Competition weekly news summary
Friday, May 28, 2010

Conferences and Speeches

  • New competition rules for the car sector
    Introductory Remarks, Press conference, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    27 May 2010
    "Consumers particularly feel the effect of rising repair costs during the present crisis, as they are more price-sensitive and their cars are getting older, and require more frequent maintenance. There's therefore a danger that if prices are too high, drivers will go to the garage less often and their cars may become dangerous or pollute the environment. One study has estimated that in the UK only, the number of cars being serviced professionally fell by 2.5 million last year. So what we have done with the new Regulation is to toughen up the rules for these markets, by removing the benefit of the block exemption for manufacturers whose market share on the repair and maintenance markets exceeds 30%."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission opens proceedings against Czech J&T Group for obstruction during inspection
    28 May 2010
    The Commission opened proceedings against J&T Finance Group, J&T Investment Advisors and Energetický a prumyslový holding, to investigate whether these companies have obstructed the Commission's inspection of November 2009 at their premises. The companies are active in the electricity and lignite sectors in the Czech Republic.
    Read more >
    November inspections >
  • Commission adopts revised competition rules for motor vehicle distribution and repair
    27 May 2010
    The Commission adopted new competition rules for agreements between vehicle manufacturers and their authorised dealers, repairers and spare parts distributors. The new rules will increase competition in the market for repair and maintenance by improving access to technical information needed for the repairs and by making it easier to use alternative spare parts.
    Read more >
    Frequently asked questions >

Mergers

  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of joint control over ASK by ERSTE BANK and AVS
    27 May 2010
    The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that the horizontal overlaps between the activities of Erste Bank and ASK in retail and corporate banking are limited and that, for all products and services concerned, the merged entity will continue to face effective competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of sole control of Mobil Oil Austria by ENI
    27 May 2010
    The Commission's investigation found that the combined firm will continue to face several strong, effective competitors with significant market shares.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves joint venture between TOTAL and ERG
    21 May 2010
    The Commission's investigation found that the horizontal overlaps between the parties' activities would not give rise to competition concerns, because the parties would continue to face several competitors controlling refineries, storage facilities and a developed network of retail stations in Italy.
    Read more >
  • Commission authorises acquisition of Vedici by the 3i investment group
    21 May 2010
    The Commission found that the Labco laboratories would not have the capacity to restrict access to the provision of bio-medical tests. Furthermore, the Commission found that hospitals belonging to the Vedici group would have no incentive to limit other laboratories' access to them, as, among other things, a vast number of other clients also use laboratories to carry out medical tests.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Latest Scoreboard shows reduced use of crisis support to banks
    27 May 2010
    The key finding of the Commission's spring scoreboard is that the reliance of financial institutions on emergency support through state guarantees is declining.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves €10 million aid for Nuon's energy-saving CO2 capture project in The Netherlands
    26 May 2010
    The Commission authorised The Netherlands to provide a grant of €10 million to Nuon Energy Sourcing NV for a CO2 capture demonstration project at the Nuon power plant in Buggenum. The Commission concluded that the aid is in line with EU state aid rules, because on balance, the positive effects of the measure outweigh the potential distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves restructuring of SNCB's freight activities
    26 May 2010
    The Commission authorised SNCB's plans to restructure its freight activities and convert its freight division into a subsidiary. The Commission concluded that the restructuring plan will ensure the viability of SNCB's freight activities without unduly distorting competition in the internal market.
    Read more >
  • Commission closes investigation into an arrangement between Belgian tax authorities and Belgian company UMICORE
    26 May 2010
    Following an in-depth investigation, which was interrupted for several years owing to a parallel investigation by the Belgian judicial authorities, the Commission concluded that an arrangement between the Belgian tax authorities and UMICORE of December 2000 does not constitute state aid. The Commission has therefore closed its investigation.
    Read more on the closure of proceedings >
    Read more on the opening of proceedings >
  • Commission concludes that Italian compensation for interruptibility services in the electricity sector in Sardinia and Sicily is not state aid
    26 May 2010
    The Commission authorised a scheme designed to remunerate companies for the provision of instant interruptibility services (the acceptance of power cuts to avoid black outs) in Italy's largest islands, Sardinia and Sicily. The Commission concluded that the scheme, which is limited to three years, does not constitute state aid, because it remunerates at market price a service which is necessary to ensure the continuity of electricity supply on these islands.
    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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