industries for not complying with a deadline to stop harmful emissions. The ministry stated that due to the severity of the violation, both a financial sanction and administrative enforcement measures would be imposed.
The Bank of Israel recently issued new rules on marketing and credit management. The purpose of the new rules is to prevent credit risks not tailored for the customer. They include restrictions on aggressive marketing and granting certain clients credit.
A recent amendment to the Consumer Protection Law seeks to place restrictions on telemarketing. As part of the amendment, the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority will establish a database of consumers who don't want to receive telemarketing calls from various businesses. Businesses will not be able to contact a consumer whose telephone number is registered in this database, except in specific circumstances.
A statutory amendment to the Economic Assistance Program Law (Novel Coronavirus) (Temporary Order) arranges payment for employees absent from work due to mandatory quarantine. The new arrangement stipulates that an employee entitled to sick pay from the first day of absence is also entitled to quarantine pay from the first day of absence.
While the activity of most financial intermediaries in Israel is regulated and supervised, broker-dealers have so far operated in an unsupervised manner and without dedicated regulation. In light of this, the Israel Securities Authority has published a legislative memorandum aimed at regulating the field of broker-dealers in Israel.
Several days ago, the second phase of financial assistance grants for third-sector companies kicked off. Compared to the first phase, the size of a company's revenue for grant eligibility was expanded, as were the period of harm and the maximum assistance threshold.
With the goal of expanding the public's investment options, the Israel Securities Authority published in February 2020 a first draft of a document for public comments on the core characteristics of two new financial products: alternative mutual funds of the hedge fund type and hedged mutual funds of funds.
The Israel Securities Authority recently published a staff position on situations it believes indicate fraudulent securities trading and which justify opening a criminal investigation.
In a bold step, the Haifa District Court rejected the Israel Tax Authority’s position on a company’s repurchasing of shares, and in effect split with a ruling of the Tel Aviv District Court, who considered a similar issue several years ago.
The Israel Securities Authority will soon require public companies to disclose details about independent committees tasked with overseeing transactions with controlling shareholders. The staff position was put together due to the increased need for supervision and oversight of decision-making processes in transactions between public companies and their controlling shareholders.
Israel’s Privacy Protection Authority has published its recommendation that every organization appoint a privacy protection supervisor. This supervisor’s task is to implement the privacy protection laws that apply to the organization. The PPA noted that although Israeli law does not impose such a duty, it is a best practice recommended for organizations that collect and analyze personal data.
The European Parliament recently adopted a new regulation on crowdfunding platform activity. This regulation will apply across the board to all European Union countries. According to the new regulation's provisions, it is possible to raise up to only EUR 5 million on a crowdfunding platform. Additionally, the regulation stipulates rules to protect people investing through a crowdfunding platform, reporting duties for the entities raising funds, and more.
An Israeli court recently rendered an interesting ruling on the impact of COVID-19. The case in question involved the lease agreement for the operation of a hotel. The lease agreement, executed in February 2020, provided payment of rental fees for the month of March, but payment for the months of April and May had not yet been arranged.
Categories: Real Estate