Competition weekly news summary
Friday, March 26, 2010

Conferences and Speeches

  • "Competition v Regulation: where do the roles of sector specific and competition regulators begin and end?"
    Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    23 March 2010
    "For competition and regulation to play their essential, and complementary, roles in making markets work for consumers, there needs to be close cooperation between regulators and competition law enforcers. The key is to ensure that we achieve consistency – and continuity, notably in markets where we are achieving a shift from ex ante regulation to ex post control – but also in markets where regulation and competition enforcement can be expected to coexist for some time yet. And again, whether or not regulation exists, growth in Europe will come from innovation and efficiency, and therefore from effective competition in the internal market."
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Antitrust

  • Commission adopts new Block Exemption Regulation for insurance sector
    24 March 2010
    The Commission has adopted a new Regulation that exempts certain types of agreements in the insurance sector from the EU's general prohibition of practices restrictive of competition. The new BER will come into force on 1st April and renews two of the four categories of agreements currently exempted, namely joint compilations, tables and studies, and co(re)insurance pools, with some amendments.
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Mergers

  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of Plastal Germany by Faurecia
    24 March 2010
    The parties' activities overlap in the markets for the manufacture and supply of bumpers, front end carriers and instrument panels for light vehicles. However, the Commission's investigation found that the proposed merger would not give rise to any significant competition concerns as the parties are not each other's closest competitors and will continue to face several credible competitors in all of these markets.
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  • Commission approves acquisition of Edscha by Gestamp Automoción
    19 March 2010
    The Commission's investigation confirmed that the overlap in foot control is limited. Moreover, the combined entity would continue to face several strong competitors with significant market shares. The Commission's investigation also found that the vertical relationship between the activities of the parties would not enable the merged entity to close off competitors or customers.
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  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of Artenius UK Limited by KP Chemical
    19 March 2010
    The Commission found that the combined market share of the parties would remain moderate in the markets for PTA and PET resin, where their activities overlap, and that the combined entity would face competitive pressure from other chemical companies.
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State aid

  • Commission clears French aid worth €18.9 million for the GAYA motor biofuels research programme
    24 March 2010
    The Commission authorised a French aid worth €18.9 million for the GAYA research programme, aimed at developing production technologies for second generation motor biofuels. The Commission found the project to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it compensates a demonstrated market failure and generates benefits for the EU, in particular in terms of dissemination of scientific knowledge and protection of the environment.
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  • Commission approves €16 million Austrian support for combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Mellach
    24 March 2010
    The Commission authorised Austria to grant a €16 million aid for an energy-saving project run by Verbund-Austrian Thermal Power GmbH & Co. KG for the combined production of electricity and heat. The aid is in line with EU state aid rules, because it supports an innovative process that leads to significant primary energy savings, as compared to the separate production of heat and electricity. At the same time, it results in a reduction of greenhouse gases.
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  • Commission clears special tax regime for international maritime transport companies in Cyprus
    24 March 2010
    The Commission approved a Cypriot proposal for a special reduced tax on companies engaged in international maritime transport, which replaces the corporate tax. The Commission found the scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it will enhance the competitiveness of the Cypriot fleet without unduly distorting competition.
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  • Commission authorises a €12 million support scheme for dubbing and subtitling films in Catalan
    24 March 2010
    The Commission authorised a €12 million Spanish support scheme for the dubbing and subtitling of films in Catalan. The scheme is in line with EU rules that allow state subsidies for cultural objectives, including the promotion of multilingualism and cultural diversity.
    Read more >

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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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