Role of Antitrust Laws in Paving the Way for Net-Zero Transmission

Antitrust laws are a set of legal regulations designed to promote competition and prevent anti-competitive practices in the marketplace. These laws are intended to protect consumers from monopolistic practices and encourage innovation and the development of new technologies. The role of antitrust laws in promoting competition in the energy sector is particularly important, given the critical role that the energy industry plays in the global economy and the environment.

The transition to net-zero transmission, balancing the production and removal of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, will require significant investments in developing and deploying new technologies, including clean energy technologies and transmission infrastructure. Antitrust laws can play a key role in ensuring that these investments are made in a way that promotes competition and innovation in the marketplace.

One of the most significant ways in which antitrust laws can support the push for net zero transmission is by preventing the formation of monopolies or other anti-competitive practices while promoting collaboration on the basis of collective environmental benefits. In the Washing Machine Case of 1999, the European Commission analyzed a collective agreement among producers of the domestic appliance to phase out washing machines that were not energy efficient. The Commission observed that although the agreement restricts competition, it could be allowed based on its collective environmental benefits. Antitrust laws can help keep an eye on anti-competitive behaviors while also promoting energy-efficient collaboration.

Moreover, antitrust laws can prevent dominant players in the energy industry from using their market power to thwart competition and innovation in the development of renewable energy technologies and transmission systems. Additionally, these laws can prevent the formation of cartels or other anti-competitive agreements that can limit the availability of clean energy technologies and transmission infrastructure.

In addition to preventing the formation of monopolies, antitrust laws can also promote green innovation competition in developing and deploying new green technologies. In 2021 the European Commission imposed a fine of $980 million on five car manufacturing companies for not using a technology that reduces harmful emissions beyond the legal limit. The manufacturers had collaborated to avoid competing on the technology, violating antitrust laws and green innovation competition. Laws like these can be employed to promote healthy competition and promote green energy solutions.

Currently, there are several laws dealing with anti-competitive behavior, but they have limited application in promoting green energy innovation and net zero transmission. In the EU, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the UK Competition Act of 1998, the Austrian Cartel Act of 2005, and Sherman Act of 1890, and the Clayton Act, of 1914 in the United States are the laws dealing with anti-competitive activities. Through these laws, companies are prohibited from colluding and suppressing sustainable innovation.

Recently, many countries have been relaxing antitrust laws to give room for collaboration related to environmental sustainability between competitors. Austria became the first country to include a green provision in its antitrust laws. Other jurisdictions are scrutinizing mergers and acquisitions under the theory of harm to sustainability. This type of relaxation is important in the energy sector, where the development of green technology requires collaboration on a scale that would be commercially impossible for a company to achieve alone.

However, sometimes antitrust laws may have chilling effects on the sustainable efforts of companies. Due to the uncertainty of determining whether certain efforts of a company are considered anti-competitive or not, companies are hesitant to participate in collaborations which can have a huge impact on sustainable goals. Recently Zurich Insurance Group said it was quitting Net Zero Insurance Alliance to avoid antitrust risks. This deterrence of anti-competition laws dampens the progress towards environmental sustainability goals.
Overall, antitrust laws are vital in promoting sustainable efforts and reducing carbon emissions.

Additionally, the laws prevent monopolistic practices providing space for healthy competition and innovation. On the other hand, antitrust laws can have a negative effect on beneficial collaboration due to their deterrent nature. However, recent reforms in the laws allow for large-scale partnerships to meet the required resources and skills in achieving energy-efficient goals.


Hailing from science fiction to becoming part and parcel of everyday life, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the world within a blink of an eye. The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has brought about a significant transformation in our daily lives, ranging from chatbots to digital identity verification and anti-fraud solutions. With a projected global market size of $407 billion by 2027, AI has become an essential part of decision-making for governments, companies, and individuals alike. However, as the demand for AI-based solutions increases, so does the need for new AI laws to tackle potential future problems.

In this ever-evolving world, by quickly grasping and resolving society’s growing needs, AI will become a quintessential tenet of the human world. In light of the rapid growth of this technology and increased demand in the global market, the organizations providing AI-based solutions are all geared up to provide more robust solutions. But at the same time, introducing new robust solutions in the presence of current security protocols may lead to catastrophic circumstances. According to the Guardian, the Secretary of State for Education employed an algorithm in the UK to calculate students’ grades. As a result, over 40 percent of students got grades worse than their teachers had assigned previously. In another instance, a report by BBC revealed that Apple’s Credit cards had lower credit limits for women than men. Hence, AI-based decisions can have a negative impact on specific segments of society by discriminating against them.

Moreover, companies have been highly investing in AI systems in their products, services, processes, and decision-making, which has steered worldwide attention to the system’s regulation issues. Industries such as car manufacturing are exponentially integrating AI systems into their products. Such products like self-driving cars can potentially harm human life, but there is a lack of clarity on ascertaining the resulting liability. For example, in 2018 when the Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian, initially, it was unclear who would be held accountable. To avoid such incidents and ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness in the use of AI, it is important to introduce AI legal standards.

Keeping in view the privacy, security and protection of individuals, governments have enacted various cybersecurity, data privacy, and AI laws. The GDPR and proposed EU AI Act in the European Union, the proposed Algorithmic Accountability Act 2022 in the United States, and AI Rule Book in the United Kingdom are formulated to regulate the AI industry. These laws oblige AI organizations to protect the sensitive data, information, and identity of data subjects and hold them accountable in the event of negligence.
AI is associated with the term ‘black box’ due to its complex structure and requires organizations to keep a skillful and well-trained workforce to develop, manage and implement AI-based systems in accordance with AI laws. Additionally, transparency and accountability of an entity are vital to gain the trust of its users; therefore, compliance with the existing laws and regulations is crucial. A slight negligence or failure to comply with the laws and regulations may result in detrimental effects for an organization costing millions in fines and damaging the reputation. To avoid such detrimental effects, it is in the best interest of an organization to comply with AI laws and keep itself updated.

Lex Bridge is a boutique law firm specialising in legal advice, regulatory compliance, and risk management services. With our in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of regulatory laws and risk management services and using our comprehensive database, we can provide your business with the guidance it needs to stay compliant and minimise potential legal exposure. We take pride in our commitment to excellence, integrity, and client satisfaction, and we work tirelessly to ensure your business is well-positioned and up-to-date in the regulatory landscape. Our clients and services are spread globally, primarily from the USA; EU; UK, and MENA states.​
This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Recent Reforms in US and UK Market and effect on overall Insolvency Regime

Insolvency laws in the US and UK have undergone significant reforms in recent years to improve the insolvency regime’s efficiency and effectiveness. These reforms have been driven by a range of factors, including changing economic conditions, technological advancements, and evolving attitudes toward corporate responsibility.
In the US, one of the most significant reforms in recent years has been the adoption of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). This legislation introduced a range of changes to the bankruptcy process, including imposing stricter eligibility requirements for debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as “liquidation” bankruptcy.

The BAPCPA also introduced the means test, determining a debtor’s ability to repay their debts. This test considers the debtor’s income, expenses, and other financial obligations and is used to determine whether the debtor is eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as “reorganization” bankruptcy.

Another significant reform in the US has been the adoption of the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA). This legislation created a new subchapter of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, specifically designed for small businesses with debts of less than $3.0 million. The SBRA aims to streamline the bankruptcy process for small businesses. The provisions like ownership retention and use of disposable income for plan payment make the exit process under SBRA faster, less expensive, and more accessible.

In the UK, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 has introduced a range of measures aimed at supporting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, including temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions, making it easier for businesses to access new finance, and introducing a new restructuring process called the “moratorium.” This allows companies in financial distress to obtain a 20-day breathing space from creditors to seek advice and prepare a restructuring plan. This payment holiday prevents forfeiture of lease by landlord, enforcement of security over company property, and restriction on disposal of floating charge assets.
In addition to these measures, the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 has introduced new rules governing the administration of insolvent estates, improving the efficiency of the insolvency process in the UK. These recent reforms have significantly impacted the insolvency regime in both the US and UK, introducing new measures to support businesses and improve the adequacy of the insolvency process.

Easy exit is vital to increase aggregate productivity, as it removes the unsuccessful ones. Through market selection, productivity can be enhanced as, on average exiting firms have lower productivity than surviving firms. This phenomenon has strong effects in the United States, where low-productivity firms find it more difficult to survive. Moreover, the gains to aggregate productivity are magnified if the scarce resources once trapped in inefficient firms, such as capital, labor, skills, and ideas, are reallocated to more productive uses.

Evidence suggests that firm exit creates space for new varieties to emerge and that new entrants productively recycle the assets of defunct firms across a range of activities. For example, the collapse of Lehman Brothers completely changed the landscape of banking ultimately leading to creation of new kinds of financial institutions like FinTechs. Additionally, by reducing the cost of failure, efficient insolvency regimes can spur firm creation, draw more talented individuals into entrepreneurship and incentivize radical innovation over conservative business strategies.

Overall, the recent reforms in the US and UK insolvency laws have been driven by a range of factors, including improving the efficacy and strength of the insolvency regimes. An effective and efficient insolvency regime can increase aggregate productivity and free up engaged skill and capital for more productive and successful firms.

Does Metaverse Pose any Legal Ramifications for the Real Estate Market?

Metaverse or Meta gained its popularity since Facebook has rebranded itself to Meta Platform, Inc. Facebook Metaverse or any other metaverse like Sandbox have completely replicated the real world into the virtual world. Here consumers can lease, rent or license properties and carry out businesses like in the real world. Between Nov.

22 and 28, $106 million worth of business was conducted in real estate on various metaverse platforms. As the business is growing in these metaverse companies are renting office spaces and conducting office meetings on these platforms. Given the growing reliance on the platforms an exponential growth is expected.

One of the most significant potential legal ramifications of the metaverse for the real estate market is the potential dispute over ownership of the virtual property. In the real world ownership is proved through land registry maintained by the authority and such ownership is surrounded by well defined rights under various laws and jurisprudence. For example a piece of land owned by a person cannot be simply taken away by someone or not even the government without following the due process.

Properties purchased and possessed on metaverse are in the form of NFTs and governed by the platform’s user license agreement unlike real world property laws. Further, the platforms have the discretion to limit the use and terminate the agreement anytime. In such a case, a user with a $100,000 digital painting can be banned from the platform the next day after purchase, and the NFT has no value and function.

Like any other digital right holder, a land owner on metaverse can only use it for his/her personal purposes. The user does not hold reproduction rights. In Capitol Records v. Redigi the second circuit held that it is impossible to transfer any digital file from a user’s storage medium without making a copy that is controlled by copyright’s ongoing “reproduction right”, as opposed to the “distribution right” that is extinguished by the First Sale doctrine.

Another legal issue concerning metaverse real estate is the risks surrounding the rights of a mortgagee. Like the real world, one can obtain financing to purchase real estate in the metaverse but they are governed by a volatile and extremely insecure contract. For example, in the event of a foreclosure the affected individual has limited recourse, there is no judicial system in place to contest the foreclosure. Given the lack of regulation or public accountability, it is up to the platforms to make any changes.

In addition to being subject to volatile NFT based assets, metaverse land is exposed to the unregulated risk of devaluation created by new lands. Either of these circumstances, or even a combination of the two, can result in the value of the virtual land falling below the value of the mortgage, which is likely an event of default, even if payments are being made regularly.

Overall, while the metaverse has the potential to create significant legal challenges for the real estate market, there are steps that can be taken to address these issues. By creating new legal frameworks and regulations that specifically address the unique challenges of the metaverse, we can ensure that this new virtual world is safe, secure, and accessible for all.

Lex Bridge is a boutique law firm specialising in legal advice, regulatory compliance, and risk management services. With our in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of regulatory laws and risk management services and using our comprehensive database, we can provide your business with the guidance it needs to stay compliant and minimise potential legal exposure. We take pride in our commitment to excellence, integrity, and client satisfaction, and we work tirelessly to ensure your business is well-positioned and up-to-date in the regulatory landscape. Our clients and services are spread globally, primarily from the USA; EU; UK, and MENA states.​
This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Compliance with Healthcare Laws

Technology systems such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and electronic health records have become increasingly popular. Complying with technology laws and regulations is critical for service providers with the increased dependence on technology. With technology integration in health care solutions, providers can deliver better patient care, streamline operations, and manage patient data effectively. However, this increased dependence on technology puts more burden on healthcare providers to remain vigilant in protecting patients’ personal data by complying with healthcare laws.

In the US, the federal and state governments have promulgated laws that address the significance, security, and privacy of the patient’s health information. The laws cover every healthcare provider, health plan, and health business dealing with patients’ health information. Under the laws such as Health Insurance Portability and and Accountability Act, 1996 (HIPPA), the health care providers are required to appoint a privacy officer who shall oversee, develop and guide them regarding the policies and procedures to safeguard the patient’s health data. Also, the healthcare provider should only grant access to patients’ information within what is absolutely necessary.

Otherwise, the security of the health data may get compromised. After patient care, safeguarding their sensitive health information is vital. In order to do so, technical security measures like strong passwords, lock and security cameras, and automatic logoffs must be implemented in keeping electronic health records. Ignoring these security measures exposed 42 million users’ data to security breaches between March 2021 and February 2022. To avoid such data breaches and safeguard the patient’s health, information compliance measures like encryption must be implemented. Health care organisations can no longer just rely on firewalls, rather they have to bring in new technologies to thwart today’s sophisticated perpetrators. Apart from data breaches, every year, $7 billion of US taxpayers’ money is being stolen from the US healthcare industry due to non-compliance. If healthcare providers keep the health records up to date according to the standards set by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information and Technology (ONC), a significant amount of losses can be saved. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require healthcare providers to attest to the accuracy of the data when participating in incentive programs like Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs. The authorities set out these measures to ensure patients’ sensitive personal and health-related information remains safe, secure, and free from unnecessary access.

Similarly, in the United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU), several laws deal with the protection of healthcare information. With the increased use of electronic health records, the number of cyberattacks on health information is also increasing. UK data protection laws such as UK GDPR and the Health and Social Care Act, 2012 put special emphasis on health information and require the concerned personnel to use such information for other than treatment purposes only if the patient agrees. Once the patient’s consent is acquired, other measures like trained staff must be deployed in processing the data, processing must comply with the security requirement required under the laws, and a secure way of communication must be used. In a survey conducted by PwC, 67% of respondents suggested that staff training on data security can reduce data compromises significantly. Moreover, a report by Health Care and Information and Management Society (HIMSS) Cybersecurity revealed that 60% of security breaches result from unencrypted modes of communication such as email. These incidents can be minimised by complying with the data processing requirement set out in the GDPR and other data protection laws. To ensure compliance with data protection laws, the National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) requires each healthcare provider to provide an annual report on their compliance with the health and data protection laws and NICE guidelines. NICE guidance on information governance covers issues such as data security, information sharing, and ensuring that patients know their rights to access their personal information.

Overall, the rise in the use of technology in the healthcare industry has put more burden on health businesses to ensure the privacy and safeguard of patients’ health information. Laws like the GDPR, the Data Protection Act of 2018, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act require strict compliance to ensure the protection of health information. Healthcare providers must comply with those requirements. Otherwise, they may face legal consequences and penalties.

Lex Bridge is a boutique law firm specialising in regulatory compliance and risk management services. With our in-depth knowledge of healthcare regulatory laws and risk management and using our comprehensive database we can provide your business with the guidance it needs to stay compliant and minimise potential legal exposure. We take pride in our commitment to excellence, integrity and client satisfaction and we work tirelessly to ensure your business is well positioned in the regulatory landscape. Our clients and services are spread at a global level, primarily from USA; EU; UK and MENA states.​

This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Comparison of Cost of Doing Business within the EU

Cost of doing business refers to the expenses an organization incurs while carrying out its business activities. Understanding the cost of doing business is important to run an organization effectively and productively. One of the major factors affecting the cost of doing business is the legal compliance requirements like data protection compliance. Although the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) consolidates & harmonises data protection laws across the European Union (EU), individual member countries have customised the GDPR and enacted additional data protection laws as well as other obligations that change the compliance cost across the EU. For companies looking to expand their operations in the Union, it is essential that they must familiarise themselves with the different legal requirements across the Union.

One of the major expenses of the company’s data compliance requirement is the management services. Companies have to hire skilled employees to ensure compliance requirements. According to the International Association for Privacy Professionals (IAPP) report, in the EU, companies spent more than 45% of their data privacy budget on management services. So, the cost of doing business is higher in countries like Belgium, Finland, and Germany, where the average hourly minimum wage is €11.60, compared to Bulgaria and Romania, where the average is €2.8. Countries with high labor costs also produce highly skilled labor, making them attractive for investment.

To ensure the security of collected personal data and avoid any breaches, the data protection laws require businesses to put in place up to data technologies. McDermott Will & Emery state that companies in the EU spent almost 20% of their annual security budget on technological compliance and an additional 7% on training employees to run the technology. This cost increases in countries like Albania and Kosovo, where businesses have to import technology, compared to the Netherlands, Australia, and France, where most of the technology is locally produced. Less technologically developed countries can be attractive for companies looking for cheap labor.

Regulations and business culture also vary among the EU member countries. According to the report of OECD, fifteen of the European Union countries scored above the average iREG score. Some countries, such as Finland and the Netherlands, have highly developed regulatory frameworks; they have developed primary laws as well as subordinate regulations, while others, such as Hungry and Cyprus, have less developed regulations. Some countries, such as Greece and Italy, prioritize personal relationships and networking, while others prioritize professionalism and efficiency, such as Denmark and Germany. Understating these differences is essential for a company prior to making any investment decision in the Union.

Litigation costs across the EU member countries differ significantly. Resolving any dispute on a fast track is always in the best interest of a business. Countries offering reasonable time for dispute resolution and providing transparent and enforceable decisions are attractive to businesses. Like in Greece, on average, it takes three years to litigate a standardized commercial dispute which is fifteen months longer than the EU average. Lithuania and the United Kingdom have higher scores on the Quality of Judicial Processes Index compared to Netherlands and Spain, making them feasible for businesses. EU member countries with strong judicial systems are more likely to enforce the rights of individuals and impose penalties on companies, which may not benefit a company that receives a lot of individual data requests.

When considering all of these factors together, it is difficult to determine a clear winner for the lowest cost of doing business. However, some countries stand out as offering particularly attractive conditions for foreign investment. For example, Netherlands and France have highly skilled labor and an efficient judicial system. These countries may be particularly attractive for companies looking for a skilled workforce and an efficient dispute resolution system.

In conclusion, the cost of doing business in the EU varies widely depending on a range of factors. Companies considering investing in the EU should carefully evaluate each country’s compliance requirement, skilled labor, judicial system, and technology to determine the best location for their needs. While no one country can be deemed to be offering the best business environment, there are several EU member states that offer particularly attractive conditions for foreign investment. Understanding the unique business environments of each country is essential for companies looking to expand their operations or invest in new markets within the EU.

Lex Bridge is a boutique law firm specialising in regulatory compliance and risk management services. With our in-depth knowledge of the EU business environment we can provide your business with the guidance regarding cost of doing business in the EU. We take pride in our commitment to excellence, integrity and client satisfaction and we work tirelessly to ensure your business is cost efficient. Our clients and services are spread at a global level, primarily from USA; EU; UK and MENA states.​

This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.