Press review
2 February 2024

Press review – Week of 29 January 2024

This week’s press review highlights the Transparency report on France's global position in the fight against corruption, Uber's fine in the Netherlands, the settlement between Publicis and US justice system related to the opiates crisis, a lawyer sentenced to prison for tax fraud in the context of the “cum ex” scandal, as well as the exoneration by the AMF of twelve individuals accused of insider trading.


#Ethics & ComplianceTransparency Report: “France is a good student” but not “immune against corruption”

In its latest report, published on Tuesday, Transparency International confirms that France maintains its status as a globally good student in the fight against corruption. France finds itself in the 21st place, behind countries like Japan and the United Kingdom. Although the NGO recognizes the improvements towards more transparency in the political world, especially concerning McKinsey consulting affair, it considers that the efforts made remain insufficient. Denmark, Finland and New Zealand are on top of the list of the corruption perception index. The NGO reports that 95% of countries have made little or no progress in the fight against corruption. > Read article


Netherlands: Uber fined 10 million euros for lack of transparency in the management of personal data

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) imposed a fine of ten million euros on the Uber platform on Wednesday for a lack of transparency in the processing of data from its European drivers. The Dutch regulator took up the case after a complaint was filed on behalf of 170 drivers with the League of Human Rights and Citizen. Pointing out several shortcomings, the AP highlighted a lack of transparency regarding how long the platform retained data from European drivers as well as the protective measures adopted for data transmission outside Europe. The regulator highlighted the difficulties experienced by drivers to access their data. Uber announced it would appeal the decision. > Read article


#White collar crimeOpiates: Publicis reaches $350 million settlement with the U.S. justice system

For the first time, an advertising agency has reached a settlement with the US justice system related to the opioid crisis. A subsidiary of Publicis, a French agency, helped opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, between 2010 and 2019, developing marketing solutions in order to convince doctors to overprescribe opioids. Publicis, which will pay $350 million in the United States, explained that this is not an admission of fault or liability. > Read article


Former Freshfields partner sentenced to jail for German tax fraud

A former Freshfields partner, specialized in tax law, was sentences to three and a half years of prison by the Court of Frankfurt, Germany, for his role in the tax fraud scandal “cum-ex”. This system consisted in swift trades of listed companies around their dividend day in order to avoid paying taxes on said dividends, culminating in ten billion euros loss in taxes for different States. The Freshfields law firm had itself agreed in 2021 to pay a 10 million euros fine to avoid prosecution from German authorities. > Read article


AMF Commission des Sanctions exonerates twelve individuals accused of insider dealing  

On January 31, 2024, the AMF‘s Commission des Sanctions exonerated 12 individuals accused of having passed on, used and/or attempted to use insider information relating to Total’s purchase of Direct Energie shares in 2018. The Commission considered that the press releases issued by the companies to announce the buyout were published when the information was inside information. However, the Commission considered that the evidence of possession of inside information was insufficient to demonstrate that the possession of inside information could explain the orders. > Read article

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