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Data, Privacy & Cyber-security in the Age of Covid

As our digital reliance increases globally, privacy and cyber-security are key tenets of every business nowadays, plus they have significant liabilities attached.

So Mackrell International assembled an international panel of data & privacy experts to share advice on some key issues for employers and employees.

In this recording, you’ll discover insight on:

• Are companies doing enough to protect themselves, their clients and their employees against cyber-crime?

• If you have robust systems and protocols in place, are you making sure they evolve?

• The danger of data breaches and of not having robust passwords.

• The increased issues caused by home-working and employees using their own devices for work.

• Training your staff – you may have the best systems in place, but lack of awareness could make staff your weakest link

• Should data protection form part of an annual report?

• How can companies mitigate against internal attacks – either inadvertent or deliberate?

• Should you have an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) in place for your employees?

• Are you penetration testing?

• How encryption can help

• Do you have a written information security plan?

Our international experts can be found in the Data & Privacy Practice Group

and you can find member firms here:

Wherever you are and whatever your business needs, Mackrell International have you covered.

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

2020 APAC Regional Meeting

What better place to start our series of Mackrell International Regional Meetings than in Asia Pacific?

For much of the region, it’s almost ‘business as usual’ (or even ‘better than usual’!). Every lawfirm reports being super busy – and that’s not just fire-fighting for clients, but helping to build new opportunities.

Thank you to our MI APAC legal family who turned up in force and shared insight, the subtle adaptations they’ve made to remain agile and plans for ‘beyond 2020’.

Our health-check revealed that staff retention is strong and smart recruitment is underway to build for the future.

**The heartbeat is strong in Asia Pacific. **

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Google Antitrust Probes Are Global

The US Justice Department launched a lawsuit against Google for antitrust violations last month. The suit alleges Google has abused its dominance in online search and advertising.

The case was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C, and now eleven US states have joined the federal government in the lawsuit.

Scott Tarter, a partner at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP shared insight on what is happening in Indiana:

“Regulators claim Google holds nearly 90% of the American search engine market and use this monopoly power to provide lower quality search and ad services while charging unfairly high ad prices.

Google pays Apple billions of dollars to maintain its status as the default search engine on Apple devices and has strong distribution channel arrangements that could support regulator concerns.

However, Google’s response will likely be that it pays dearly for default search engine status and that companies like Apple choose Google because it’s simply the best search engine as well as being preferred by consumers.

It could come down to traditional antitrust notions of ‘too much’ economic power versus pure consumer preference.”

For a greater understanding of what is happening in your state, connect with one of our American antitrust specialists:

Connecticut: Carmody Torrance

Indiana: Bose McKinney & Evans

New York: Morrison Cohen

Pennsylvania: Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti

South Carolina: Nexsen Pruet

Texas: Mehaffy Weber, Scheef & Stone

Washington: Keller & Heckman

West Virginia: Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti

For other States see Mackrell website:

Global Reach The U.S. monopoly case follows on the heels of #antitrust investigations in other countries and is likely to trigger an onslaught of new antitrust lawsuits around the world.

Mackrell International’s (MI) Antitrust lawyers are poised to help companies around the world as regulators open up their own investigations.

Benjamin Grebe from Prieto Abogados in Chile is the MI Antitrust Practice Group leader. “The effects of the conducts in the digital era are global;we expect to see national investigations around the world in this or other issues related to alleged exclusionary practices by web browsers or search engines.”

European Union The move against Google may seem bold for the US, but the European Union has already launched three separate antitrust investigations dating back to 2010.

To date, Google has been fined a total of €8.2 billion (US$9.3 billion): €1.5 billion in 2019, forcing customers of its AdSense business to sign non-compete contracts, €4.3 billion in 2018 for abusing its market dominance in mobile, and €2.4 billion the year before that for manipulating shopping search results. Google's $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit FIT.N. is also being investigated.

The main lesson learned in Europe is that the investigations were a long, drawn-out process, which provided Google the time and opportunity to change tactics. Even if Google lost their appeals they could easily afford the fees.

Our European Antitrust members include:

Germany: Danckelmann & Kerst, SKW Schwarz, SLB Kloepper

Denmark: Codex Advokater

Netherlands: TenHolter Noordam

Sweden: Wesslau Söderqvist

Greece & Cyprus: Christodoulos Vassiliades

For other Countries see Mackrell website:

India In 2018, India’s anti-competition regulator fined Google for “search bias,” but is currently being appealed. Other probes allege that smartphone makers are unable to opt for alternate Android versions and that Google unfairly promotes its mobile payments app in the country. In a fourth antitrust challenge, India is expected to launch a new case for allegedly abusing its Android operating system’s position in the smart television market. For more information connect with our member firms Murali & Co in Bangalore and RNC Legal in Delhi.

Mexico In Mexico, the Federal Telecommunications Agency (“IFT”) announced a market investigation to determine the possible existence of barriers to competition and/or essential inputs that may result in anticompetitive effects, i.e. to assess whether structural or behavioral distortions exist such that there is no effective competition González Calvillo Antitrust Group can be reached here

Japan Japan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has indicated that it will join forces with the US and Europe to take on any market abuses not only from Google, but Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

Our trusted colleagues in Japan are Kojima Law Offices.

For other Global Member Firms see Mackrell website:

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Covid-19 Reality: Understanding Force Majeure and Frustration of Contract

Covid-19 has created a global threat to the ongoing operations of many businesses. Several have been left at risk, unable to fulfil contractual obligations due to disruptions of their supply chain.

Osayaba Giwa-Osagie of our Nigerian member firm Giwa-Osagie & Co, co-authored an informative piece in Business Day outlining the doctrines of force majeure and frustration of contract which can provide relief to clients prevented or hindered from performing obligations under a commercial contract.

Simply put - frustration of contract puts an end to a contract, whereas force majeure only defers the performance of the contract until the supervening event abates or is no longer a factor.

To avoid a contract being found to have been frustrated, parties should apportion risks, by embedding a force majeure clause in the contract.

Click to read the full article in Business Day.

Osayaba Giwa-Osagie

Giwa-Osagie & Co

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