Competition weekly news summary
Friday, October 9, 2009

Conferences and Speeches

  • Tackling cartels – a never-ending task
    Conference on Anti-Cartel Enforcement: Criminal and Administrative Policy – Panel session, Brasilia, Neelie Kroes
    8 October 2009
    "I don't want to merely destabilise cartels. I want to tear the ground from under them. This requires effective deterrence across a range of competition systems appropriate to the legal traditions of each country. We can't turn that deterrence on and off according to the economic cycle."
  • Power transformers cartel busted; Microsoft web browsers case
    Opening remarks at press conference, Brussels, Neelie Kroes
    7 October 2009
    "The Commission's preliminary view is that Microsoft's commitments would indeed address our competition concerns. Microsoft's proposal in particular recognises the principle that consumers should be given a free and effective choice of web browser. It would empower all current and future users of Windows in Europe to choose which browser they wished to use."

International

  • Commissioner Kroes signs Memorandum of Understanding with Brazil
    9 October 2009
    On 8 October 2009, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation between the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition and the Brazilian competition authorities. The Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework for administrative cooperation, dialogue and exchanges between the Commission's competition department and Brazil's competition authorities.

Mergers

Antitrust

State aid

  • Commission recalls rules concerning Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital transactions for banks subject to a restructuring aid investigation
    8 October 2009
    Following questions from market operators, the Commission recalled the rules of its Communication on restructuring aid to financial institutions (see IP/09/1180 and MEMO/09/350) regarding the possibility for banks, that are the subject of pending Commission investigations regarding the grant of restructuring aid, to repay bonds before maturity.
  • Commission authorises temporary Polish scheme allowing limited amounts of aid to boost real economy
    8 October 2009
    The Commission authorised a Polish scheme aimed at providing relief to companies encountering financing difficulties as a result of the credit squeeze in the current economic crisis. The scheme is in line with EU state aid rules, because it is limited in time, respects the relevant thresholds and applies only to companies that were not in difficulty on 1 July 2008.
  • Commission approves temporary additional aid to German Landesbank WestLB
    7 October 2009
    The Commission authorised a temporary increase of the guarantee for a portfolio of securities of German Landesbank WestLB. The aid measure amounts to €6.4 billion and is provided by SoFFin, a fund administrating the German support scheme for financial institutions. WestLB is currently in the process of implementing a restructuring plan that was approved by the Commission in May 2009 (see IP/09/741). The plan foresees, among other measures, the creation of a "bad bank", which will ensure that the bank can return to viability. The Commission found the new aid in line with EU state aid rules, because it is necessary for the creation of the "bad bank".
  • Commission approves French short-term export-credit insurance scheme
    5 October 2009
    The Commission authorised a French measure aimed at limiting the adverse impact of the current financial crisis on export firms. The Commission found the measure to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it tackles the problem of the current unavailability of short-term export credit insurance cover in the private market.

Court

  • Joined cases C-501/06, C-513/06, C-515/06 and C-519/06 GlaxoSmithKline v Commissio
    6 October 2009
    The Court of Justice ruled on appeals brought against a Court of First Instance ruling of 27 September 2006 ( T-168/01) partly annulling a Commission decision of 8 May 2001 (see IP/01/661) that had prohibited Glaxo Wellcome's (now GlaxoSmithKline) system of differentiated pricing for pharmaceutical products in Spain. The ECJ confirmed the Commission's finding that dual pricing was a restriction of competition by object. The ECJ confirmed the CFI judgment by ruling that the Commission had not sufficiently investigated GSK's arguments for an exemption from Article 81.
  • T-8/06, T-21/06 and T-24/06 FAB and others v Commission
    6 October 2009
    The Court of First Instance ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of 9 November 2005 (see IP/05/1394), that had found subsidies for digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T) in Berlin Brandenburg incompatible with the Single Market and had ordered their recovery from the beneficiaries. The CFI rejected all appeals and upheld the Commission's decision in its entirety.

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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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