News (#10 October 2018)

Biznews

AMCU

Acquisition of SUN InBev Ukraine PJSC assets made AMCU impose fine on the company

The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has imposed a fine on Slavuta Malt House PJSC in amount of UAH 255,000 for violating the legislation on the protection of economic competition by way of merger by acquiring control over elevator assets that ensure storage of malt and grain crops, which are located in Kharkiv and owned by SUN InBev Ukraine PJSC (Kyiv), without obtaining the required authorisation from the Committee agencies.

Moreover, PJSC was fined for the same amount due to acquisition of control over elevator assets that ensure storage of malt and grain crops, which are located in Chernihiv and owned by SUN InBev Ukraine PJSC,
without obtaining the required authorisation from AMCU agencies.

Competition

EU suspects Amazon of unfair competition

The regulatory authorities of the European Union are inspecting the activities of Amazon, one of the worlds largest online retailers. This is reported by Reuters, citing Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition, UBR says.

It is reported that the US company is suspected of using the data of vendors placed on its website in a way that prevents competition. In particular, the problem lies in the fact that by placing the data of vendors on its website Amazon is simultaneously competing with the same retailers. The regulator believes that the company may use the data of other vendors for its own sales.

EU regulatory authorities will interview market participants as part of the investigation into this question.

Technologies

China courts to accept for consideration data in blockchain

Data recorded in blockchain can be accepted for consideration by Chinas Internet courts to adopt judgements on cases involving copyright infringement, fraudulent practices and online trading.

The Supreme Peoples Court of China published the relevant regulation on 7 September. The new statutory provisions read that local Internet courts shall recognize the legality of blockchain as a data storage method. Information recorded in the distributed ledger can be considered as evidence and accepted for consideration, provided that the parties can prove the legitimacy of the technology used.

China has an Internet court currently operating in Hangzhou.
The institution specializes in considering cases involving digital data on the Internet and copyright. Similar institutions are set to be opened in Beijing and Guangzhou.

GitLab start-up raised USD 100 million

A well-known GitLab start-up, founded by Dmytro Zaporozhets, a resident of Kharkiv, raised USD 100 million of series D investments from Iconiq Capital. Following the transaction, its value exceeded USD 1 billion.

Taking into account the new round, the total amount of investment is now USD 145 million. A year ago, GitLab raised USD 20 million from Google Ventures, and in 2016 USD 20 million from August Capital, Khosla Ventures and Y Combinator. And a further USD 4 million was raised from Khosla Ventures in 2015.

GitLab is a web-based application for hosting projects source code based on the Git version control system. The management office is located in San Francisco.

Amazon to open 3,000 stores without cashiers and shop assistants

In the next few years, Amazon plans to open 3,000 new stores without cashiers and shop assistants called Amazon Go. Amazon Go is the first offline store without cash registers and shop assistants owned by online retailer Amazon. It was opened in January 2018 in the city of Seattle, USA. It can be entered by scanning the QR code in the Amazon application at the turnstile. The peculiar feature of the store system is that it monitors the goods the customer takes and enters them into a virtual shopping bill using cameras and sensors. At the shop exit the total amount is automatically debited from customers accounts. Amazon plans to open such stores in Chicago and San Francisco in the near future.

M&A

German department store chains Kaufhof and Karstadt to merge

Hudsons Bay Company and Signa Holding have agreed to merge Germanys two major department store chains, Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt as they seek to respond to fierce competition from ecommerce players, informed BERLIN (Reuters).

The deal will unite retail operations with annual sales of around EUR 5.4 billion (USD 6.3 billion). The combination will be 49.99% owned by Canadian retail giant Hudsons Bay, while Austrian Karstadt owner Signa will hold the remainder.

The agreement also includes the sale of stakes in HBCs European real estate assets to Signa and will result in net proceeds of EUR 411 million for HBC.

Signa will manage the day-to-day operations of the combined business, with Karstadt Chief Executive Stephan Fanderl leading the new retail company.

EU clears Apples purchase of Shazam

According to BRUSSELS (Reuters) The European Union approved Apples planned acquisition of British music discovery app Shazam, saying an EU antitrust investigation showed it would not harm competition in the bloc.The deal, announced in December last year, would help the iPhone maker better compete with Spotify, the industry leader in music streaming services.

The European Commission opened a full-scale investigation into the deal in April, emblematic of its recent worries that companies may buy a data-rich rival to mine it for information or drive others out of the market.

Apple was set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for the deal following the probe requested by seven European countries including France, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

Trade Policy

USA appealed to WTO because of Russian duties on American goods

The United States of America has submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a request to conduct consultations with Russia regarding duties on goods exported from the USA. A request to conduct consultations is the first step in the procedure for filing a claim within the organization.

From 5 August this year Russia introduced new rates of import duties for a number of American goods. These measures were a response to the duties on steel and aluminum imposed by the USA earlier. The duties affected equipment, tools for metal working and rock drilling, optic fiber, as well as vehicles for the transportation of goods.
The duties vary from 25% to 40%.

Banking & Finance

NBU opened access to the register of borrowers for banks

From 1 September 2018 the National Bank of Ukraine granted banks the opportunity to receive information from the credit registry. This refers to information about debtors, terms and conditions of credit transactions, fulfillment of obligations under such transactions, and the class of debtors.

Information from the register of the National Bank is provided to banks in real time free of charge.

On 4 March 2018 the Law On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Establishing and Maintaining of the Credit Register of the National Bank of Ukraine and Improving Credit Risk Management of Banks came into force. According to the new law, the NBU has established centralized a Credit Register accumulating information on borrowers credit transactions, outstanding debt to one bank under which is more than 100 minimum wages.

Banks will be obliged from 1 January 2019 to use information from the NBU Credit Register to assess credit risks.

Waste Management

Kyiv begins acceptance of applications to build waste recycling plant

Public Utility Provider Kyivkommunservice has begun accepting tender applications to determine the service provider for treatment and disposal of household waste produced in the capital. Acceptance of applications started on 28 August.

The minimum recycling plant capacity should be 426,000 tons per year, while the annual volume of household waste produced in Kyiv is 1.2 million tons.

The new waste recycling plant should be located not far from the geographical centre of the capital.

Participants of the tender for construction of the facility should have experience of establishing and operating waste recycling facilities. The successful bidder will be obliged to provide waste recycling services for at least 25 years from the time when the facility is commissioned.

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