Competition weekly news summary
Thursday, April 30, 2009

Conferences and speeches

  • The interface between regulation and competition law
    Address to the Bundeskartellamt conference, Hamburg, Neelie Kroes
    28 April 2009
    "Our experience is that regulation which respects competition principles is the most efficient type of regulation. When that regulation succeeds in enabling a competitive market, there is less to worry about both for the consumers and for the enforcers of competition rules. But even the most perfectly designed regulation will not eliminate the risk of abuses, so there will always be a role also for competition enforcement."
  • How competition policy benefits SMEs
    Address at the "Craft and SME Convention" of UEAPME (European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) at European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels, Neelie Kroes
    27 April 2009
    "I know the headlines and the government attention often goes to the large manufacturers. Let me assure you that we aren't fooled by those who shout the loudest. We know that Europe's economy can't grow unless SMEs grow. SMEs have always been the home of successful innovation – which we need more of - so supporting SME must be a priority for the Commission.

Court

  • T-12/03 Itochu v Commission
    T-13/03 Nintendo v Commission
    T-18/03 CD Contact Data v Commission
    30 April 2009
    The Court of First Instance ruled on an appeal by Nintendo, CD-Contact Data and Itochu against a Commission decision of 30 October 2002 (see IP IP/02/1584), fining Nintendo and seven of its distributors a total of €167.8 million for eliminating parallel trade and creating artificially high price differences for Nintendo video consoles and games in violation of Article 81 EC Treaty. Nintendo and two distributors, CD-Contact Data of Belgium and Itochu of Greece, appealed the Commission decision to the CFI. The CFI reduced the fines imposed on Nintendo and CD-Contact Data from €149.12 million to €119.24 million and from €1 million to €500 000 respectively. It upheld the fine of €4.5 million imposed on Itochu.
  • C-494/06 Commission v Italy and WAM
    30 April 2009
    The Court of Justice ruled on the Commission's appeal against a judgement of the Court of First Instance of 6 September 2006 (joined cases T-304/04 Italy v Commission and T-316/04 WAM v Commission). The CFI had annulled a Commission decision of 19 May 2004, finding that WAM had received incompatible state aid. The CoJ rejected the Commission's appeal and upheld the decision of the CFI.

Antitrust

  • Commission adopts report on functioning of key antitrust Regulation
    30 April 2009
    Council Regulation 1/2003 has contributed to stronger enforcement of antitrust rules within the EU since it came into force on 1 May 2004, modernising the enforcement of the EU competition rules (Articles 81 and 82 EC Treaty). This is the main conclusion of the Commission report on the first five years of the application of Regulation 1/2003. The report highlights a limited number of areas which merit further evaluation, such as the impact of divergences in national procedures and fining powers on the effective enforcement of the EC antitrust rules and the divergence of national laws in the area of unilateral conduct. (A-5)
  • Commission opens formal proceedings against telecoms incumbents Telekomunikacja Polska and Slovak Telekom
    27 April 2009
    The Commission opened two separate antitrust investigations against the Polish and Slovak incumbent telecoms operators, Telekomunikacja Polska and Slovak Telekom, for suspected breaches of Article 82 EC Treaty. The opening of formal proceedings follows inspections carried out in September 2008 in Telekomunikacja Polska and in January 2009 in Slovak Telekom (see MEMO/08/666 and MEMO/09/22). The proceedings focus on suspicions of abusive behaviour that may prevent or hinder competition on broadband internet access and other electronic communications markets in Poland and in Slovakia. (C-1)

State aid

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Published by the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use which might be made of the above information.

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