Competition weekly news summary
Friday, October 16, 2009

Conferences and Speeches

  • Setting the standards high
    Address at the Harvard Club of Belgium, "De Warande", Brussels, Neelie Kroes
    15 October 2009
    "Naturally, we can't give a carte blanche endorsement to the idea of companies sitting around a table agreeing technical developments. We need to put some safeguards in place to make sure the general interest is served. And - although we will intervene only in exceptional circumstances - we must also be vigilant when dominant companies refuse to license de facto standards."

Mergers

Antitrust

  • Commission urges Ofcom to take stronger action on fixed termination rates
    16 October 2009
    The Commission has called on the UK regulatory authority for telecommunications, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), to impose appropriate price control and non-discrimination obligations on all communication providers regarding their fixed termination rates (FTRs). FTRs are the wholesale prices which fixed operators charge for terminating calls on their respective networks. Non-discrimination obligations for alternative providers are necessary to ensure that they apply equivalent conditions in equivalent circumstances.
  • European Competition Network publishes report on leniency convergence
    15 October 2009
    Work within the European Competition Network (ECN) has been a major catalyst in encouraging Member States to introduce leniency programmes and in promoting convergence between them. This is the main conclusion of a report issued by the ECN on 13 October 2009.
  • Commission paves way for more competition in ship classification market by making IACS' commitments legally binding
    14 October 2009
    The Commission has rendered legally binding commitments offered by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to address Commission concerns that IACS may have infringed Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement. In particular, the Commission had concerns that IACS might have prevented classification societies, which are not members of IACS, from joining IACS, from participating in IACS' technical working groups and from access to certain technical documents. To address these concerns, IACS proposed a series of commitments, including the establishment of qualitative membership criteria and guidance for their application, the possibility for non-IACS classification societies to participate in IACS' technical working groups and get access to certain data.

State aid

  • Commission approves Dutch Green Funds Scheme for environmentally-friendly investment projects
    14 October 2009
    The Commission has authorised a revised version of a Dutch tax incentive measure, first approved in August 2006 as "Regeling Groenprojecten", to stimulate investments in projects that have a positive effect on nature and the environment in The Netherlands. The Commission found the various parts of the scheme to be in line respectively with its guidelines on state aid to agriculture, to fisheries, to the environment and with EC Treaty rules on state aid for the development of certain economic activities (Article 87.3.c).
  • Commission endorses Finnish temporary tax incentives for productive investment
    14 October 2009
    The Commission endorsed a Finnish proposal for tax incentives for productive investment projects. For the fiscal years 2009 and 2010 Finland would temporarily double the depreciation rates for new factory and workshop buildings as well as new machinery and equipment used in such buildings, to stimulate investment during the current economic downturn. The Commission found that the tax incentive was a general measure, as it would be available to all enterprises having factory or workshop buildings regardless of their location, size and sector. The measure therefore does not constitute state aid as defined in Article 87 of the EC Treaty and can be implemented.
  • Overview of national measures adopted as a response to the financial/economic crisis
    13 October 2009

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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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