Competition weekly news summary
Friday, September 25, 2009

Conferences and Speeches

  • Antitrust and State Aid Control – The Lessons Learned
    36th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy, Fordham University New York, Neelie Kroes
    24 September 2009
    "No matter what its instruments, a competition authority must objectively ask the tough questions, have the guts to take on the tough cases, and it must challenge vested interests."

Mergers

  • Commission clears proposed acquisition of EBEWE SP by Novartis
    23 September 2009
    The Commission's examination found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns as significant market shares and overlaps between the parties' activities would only arise in a small number of markets where a sufficient number of credible competitors would remain after the proposed transaction.
  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of TFT-LCD business of Seiko Epson by Sony
    23 September 2009
    The Commission's market investigation showed that Sony's acquisition of control over the Epson Business would not raise any horizontal or vertical competition concerns under any possible market definition. The combined entity will have neither 'must-have' technologies nor unique products that competitors would be unable to produce. Furthermore, Sony's competitive behaviour will be constrained by a number of strong and effective competitors and many large and sophisticated customers.
  • Commission approves acquisition of Barclays Global Investors by BlackRock
    23 September 2009
    The Commission's market investigation confirmed that although the combined firm would be a significant player in a number of sectors, its market shares would remain relatively limited. The combined firm would continue to face several effective competitors in all of the markets where it is present.

Antitrust

State aid

  • Commission approves Polish support scheme for financial institutions
    25 September 2009
    The Polish measure would guarantee short and medium term debt to encourage inter-bank lending and offer liquidity to financial institutions under strict conditions. The Commission found the measure to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it provides for non-discriminatory access, is limited in time and scope and contains safeguards to minimise distortions of competition.
  • Commission statement on aid for Opel Europe
    23 September 2009
    The Commission will carefully examine whether the German authorities have attached – de jure or de facto - additional non-commercial conditions to their aid for New Opel concerning the location of investments and/or the geographic distribution of restructuring measures. The Commission will also examine indications that negotiations are taking place with a number of European governments concerning financial support linked to the number of workers finally retained by New Opel in each Member State, and is in touch with the relevant national authorities.
  • Commission approves €54.5 million investment aid to Dell plant in Lódz, Poland
    23 September 2009
    After an in-depth investigation, the Commission found the €54.5 million of regional aid in line with EU state aid rules because the investment project will significantly contribute to the regional development of the Lódzkie region. These benefits outweigh any potential negative effects of the aid on competition and trade.

Court

  • Joined cases C-125/07 and others Erste Bank and others v Commission
    23 September 2009
    The European Court of Justice ruled on an appeal brought by four Austrian banks against a Court of First Instance judgment of 14 December 2006 (case T-259/02) that had upheld a Commission decision of 11 June 2002 finding a cartel in the Austrian banking sector, and had slightly reduced the total amount of fines. The Court of Justice rejected the appeals and confirmed the Commission decision as modified by the CFI ruling. The Court confirmed, in particular, that the cartel was particularly harmful because the banks had agreed to eliminate any competition on a wide range of banking products for companies and individuals alike.

Subscriptions:

Editorial and legal information

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.

Competition website