Competition weekly news summary
Friday, February 5, 2010

Conferences and Speeches

  • Commission welcomes ENI's structural remedies proposal to increase competition in the Italian gas market
    Press point with Mr Paolo Scaroni, Chief Executive Officer of ENI, Brussels, Neelie Kroes
    4 February 2010
    "Any incentive for ENI, as operator of the transport pipelines, to make additional profits from transporting more gas on its pipelines was more than outweighed by the incentive for ENI to maximise its profits from selling gas to customers on the Italian wholesale market by reducing access to that market for potential competitors. I therefore very much welcome the structural remedies submitted by ENI to divest its shares in the three pipelines submitted to the investigation, i.e. TAG, TENP and Transitgas."
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Antitrust

  • Commission urges Latvian regulator to set lower fixed and mobile termination rates
    5 February 2010
    The Commission asked the Latvian telecoms regulator SPRK to change the way it calculates termination rates, to make it more objective and bring it in line with the Commission's recommendation of May 2009. Termination Rates are the wholesale prices which telecoms operators charge each other for connecting calls to subscribers using their networks; they are ultimately included in the phone bill.
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  • ENI proposes structural remedies on Italian gas markets
    4 February 2010
    The Commission welcomes structural remedies offered by the Italian energy company ENI, to alleviate concerns expressed by the Commission that ENI's management and operation of natural gas transmission pipelines could breach EU rules prohibiting the abuse of a dominant market position. ENI proposes to divest its shares in three international transport pipelines: the TAG, the TENP and the Transitgas pipeline.
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  • Inspections in electrical equipment industry
    3 February 2010
    On 20 January 2010, Commission officials carried out targeted inspections at the premises of producers of Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS). FACTS are used to increase the power transfer capability of electricity transmission networks. The Commission has reason to believe that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.
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  • Commission assesses commitments from Oneworld airline alliance
    1 February 2010
    The Commission is assessing the effectiveness of proposed commitments received from British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia to alleviate the Commission's concerns regarding potential anticompetitive agreements for passenger transport on certain long-haul routes. Before deciding whether the proposed commitments will be suitable for a public market test, the Commission is sending the proposed commitments first to a number of key market players for comments.
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Mergers

  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of E.ON's Transmission System Operator by TenneT
    5 February 2010
    The Commission's investigation found that the proposed merger would not affect the competitive conditions in the relevant markets. TenneT is a wholly unbundled Transmission System Operator and therefore it would have no incentive to allocate capacity in a way that discriminates in favour of any other market player.
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  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of metal scrap company Kovosrot by Scholz AG and voestalpine
    4 February 2010
    The indirect entry of voestalpine as a controlling partner in Kovosrot is the only change the proposed transaction would bring about. In view, inter alia, of the parties' relatively minor shares of metal scrap markets, the Commission concluded that there would be no risk of any of scrap metal supplies being closed off, as a sufficient number of alternative and competing sources of supply and sale channels would remain in existence.
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  • Commission approves acquisition of IMS Health by TPG
    3 February 2010
    There are no horizontal overlaps between the parties' activities. However, the proposed operation leads to a vertical relationship between the supply of health-related market research services by IMS and the development and marketing of finished pharmaceuticals by Axcan Pharma, a Canadian producer controlled by TPG. The Commission found that IMS Health would have no incentive to restrict access to its market research services.
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  • Commission clears proposed acquisition of German internet provider Hansenet by Telefónica O2
    29 January 2010
    The Commission found that in view of their different business focusses, Telefónica and Hansenet are not major competitors for each other in any of the relevant markets. Moreover, the relationships between the activities of Hansenet and Telefonica in Germany are limited and the combined firm would continue to face a number of strong, effective competitors.
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  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of Sal. Oppenheim by Deutsche Bank
    29 January 2010
    The Commission's examination showed that the horizontal overlaps between the activities of Deutsche Bank and Sal. Oppenheim are limited and that, for all products and services concerned, the merged entity would continue to face effective competition.
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State aid

  • Dutch short-term export-credit insurance scheme
    5 February 2010
    The Commission authorised modifications to a Dutch short-term export credit insurance scheme, initially approved on 2 October 2009. The Commission found the modified scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, because the scope of the cover provided and the premiums charged are suitable to stimulate exports while minimising distortions of competition.
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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, 2010. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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