News

April 2018 – Major SABAM tariff rise succesfully disputed

We are very proud to announce Philip Walravens & Caroline Lebon have successfully assisted a series of clients of the music concert & festival industry in a litigation against SABAM, the Belgian Association of Authors, Composers and Publishers, in relation to the recent major rise in license tariffs.

In a decision of April 12th 2018, the Brussels Commercial Court has declared SABAM’s rise in tariffs to constitute an abuse of its dominant market position, and hence constitute an unfair market practice. This decision will have a large impact on all concerts & festival organizations in Belgium, and the decision was widely communicated in the press (De Standaard, De Tijd)

 

 

 

April 2018 – GDPR Roadshow in India

Florian De Rouck, member of our TMT / IP team team, participated to the Belgian trade mission focusing on IT, IP & Law in India from 25 to 31 March. The trade mission was organized by Brussels Invest & Expert (BIE). Florian spoke in Bangalore, Hyderabad & Chennai (known as India’s IT hub) on GDPR and its implications for Indian firms.

Indian companies are taking a particular interest in the EU practices in adopting the GDPR which is crucial for their EU clients, especially as the Indian government is also preparing a revised Indian data protection act with reinforced and new obligations similar to the EU regulation.

We are excited to deepen our relations in the fast-evolving Indian IT market, which has proven to be an excellent partner for EU firms in relation to a number of services.

 

April 2018 – VAT on immovable lease: back and forth

In the fall of last year, the government withdrew its project to subject immovable lease to VAT on option due to budget constraints.

Apparently, things have changed as, after the budget control of March 2018, the press release issued at that occasion announces that the measure will be taken with effect as from 1 October 2018.

Not so many details are available at this stage, but it seems that that the intention of the government is to make the option possible only:

  • for newly constructed or deeply renovated buildings;
  • if both the landlord and tenant agree to do so;
  • if the tenant is a VAT taxpayer including VAT exempt tenants such as insurance companies, financial institutions, etc.

Our Tax practice will keep you informed of the development as soon as rumours have changed into text.

Our fear is that such a limited scope of application creates a double real estate market detrimental to the readability of the sector of activity. Indeed, depending on the option is exercised or not (or can be exercised), the building investment cost will differ by 21%, which, in turn, will be reflected in the resale price in the future.