EU Daily Digest: Influencer Scrutiny, Tax Jurisdiction Updates, Crypto-Assets Rules, Digital Infrastructure Funding, Consumer Rights Boost, Wine Indications Approval, Antitrust Inspections, and Acquisition Clearances

In today’s comprehensive EU update:

Influencer Marketing Under Investigation: The European Commission, in collaboration with national Consumer Protection authorities, is launching a comprehensive investigation into influencer marketing practices. With the industry expected to reach €19.98 billion globally in 2023, the authorities are set to screen online posts, ensuring transparency in advertisements by influencers engaging in regular commercial activities.

EU Expands Tax Jurisdiction List: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Seychelles find themselves added to the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. The move, aligned with the EU’s commitment to tax transparency and fair taxation, brings the total to 16 jurisdictions failing to meet tax transparency standards.

New Rules for Crypto-Assets Fiscal Transparency: EU finance ministers adopt rules to enhance fiscal transparency for all crypto-assets providers based in the EU. The directive, part of the administrative cooperation update, mandates reporting transactions of EU-residing clients and broadens the scope to cover electronic money and central bank digital currencies.

€240 Million Boost for Digital Connectivity: The Commission launches a funding initiative exceeding €240 million under the Connecting Europe Facility, aimed at strengthening digital infrastructures. Calls include 5G coverage along transport corridors, 5G and Edge Cloud for smart communities, and backbone connectivity for global digital gateways.

Simplified Dispute Resolution and Consumer Rights: Proposed measures by the Commission aim to modernize and simplify rules on out-of-court dispute resolution, adapting to digital markets. The proposal expands the scope of issues resolvable through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Directive, enhancing consumer accessibility.

Geographical Indications for Wines Approved: German wine ‘Großräschener See’ and Portuguese wines ‘Terras de Cister’ and ‘Terras do Dão’ gain approval as Protected Geographical Indications. These additions contribute to preserving regional identity and ensuring the quality of wines.

Antitrust Inspections in Construction Chemicals Sector: The Commission conducts unannounced antitrust inspections in the construction chemicals sector, raising concerns about potential violations of EU antitrust rules related to chemical additives for cement and admixtures for concrete and mortar.

Acquisition Approvals: The Commission clears the acquisition of PangeaCo S.A.C. of Peru by KKR & Co. Inc. and Telefónica, S.A., in the telecommunications services sector. Additionally, the acquisition of Westinghouse of the US by Brookfield and Cameco of Canada, primarily involved in the supply of fuel to nuclear power plants, is cleared without raising competition concerns.

These updates reflect the EU’s commitment to transparency, fair taxation, digital connectivity, consumer rights, and fair market practices.