Update (9/18/2018): Last week, as the U.S. House of Representatives was reconciling its spending bill for the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) with the amendment package passed by the U.S. Senate that is discussed below, House Republicans declined to adopt S.Amdt. 3964, which would have provided HHS with $1 million to issue rules requiring pharmaceutical companies to list prices
On June 18 the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that it intends to allow institutions additional time—until July 1, 2019—to comply with certain disclosure requirements of ED’s “gainful employment” (GE) regulations. ED will accept comments on the proposed delay until July 18. As ED is engaged in a rulemaking process to develop proposed regulations
Bye bye trade secrets?
In the new ARC, confidential information and trade secrets still enjoy special protection. The reason is clear: as soon as secret information is revealed, it becomes obvious and, as such, is no longer protected as confidential. The defendant that is sued for disclosure of information may therefore reply with a confidentiality objection against the request. But it does not stop short at objecting with confidentiality: the claimant may still apply for judicial review according to para 89b(6) ARC. In the course of this review – which will probably be modeled in camera similar to para 99(2) of the Rules of the Administrative Courts (“Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung”, VWGO) – the court decides, after having heard the parties, whether the information is indeed confidential. If this is the case, the court may still disclose the confidential information on a case-by-case basis and only if the interest in the disclosure of the information outweighs the interest in keeping the information secret. Whether these documents will be handed over to the claimant directly, whether the court may impose an obligation of secrecy on the lawyers vis-à-vis their clients – all of this is not explicitly spelled out in the new Act.
The 9th amendment of the ARC aims at increasing the effectiveness of private antitrust enforcement. This aim does not stop short of obtaining information. In order to strengthen the injured party’s position, the information asymmetry between the injured party and the infringer is to be remedied. Almost reflexively, the new rights to obtain information have been labeled “German Discovery” or “Discovery Light”. So what about these new rights? Are they improving the enforcement of cartel damage claims? Are they going to transfer an Anglo-American legal status into German law?
The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (“FtT“) has published an interesting decision on the disclosure of commercially confidential information. In John Eustace v The Information Commissioner, Southampton City Council (the “Council“) was ordered to disclose commercial information relating to the revenue stream it received from bus stop advertising, in part because other local authorities had been
The California Attorney General’s (AG) office recently issued letters to more than 1,700 companies listed as manufacturers or retailers on their California state tax returns requiring them to notify the AG’s office that they are, or are not, in compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (the Act). These letters appear to be
The Supreme Court has ruled that the absolute exemption contained in s.32(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA“) continues to apply to information obtained or created by a person conducting an inquiry even after the termination of that inquiry. The decision was not without dissent, however, with the minority of the Court considering
A Scottish council has been required to provide data indicating whether it pays traditionally “male” jobs more than traditionally “female” roles, after the Supreme Court rejected its argument that Data Protection legislation prevented disclosure. The case provides clarification on what is meant by the requirement that disclosure, and other forms of data processing, be “necessary”
The High Court has rejected an application by the Metropolitan Police to withhold aerial surveillance footage from the legal team representing the mother of an individual shot and killed by police. The High Court turned down the Met’s application for a judicial review of a decision by the chairman of an inquiry set up to
The U.S. DOT this week issued guidance related to the use of the term “free” in air fare advertising and the disclosure of costs associated with award travel. DOT Guidance Free. The DOT is giving entities covered by this guidance sixty days to modify their promotional material in accordance with this guidance. The DOT announced
Last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Department of the Interior (DOI) published a proposed rule that would revise certain regulations related to oil and gas development on public and Indian lands to add requirements for hydraulic fracturing operations. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted to BLM until July 10,