Competition weekly news summary
Friday, May 29, 2009

Conferences and speeches

  • Working together to clear up the banking mess
    'Sky Talks' Conference organised by RZB Austria, Vienna, Neelie Kroes
    26 May 2009
    "Because it's easy to blame the bankers who wanted huge bonuses and the investors demanding double-digit returns. But many of us are investors these days, and who didn't want that extra percent of interest? Or that deal that seemed too good to be true? I am sure we all know a family that funded their lifestyle through debt rather than sacrifice."
  • Competition and regulation in retail banking and payment markets
    ECB-DNB Retail Payments Conference, Frankfurt, Neelie Kroes
    25 May 2009
    "So, overall, I am optimistic, therefore, that financial integration will proceed – despite, and maybe even because of the crisis. It has to, for the benefit of European consumers, retailers and corporate clients."

Antitrust

  • Commissioner Kroes welcomes progress on pan-European music licensing following Online Commerce Roundtable
    25 May 2009
    Commissioner Kroes set up the Roundtable in September 2008 in order to examine ways to reduce barriers to online commerce so that consumers can take better advantage of the opportunities offered by the Internet. The report on the Roundtable, just published on the Europa website, outlines the conclusions of the meeting that Commissioner Kroes hosted on 17 September 2008, as well as of a 16 December 2008 follow-up meeting which focused on the distribution of online music.

Mergers

  • Commission approves joint venture of SGL Carbon and Brembo
    28 May 2009
    The Commission approved the proposed creation of a joint venture between SGL Carbon SE of Germany and Brembo S.p.A of Italy to develop and produce carbon-ceramic brake discs and systems. The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that for the products concerned, the joint venture would continue to face effective competition from high performance cast iron brake discs, whereas carbon-ceramic brake discs constitute a very moderate proportion of the overall high performance market.
  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of Schokinag by Archer Daniels Midland
    27 May 2009
    The Commission approved the proposed acquisition of chocolate manufacturer Schokinag of Germany by the US agricultural commodity undertaking Archer Daniels Midland. The Commission's analysis found that ADM and Schokinag are not close competitors with respect to the products they offer and that a number of effective competitors were supplying the relevant products.

State aid

  • Commission authorises two Italian crisis schemes to boost real economy
    29 May 2009
    The Commission approved two schemes aimed at helping companies to deal with the current economic crisis. The measures allow authorities to grant guarantees or grants up to €500 000 per company in 2009 and 2010 to businesses facing funding problems because of the current credit squeeze. Both schemes are in line with EU state aid rules, because they are limited in time and only apply to companies that were not in difficulties on 1 July 2008 (before the credit crunch).
  • Commission approves Italian risk-capital measure to boost real economy
    25 May 2009
    The Commission approved an Italian framework temporarily adapting certain existing risk-capital schemes to increase companies' financing possibilities during the current economic crisis. The measure will allow for more flexible risk-capital investments until 2010, in line with EU state aid rules and in particular with the Commission's Temporary Framework for state aid to support access to finance during the crisis.

International

  • Commission welcomes conclusion of cooperation agreement between EU and Republic of Korea
    25 May 2009
    The Commission welcomed the signature in Seoul of a cooperation agreement on competition enforcement between the EU and the Republic of Korea. The agreement aims at fostering the effective application of competition laws by promoting cooperation between the Commission and the South Korean competition authority. In particular, the agreement includes provisions on mutual assistance, coordination of enforcement activities and regular bilateral meetings.

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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.

© European Union, 2009. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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