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Curt Dombek is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade Practice Group. Curt divides his time between the firm's Brussels and Los Angeles offices.

Internet platform providers rely upon developers of applications to populate their application stores.  Some platform providers mandate app developers to use the platform’s in-app purchasing system as a condition to sell the apps on the platform.  There have also been commission charges as high as 30% imposed on digital goods or services sold through their stores.  The temptation to use their enormous leverage to gain further economic advantage is understandable, but governments, not to mention app developers, have taken an increasingly dim view of this behavior.  A number of countries are considering legislation to prohibit such mandates by Internet platform providers.  A leading example is the Republic of Korea, where its legislature has just voted to enact such a prohibition.

Continue Reading Legislatures Can Free App Developers from Platform Providers’ Mandates to Use Their In-App Purchasing Systems Without Violating WTO Principles

In August 2020, we wrote a blog post about the adoption by the European Commission (“Commission”) of a White Paper on Foreign Subsidies. On 5 May 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market after an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. This post updates our previous entry and considers the implications of the newly proposed regulation.
Continue Reading The European Commission Adopts a Proposal for a Regulation on Foreign Subsidies Distorting the Internal Market

On May 10, 2021, the EU adopted its new, revised version of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (the “Regulation”).  It is widely acknowledged to be the first major reform to the structure of the EU’s export control regime since 2009.

The text of the Regulation was approved by the European Parliament on March 26, 2021. In November 2020, the Council and European Parliament representatives reached a provisional political agreement on the Regulation. The reform of EU export controls had initially been proposed by the European Commission in September 2016.
Continue Reading A New Era of Export Controls Begins in the EU: The Revised EU Dual-Use Export Controls to Promote Human Rights

On Tuesday, May 19, the U.S. Commerce Department published a regulation (effective May 15, 2020) that prohibits sale to Huawei of a microchip made to a Huawei specification, made outside the United States with non-U.S. materials, sent from a foreign country, by a foreign person.

To quote the philosopher, hol’ up.

How is that even possible?
Continue Reading Huawei Whack-A-Mole: The U.S. Takes Another Swing at the Chinese Semiconductor Industry

Taking a break from reporting on COVID-19 legal developments, we turn for a moment to what is happening now on export control of autonomous vehicle technology.

The autonomous vehicle R&D sector is booming, largely in the last three years. Companies are investing in sensor technology and machine learning, and creating pilot programs to test self-driving cars both for individuals and ride-sharing purposes.


Continue Reading The Emerging Landscape for Export Controls on Autonomous Vehicle Technology

*This is an updated version of the December 10th blog post.

Key Takeaways:

  • Emerging technology sectors are being reviewed now for new export controls that could take effect in 2019 (list below).
  • You may submit comments on the criteria the U.S. government will use to determine what technologies are subject to export controls.
  • The deadline for comments has been extended to January 10, 2019.
  • We can help.


Continue Reading Comment Deadline Extended: Export Controls on Emerging Technologies

Key Takeaways:

  • Emerging technology sectors will soon be subject to new export controls.
  • Affected sectors include biotech, computing, artificial intelligence, positioning and navigation, data analytics, additive manufacturing, robotics, brain-machine interface, advanced materials, and surveillance.
  • New export controls on these sectors will likely require companies to obtain a license to export products to China and other destinations, and impose restrictions on sharing information with foreign nationals.
  • These sectors will also be added the list of industries subject to enhanced foreign investment scrutiny by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
  • The U.S. government has invited comments on the criteria to be used to establish new controls. The deadline for comments is December 19, 2018.

Export controls and other regulations often lag a step or two behind the times. That trend has accelerated with the pace of technological advancement. As a result, for many years, technical know-how in many cutting-edge technical fields has not been subject to export controls. This has meant that many commercial technical innovations could be freely exported without significant restrictions. As long as they were not designed for a military application, and no encryption technology involved, many new ideas developed in the United States were simply unaccounted for in the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

But the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is about to make up a lot of ground in a single, large leap.
Continue Reading The Little Regulation That Will Make a Big Change in How You Do Business: Department of Commerce to Establish New Export Controls on Emerging Technologies

A tripartite agreement to save the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has just been reached. Since June 2017, the United States, Canada, and Mexico have been renegotiating NAFTA. After over a year of negotiations, late on Sunday night, September 30, 2018, Canada agreed to sign the revised agreement. That agreement is called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.
Continue Reading The New NAFTA: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

Key Points

1. All sanctions on Iran that were in place before January 2016 will be re-imposed no later than November, 4 2018.

2. Secondary sanctions that penalize non-U.S. persons doing business with Iran will be reinstated.

3. General License H, allowing non-U.S. subsidiaries of U.S. companies to do business in Iran, will be revoked.

4. In some cases, companies may take payments or repayments for sales, loans, or credits to Iran after November 4, 2018
Continue Reading Client Alert: Iran Sanctions Return