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After the Hurricane: How You Can Be of Service

After hurricane Harvey battered Houston, R. Scott McCay met with evacuees to offer pro bono legal services. Read


This Week in Privacy: Were You a Victim of the Equifax Breach?

Even if you weren’t impacted, here’s how to monitor and protect your credit in case of future hacks. Read


What US Employers Should Know About the Travel Ban

ACC Docket's HR Columnist discusses what parts of the ban are in effect and how they'll impact companies. Read


Matal v. Tam: What to Do When an Application for a Disparaging Mark Targets Your Business

Though the US Supreme Court’s decision might be a victory for freedom of speech, it may make your brand the target of disparagement. Read


Lexmark Wrecked Your Business Model — What Now?

Where does the US Supreme Court’s Impression Products v. Lexmark ruling leave businesses and legal teams? Read


In Brief

Today's Top Story

Canada's Privacy Watchdog Seeks Stronger Enforcement Powers

Canada's privacy watchdog is transforming the way it has pursued protective measures for more than 15 years, planning to more actively go after companies and other organizations for privacy concerns. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has renewed calls for an update to the country's privacy laws, saying the current system of enforcement "has no teeth." Since the enforcement of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in 2001, the OPC has acted as an ombudsman, opening investigations into privacy concerns primarily when it received complaints from Canadians — although it does occasionally launch investigations on its own, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail (22 September, Krashinsky Robertson). In his annual report to Parliament on 21 September, Commissioner Daniel Therrien said that the OPC would expand its approach, pursuing "a pro-active enforcement and compliance model … because the OPC may be better placed than individuals to identify privacy problems related to complex new technologies."

From "Canada's Privacy Watchdog Seeks Stronger Enforcement Powers"
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Regulatory Developments

Uber Loses License to Operate in London

London's transport regulator stripped Uber of its license to operate from the end of the month, affecting over 40,000 drivers in a huge blow to the taxi app. "Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications," Transport for London said. Uber, which has the right to appeal the decision within 21 days, did not offer an immediate comment. In London, Uber has faced criticism from unions, lawmakers, and traditional black cab drivers over working conditions, reports Reuters (22 September, Pitas).

From "Uber Loses License to Operate in London"
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Mergers and Acquisitions

Google to Acquire HTC Hardware Division

Google has agreed to acquire a part of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC for US$1.1 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal (21 September, Nicas, Drumpf, Mattioli), as Google accelerates its efforts to crack the handset market. An HTC team that helped develop Google's flagship Pixel smartphone is set to join the company. In addition, Google will get a nonexclusive license to HTC intellectual property. Google hired HTC to be the contract manufacturer for the high-end Pixel smartphone, which was launched in 2016, to better compete with Apple.

From "Google to Acquire HTC Hardware Division"
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Cybersecurity

Canada Securities Watchdog to Review Cybersecurity After SEC Hack

An umbrella group representing each of Canada's provincial securities regulators said it will conduct an additional cybersecurity review after a breach at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was revealed. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) said that its regular reviews on national systems and data have found no evidence of its systems being compromised, reports Reuters (21 September). The CSA manages and maintains national systems including SEDAR, Canada's equivalent of the SEC's EDGAR filing system for corporate disclosures that was hacked.

From "Canada Securities Watchdog to Review Cybersecurity After SEC Hack"
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Finance

AIG Steps Up Effort to Shed 'Too Big to Fail' Label

AIG is pushing hard to shed its "too big to fail" status, ahead of a meeting of key regulators. The insurance company was one of several non-banks that was classed as a systemically important financial institution by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) in 2013. The insurer has stepped up its campaign to rid itself of the label, according to insiders. The FSOC is due to discuss the AIG case on Friday, reports the Financial Times (21 September, McLannahan). A vote on whether to remove the designation could be close, said people familiar with the situation.

From "AIG Steps Up Effort to Shed 'Too Big to Fail' Label"
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U.K. to Diverge from EU on Financial Services Rules Post-Brexit

The U.K. government has told the financial services industry that Britain will seek to develop a distinct regulatory framework from the European Union after Brexit in an effort to secure a long term competitive advantage for banks, fund managers, and insurers. Senior representatives from the financial services industry, who met Brexit secretary David Davis last week, were also told that for a transition period immediately after Brexit the government would try to ensure that the sector saw benefits from a "standstill" deal with all existing cross-border agreements remaining in place, reports the Financial Times (21 September, Gordon).

From "U.K. to Diverge from EU on Financial Services Rules Post-Brexit"
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Board/Management Relations

AsiaSat Appoints Saphina Ho as New GC

Asia Satellite Telecommunications (AsiaSat) announced the appointment of its new general counsel, Saphina Ho. Succeeding Catherine Chang, Ho will be a member of the management team, overseeing all legal affairs of the company. Ho has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, specializing in regional and corporate legal matters, reports Satellite Today (21 September, Russell).

From "AsiaSat Appoints Saphina Ho as New GC"
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Mining

Votorantim Metais Files for IPO

Brazilian miner Votorantim Metais Holding has filed for an initial public offering in New York and Toronto. The securities filing did not specify what valuation it was aiming for, but said the net proceeds from the offering will go to the controlling shareholder, the Brazilian industrial conglomerate Votorantim, whose business interests span from zinc and cement to orange juice, reports the Financial Times (21 September, Schipani).

From "Votorantim Metais Files for IPO"
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Pharmaceutical

CVS to Limit Opioid Drug Prescriptions

CVS Health plans to limit opioid prescriptions in an effort to combat the epidemic that accounted for approximately 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, USA Today (21 September, Bomey) reports. Amid pressure on pharmacists, physicians, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies to take action, the drug-store chain also said it would increase funding for addiction programs and safe disposal of opioids. CVS Caremark, the company's prescription drug management division, plans to use its size and clout to limit initial opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies for new patients facing acute ailments. CVS will instruct pharmacists to contact doctors when they encounter prescriptions that appear to offer more medication than would be deemed necessary for a patient's recovery. The doctor would be asked to revise it. Additionally, CVS's plan involves capping daily dosages and initially requiring patients to get versions of the drugs that dispense pain relief for a short period rather than a longer duration.

From "CVS to Limit Opioid Drug Prescriptions"
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Telecommunications

Telia Settles Uzbek Bribery Claims

Telia has agreed to pay penalties of at least US$965 million to U.S. and international authorities to resolve a long-running investigation into corrupt payments involving telecom contracts in Uzbekistan, reports Bloomberg (21 September, Schoenberg, Dolmetsch). The settlement marks the first major foreign corruption case brought under the Trump administration. Moving forward, the resolution is expected to be closely examined by white-collar defense attorneys searching for signs of a change of approach to enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which Trump insists puts American businesses at a disadvantage. Coscom LLC, Telia's Uzbek subsidiary, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the foreign corruption law. Meanwhile, the Telia parent company entered into a deferred-prosecution accord with the Justice Department.

From "Telia Settles Uzbek Bribery Claims"
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Retail

Canada Seeks to Entice Amazon, Prompting Concerns over Skilled Workers

Ontario has so few available workers with high-technology skills that it would be a "big problem" if Amazon.com Inc. chose the province to host a second headquarters, a panel of business executives has warned. Mayors from across Canada, including those in the Greater Toronto Area, have announced their intention to compete for the Seattle-based company's second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail (21 September, Giovannetti). The online retailing giant has said the project would create 50,000 jobs and bring more than US$5 billion in investment. However, Stephen Carlisle, president of General Motors of Canada, said a project of that size would soak up much of the skilled talent in Ontario's labor market. Companies are already struggling to hire workers with science or technology skills, Carlisle and other executives warned at a panel about increasing business productivity in Ontario.

From "Canada Seeks to Entice Amazon, Prompting Concerns over Skilled Workers"
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Corporate Social Responsibility

KB Home Slashes CEO's Bonus After Vulgar Rant

CBS News (21 September, Picchi) reports that KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger will see his annual bonus reduced by 25 percent after unleashing a vulgar tirade at comedian Kathy Griffin, his Los Angeles neighbor. Mezger's slurs became public after HuffPost released a recording of him directing at least four different expletives at Griffin. In a regulatory filing, KB Home called Mezger's behavior "a negative reflection" on the company and vowed to fire him if there was ever another similar incident. For the home builder, the risk is that Mezger's verbal attack could hurt its upscale brand.

From "KB Home Slashes CEO's Bonus After Vulgar Rant"
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