Competition weekly news summary
Friday, April 30, 2010

Conferences and Speeches

  • "Postal services: state aid aspects "
    Second High-Level Conference on Postal Services, Valencia, Joaquín Almunia
    29 April 2010
    "Existing regulation and the improvements to be made in the near future as a result of the Commission's work programme guarantee that the perimeter of public services will not be reduced. On the contrary, EU state aid rules serve to ensure that public funds are properly targeted at the provision of high quality, efficient services to all its citizens at affordable prices, saving taxpayers' money."
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  • "Cooperation and convergence: competition policy in the 21st century"
    Address at International Competition Network Annual Conference, Istanbul, Joaquín Almunia
    27 April 2010
    "It is clear that, at the beginning of the 21st century, we cannot afford to operate, to enforce our competition laws, in national or regional silos. We must not remain isolated from what happens in other jurisdictions."
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Antitrust

  • Vice President Almunia welcomes Visa Europe's proposal to cut interbank fees for debit cards
    26 April 2010
    Competition Commissioner Almunia welcomed proposed commitments by Visa Europe to significantly cut multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) for debit card payments. The MIF is a bank-to-bank fee for card payments collectively fixed by Visa Europe's member banks. The Commission had concerns that Visa Europe's MIFs might restrict competition between merchants' banks. In response to these concerns, Visa Europe proposed to reduce to 0,20% the maximum weighted average MIF for all cross border transactions and for national transactions in a number of Member States with debit cards.
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Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona by Suez Environnement
    27 April 2010
    The Commission's examination showed that the overlap between the parties' activities is moderate. Moreover, the increment in market shares triggered by the transaction is not significant. Finally, Suez Environnement already had joint control over Agbar together with Criteria prior to the proposed transaction.
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  • Commission approves State Street Corp acquisition of two subsidiaries of Intesa Sanpaolo
    26 April 2010
    The proposed transaction would result in an overlap in the parties' activities in the markets for global custody and fund administration. However, in the market for global custody the parties' combined market share remains limited, and in the market for fund administration the increment in the parties' market share is minimal while a number of significant competitors are active on this market.
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State aid

  • Commission approves compensation to electricity producers for stranded costs incurred after liberalisation of the market in Hungary
    27 April 2010
    The Commission authorised an aid scheme to compensate power generators for certain costs resulting from the termination of long term power purchase agreements (PPAs) in Hungary. The Commission concluded that the compensation will not exceed what is necessary to recoup the shortfall in investment costs repayment over the assets' lifetime, including a reasonable profit margin.
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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.

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