Competition weekly news summary
Friday, July 31, 2009
There will be no competition news summary during the month of August. Publication will resume on Friday, 4 September 2009.

Mergers

  • Commission approves the acquisition of Société des Eaux de Marseille, Société des Eaux d'Arles and Société Stéphanoise des Eaux by Veolia Eau
    31 July 2009
    The Commission's investigation indicated that the proposed operation would have no detrimental effect on competition in the markets for water services and material recovery in France, given the limited market shares of the companies to be acquired and the control over their activity that Veolia Eau already exercised jointly with LDE.
  • Commission approves acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat
    24 July 2009
    The Commission found that the horizontal overlaps between the activities of Chrysler and Fiat were limited and that the merger therefore would not significantly change the competitive structure of the markets for the manufacture and supply of passenger cars. The Commission also ruled out possible vertical effects, that could have occured due to Fiat's presence on markets such as automotive lighting and transmission systems that are purchased by manufacturers of passenger cars. In particular, the transaction would not strengthen the market position of the merged entity or the extent of its vertical integration, as Chrysler is not present in the upstream markets concerned. Similarly, given Chrysler's relatively limited EEA presence on the passenger car market, the merger would not significantly enhance the merged entity's market position and it would therefore not have the ability or incentive to restrict its competitors' access to the inputs necessary for their vehicle production.

Antitrust

  • Commission launches public consultation on review of competition rules for distribution sector
    28 July 2009
    The Commission is calling for comments on its proposal for a revised Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines on supply and distribution agreements (vertical restraints). The main suggestions for amendments intend to take account of recent market developments, in particular the increased buyer power of big retailers and the evolution of on-line sales on the Internet.
  • Commission welcomes new Microsoft proposals on Microsoft Internet Explorer and Interoperability
    24 July 2009
    Following extensive discussions with the Commission, Microsoft has proposed a consumer ballot screen, whereby consumers could choose between different browsers, as a solution to the pending antitrust case about the tying of Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser with Windows. In addition OEMs would be able to install competing web browsers, set those as default and disable Internet Explorer should they so wish. The Commission will now investigate whether Microsoft's proposal is suitable for ensuring genuine consumer choice.

State aid

  • Commission approves German asset relief scheme
    31 July 2009
    The Commission authorised a German scheme designed to further stabilise the financial markets by providing financial institutions with the possibility of asset relief, as an addition to the German rescue package authorised by the Commission in October 2008 (see IP/08/1589). The mechanism is in line with EU state aid rules, because it provides for the transparency and disclosure of impairments, the valuation of the assets based on their real economic value, a burden sharing of the costs related to the operation and adequate remuneration.
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into aid package for Latvian JSC Parex Banka
    29 July 2009
    The Commission has to examine whether the restructuring plan will enable Parex to return to long-term viability while avoiding undue distortions of competition.

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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 Communities, 2009. Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged