Competition weekly news summary
Friday, November 13, 2009

Conferences and Speeches

  • Market behaviour: the rules of the game
    Address at seminar of Algemene Pensioen Groep, Amsterdam, Neelie Kroes
    12 November 2009
    "So to have a referee who acts decisively is fundamentally in the interests of investors, law-abiding companies and the public alike. It’s not a question of red tape or government getting in the way of a fair profit – it's about making sure there is a market in the long-term. The Competition Commissioner is that referee when it comes to Europe's Single Market."
  • Plastic additives cartels
    Opening remarks at Press conference, Brussels, Neelie Kroes
    11 November 2009
    "I have no time for arguments that our fines are too high. Tell that to the businesses and consumers who still suffer at the hands of cartels."

Antitrust

Mergers

  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of Segebel by Electricité de France (EDF), subject to conditions
    12 November 2009
    The Commission had competition concerns regarding the reduced incentives for EDF to continue plans to build additional electricity generation capacity in Belgium after the proposed acquisition. To remedy these concerns, EDF has committed to immediately divest the assets of one of its companies in charge of the development of one of the planned power stations. In addition, in case EDF were not to invest in a second planned power station at a set date, or no decision to invest has been taken by then, EDF has committed to divest the assets of the company in charge of the development of that project at that time.

State aid

  • Commission extends in-depth investigation into restructuring of Hypo Real Estate and finds state capital injections compatible
    13 November 2009
    The Commission has extended its in-depth investigation into a support package in favour of the German Hypo Real Estate Group (HRE), opened on 7 May 2009 (see IP/09/712). The extension is necessary to examine additional restructuring measures which Germany has carried out or intends to carry out in the future. At the same time, the Commission temporarily authorised capital injections of approximately €6 billion until a final decision on the restructuring plan is reached.
  • Commission approves Romanian state guarantee to Ford Romania
    13 November 2009
    The Commission has authorised a planned state guarantee to enable Ford Romania SA to access a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan will co-finance the development project of a low-Co2 engine and subsequent vehicle production at Ford's Craiova plant. The 80% guarantee to be provided by Romania is in line with EU state aid rules because it requires an adequate remuneration for the guarantee and sufficient securities in case the guarantee would be drawn.
  • Good progress in talks on LBBW
    13 November 2009
    A meeting took place today between European Commissioner for Competition Kroes and the owners of LandesBank Baden-Würtenberg (LBBW) in relation to an on-going assessment concerning state aid to the bank for restructuring (see IP/09/1058). Good progress was made and the Commission is hoping to be able to reach a final decision before the end of the year.
  • Overview of national measures adopted as a response to the financial/economic crisis
    12 November 2009
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into Portugal's state guarantee for Banco Privado Português
    10 November 2009
    The Commission opened an in-depth investigation into a state guarantee on a €450 million loan granted to Banco Privado Português by six Portuguese banks. The Commission initially approved the measure on 13 March 2009 (see IP/09/400) for a period of six months, subject to the submission of a restructuring plan outlining the future of the bank without state aid. No such plan has yet been submitted to the Commission but on 5 June 2009 Portugal prolonged the guarantee for a further six months without prior notification to the Commission.

Court

  • C-554/08 and C-564/08 Le Carbone Loraine and SGL Carbon v Commission
    12 November 2009
    The Court of Justice ruled on appeals against a Court of First Instance judgment of 8 October 2008 (case T-73/04), upholding a Commission decision of 3 December 2003 that had found a cartel in the market for carbon and graphite products and had fined five companies (see IP/03/1651). The CoJ ultimately confirmed the Commission decision and entirely dismissed the appeals brought by Carbon-Lorraine and SGL Carbon.

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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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