Competition weekly news summary
Friday, November 6, 2009

Competition

  • Commission presents multi-criteria search tool for competition cases
    The Commission has launched on its Europa website a new public search tool for competition cases. It provides users with the unique possibility to search for antitrust, cartel, merger and state aid cases in a single tool. Users can submit their views, questions or comments on the enhanced dynamic search tool to COMP-WEB.

Antitrust

Mergers

  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of joint control by CEZB and JAVYS of newly created joint venture JESS
    4 November 2009
    The Commission found that the only horizontal relationship would be between the activities of JESS and CEZ. However, CEZ has a small market share in the wholesale electricity supply in Slovakia and the transaction brings additional capacity to the Slovak electricity market. The vertical link between JESS' nuclear waste production and JAVYS' treatment of radioactive waste does not raise competition concerns either, because the contractual framework for the treatment of nuclear waste in Slovakia makes anti-competitive market restrictions unlikely.
  • Commission refers examination of the planned acquisition of Keolis and EFFIA by SNCF and CDPQ to France's Competition Authority
    30 October 2009
    The French Competition Authority contends that the transaction could affect competition in the French public passenger transport markets through the presence of the new group throughout the whole transport chain. Moreover, the markets in France in which competition could be affected by the operation are national or regional in scope. Following an inquiry conducted among customers and competitors of the companies concerned, the Commission acceded to France's request and referred the examination of the transaction to the French competition authority.

State aid

  • Commission approves Belgian short-term export-credit insurance scheme
    6 November 2009
    The Commission authorised a Belgian measure aimed at limiting the adverse impact of the current financial crisis on exporting firms. The measure is 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.
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into support measures for German savings bank Sparkasse KölnBonn
    4 November 2009
    The Commission opened an in-depth investigation into support measures for the German savings bank Sparkasse KölnBonn and has invited Sparkasse KölnBonn to submit a restructuring plan. This is a first step towards finding a viable long-term solution for the bank, in close contact with the German authorities.
  • Commission appr oves temporary prolongation of guarantee granted by Belgium, France and Luxembourg on Dexia's debt
    30 October 2009
    The Commission authorised the temporary prolongation of the guarantee jointly granted by Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the debt of Dexia. The prolongation of the measure, previously authorised by the Commission in November 2008 (see IP/08/1745), is justified by the funding situation of the group and its systemic importance for the economies of the three Member States. However, the prolongation is limited to four months (until the end of February 2010), by which time the Commission intends to reach a final decision on the compatibility of the overal aid package for Dexia with EU rules on restructuring aid.
  • Commission closes investigation into Hungarian intra-group interest taxation
    30 October 2009
    The Commission closed a state aid investigation into a Hungarian tax scheme, which provided for interest deduction for companies belonging to one corporate group. The investigation was opened in March 2007 (see IP/07/375). The Commission had concerns that the measure was liable to distort competition in the Single Market, as it was not open to all companies in Hungary and therefore could amount to state aid. However, as the measure was introduced before Hungary's EU accession in May 2004 and its state aid character was not immediately clear, the Commission concluded that the measure was to be classified as existing aid. The Commission does not need to open a separate procedure for existing aid (which is subject to a different set of rules) as Hungary has in the meantime adopted a law repealing the measure as of 1 st January 2010.

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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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