Competition weekly news summary
Friday, June 11, 2010

Conferences and Speeches

  • "New Transatlantic Trends in Competition Policy"
    Friends of Europe, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    10 June 2010
    "I believe that both our systems in the US and in the EU have their own merits. What we have in the EU, in common with most Member States, is an administrative system under which the Commission must act as an impartial and objective public authority. The Commission's decision-making process is aimed at ensuring such impartiality: not only its decisions are extensively reasoned and subject to the Courts' judicial review, they also come after a process that fully involve the companies concerned."
    Read full speech >
  • "State aid rules can help Europe exit the crisis"
    European State Aid Law Institute, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    10 June 2010
    "I proudly believe that we are the only jurisdiction in the world that has explicitly tackled the moral-hazard issue. For instance, we have attached conditions to bank recapitalisations since the earliest measures. This is a crucial indication of our resolve – apparent since the very beginning of the crisis – to never lose sight of the medium-term perspective."
    Read full spech >

Mergers

  • Eurovia / Tarmac
    10 June 2010
    The Commission approved part of the proposed acquisition of Tarmac's aggregate activities by Eurovia, part of the French Vinci group. The Commission found that Eurovia's acquisition of the German and Polish activities of Tarmac would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA. At the same time, the Commission referred part of the transaction, relating to Tarmac's activities in France and the Czech Republic, to the French and Czech competition authorities respectively, at their request.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission consults stakeholders on application of state aid rules to services of general economic interest
    10 June 2010
    The Commission launched a public consultation on the application of its 2005 Package on services of general economic interest (SGEI). The Package contains guidance as to when state funding of SGEIs is compatible with the EU state aid rules.
    Read more about the consultation>
    Read more about the 2005 SGEI package >
  • Commission approves Latvian short-term export credit insurance scheme
    10 June 2010
    The Commission authorised a measure adopted by Latvia to limit the adverse impact of the current financial crisis on exporting firms. The Commission found the measure to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it requires a market-oriented remuneration and tackles the problem of the current unavailability of the short-term export credit insurance cover in the private market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves €16 million regional aid for Fiat Powertrain investment project in Verrone, Italy
    9 June 2010
    The Commission authorised €16 million of regional investment aid, that the Italian authorities intend to grant to Fiat Powertrain Technologies S.p.A., a subsidiary of the Fiat Group, for the production of car transmissions in Verrone, Italy. The Commission found the measure to be compatible with EU state aid rules, because Fiat Powertrain will not significantly increase its production capacity and the investment takes place in a growing market.
    Read more >
  • Commission orders recovery of €112 million aid granted to Hungarian Oil and Gas Company MOL
    9 June 2010
    The Commission concluded that a 2005 agreement between the Hungarian government and the Oil and Gas Company MOL, in combination with a 2008 amendment to the Hungarian Mining Act, conferred an unfair financial advantage to the company.
    Read more >

Court

  • Case T-237/05 Editions Odile Jacob / Commission
    9 June 2010
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by the French publisher Odile Jacob against a Commission decision that had partly rejected a request for access to documents in the merger procedure Lagardère / Natexis / VUP. The Court annulled the Commission's decision.
    Read full judgment >
  • Case C-140/09 TDM / Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
    10 June 2010
    The Court of Justice ruled on a prejudicial question, regarding compensation for damages that TDM, an Italian transport company in liquidation, allegedly suffered as a result of an incorrect interpretation of the EU state aid rules by an Italian Court. The Court indicated that it had no jurisdiction to rule on the compatibility of national measures with the EU state aid rules. However, the Court gave guidance on how to interprete the relevant EU law. In this sense, the Court analysed that the national support measures at hand did not fulfil the conditions designed to avoid that compensations for public service obligations confer an economic advantage to the company concerned. The court concluded that, in any event, it was for the national court to assess, whether the subsidies at issue in the main proceedings were liable to affect trade between Member States and whether they distorted or threatened to distort competition.
    Read full judgment >

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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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