Competition weekly news summary
Friday, June 18, 2010

Conferences and Speeches

  • "Micro-economic support for macro-economic recovery "
    London School of Economics, London, Joaquín Almunia
    14 June 2010
    "I submit to you that in the phrase 'state monopolies' the problematic bit is not the 'state' but the 'monopolies'. A monopoly, whether it is controlled by a public body or a CEO, will never deliver dynamism and innovation as a company competing on a free market does. Sir John Hicks - who won the Nobel prize for economics and taught here at the LSE - wrote that "the best of all monopoly profits is a quiet life". This applies regardless of who runs the monopoly. So, taking control of a market away from the state only to place it de facto in the hands of a single firm or group is a big mistake."
    Read full speech >

Mergers

  • Commission clears "New Eurostar" joint venture, subject to conditions
    18 June 2010
    Eurostar is currently the sole provider of passenger rail services between London and Paris and London and Brussels. The Commission's investigation found that the proposed transaction, as initially notified, would have raised competition concerns, as it could render market entry by competitors on the two routes more difficult, and might therefore perpetuate Eurostar's dominant position. To address the Commission's concerns, SNCF, LCR and SNCB offered a set of commitments designed to ensure an effective access for new entrants to certain international station and maintenance services. The parties further committed to release a certain number of Eurostar pathways to the benefit of new entrants if they cannot obtain them in the normal allocation procedure, which is carried out by the rail infrastructure managers.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of sole control of Mitgas by RWE
    18 June 2010
    The Commission's investigation found that overlaps of the parties' activities are either limited or are set to diminish and to eventually disappear as RWE had already decided pre-merger to stop its gas activities in the areas where Mitgas is active.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves joint control of Air China Cargo by Air China and Cathay Pacific
    18 June 2010
    The Commission's investigation confirmed that competition will remain strong after the transaction, notably due to the presence of many large international airline companies active on the relevant routes between Asia and the EEA.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of Sara Lee Air Care by Procter & Gamble
    18 June 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 clears DFDS proposed acquisition of Norfolk, subject to conditions
    18 June 2010
    DFDS and Norfolk's combined position in the Ro-Ro shipping market between Scandinavia and the UK is particularly strong, with a quasi monopoly on the UK-Denmark corridor. To protect competition on these routes, DFDS proposed to conclude a space charter agreement with a competitor in similar terms to the current one with Norfolk, for vessels operating between Denmark and the UK and to transfer customers. This will allow the emergence of another competitor that will market the space, including to Norfolk's current customers.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of RBS Sempra Commodities by JP Morgan
    17 June 2010
    The Commission's investigation showed that the horizontal overlaps between the parties' activities are limited and that the combined firm will continue to face several strong, effective competitors with significant market shares.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves Italian retail gas joint venture between A2A and Gazprom
    16 June 2010
    The Commission's examination of the proposed transaction showed that the horizontal overlap between the activities of A2A and PremiumGas in the retail supply of gas in Italy is limited and that the merged entity will continue to face effective competition from other companies.
    Read more >

Court

  • Case T-177/07 Mediasat / Commission
    15 June 2010
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by the Italian broadcaster Mediasat against a Commission decision of 2007 that had found Italian state subsidies to consumers who bought or rented digital terrestrial decoders to be incompatible with EU state aid rules. The Court rejected the appeal and confirmed the Commission's decision. The Court ruled, in particular, that the measure was not technologically neutral and conferred an indirect advantage on digital terrestrial broadcasters to the detriment of satellite TV operators.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more on the Commission's decision of 2007
  • Case C-413/08 Lafarge / Commission
    17 June 2010
    The Court of Justice ruled on an appeal by the French construction company Lafarge against a General Court judgment that had rejected Lafarges request to annul a Commission decision of 2002, fining Lafarge for a cartel in the plasterboard sector. The Court entirely dismissed the appeal and confirmed the Commission's decision.
    Read full judgment C-413/08 >
    Read challenged judgment T-54/03 >:
    Read more on Commission's 2002 decision >

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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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