Competition weekly news summary
Friday, July 2, 2010

Antitrust

  • "Commission fines prestressing steel producers € 518 million for two-decades long price-fixing and market-sharing cartel
    30 June 2010
    The Commission has fined 17 producers of prestressing steel a total of € 518 470 750 for operating a cartel that lasted 18 years and covered twelve EU Member States. The Commission found that the producers violated the EU's ban on cartels and restrictive business practices.
    Read more >
    Commission action against cartels - Questions and answers

Mergers

  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of parts of Polimeri Europa Benelux by Total Petrochemicals Feluy
    30 June 2010
    The parties both produce polystyrene. However, the Commission's investigation showed that the transaction would lead to a relatively small overlap and that the combined entity would continue to face several competitors.
    Read more >
  • Commission refers Lidl's proposed acquisition of the Tengelmann supermarket chains in Bulgaria and Romania to national competition authorities
    28 June 2010
    The Commission referred the assessment of the acquisition of Plus Bulgaria and Plus Romania by the German retailer Lidl to the competition authorities of Bulgaria and Romania, at their request. After a preliminary investigation, the Commission found that the proposed transaction would affect competition in the Bulgarian and Romanian local markets for daily consumer goods. These markets will now be examined by the Bulgarian and Romanian competition authorities under national law.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves joint control of Behr Industry by Mahle and Behr
    28 June 2010
    The Commission's assessment showed that there are no significant horizontal or vertical relationships between the parties' activities. Given the insignificance of these links, the parties' combined market shares and the presence of strong alternative suppliers, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Sony's television production in Slovakia and Mexico by Foxconn
    25 June 2010
    The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that the overlaps between Foxconn and the Slovakian and Mexican entities in the assembly of electronic products are limited. Furthermore, the Commission found that after the operation Foxconn would continue to face several effective competitors. The Commission's market investigation also confirmed that OEMs have a strong bargaining position vis-à-vis EMS providers.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves restructuring of Austrian bank BAWAG
    30 June 2010
    The Commission authorised a €550 million capital injection in favour of the Austrian BAWAG bank and approved a new restructuring plan for the bank. The Commission found the restructuring package to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it will enable the bank to become viable without continued state support, while limiting distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears extension of bank support measures in The Netherlands, Slovenia, Greece and Poland
    30 June 2010
    The Commission authorised the extension until 31 December 2010 of Dutch, Slovenian, Greek and Polish bank support measures. The extended schemes require the banks to pay higher premiums for guarantees granted by the State. This is to encourage banks to finance themselves without state support and to limit distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission authorises extension of bank support schemes in Ireland, Spain, Denmark and Hungary
    29 June 2010
    The Commission auhtorised the extension until 31 December 2010 of guarantee schemes for banks in Ireland, Spain and Denmark and of a liquidity scheme in Hungary. The extended schemes feature higher premiums to be paid by the banks for guarantees and liquidity granted by the State. This is to encourage banks to finance themselves without state support and to limit distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves Spanish restructuring aid for Caja Castilla-La Mancha
    29 June 2010
    The Commission authorised Spanish aid for the restructuring of Caja Castilla-La Mancha. The Commission considers that the restructuring plan adequately addresses the problems that led to the bail-out of the bank in 2009 whilst avoiding undue distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Overview of national measures adopted as a response to the financial/economic crisis
    29 June 2010
    Go to overview table >

Court

  • Commission welcomes Court judgment in AstraZeneca case
    1 July 2010
    The Commission welcomes the judgment of the General Court, that largely dismissed an appeal brought by the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca AB of Sweden and AstraZeneca Plc of the UK against a Commissin decision of June 2005. The Commission decision had imposed a fine of €60 million on AstraZeneca for misusing the patent system and the procedures for marketing pharmaceutical products, to prevent or delay the market entry of competing generic medicinal products.
    Read more >
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about the initial Commission decision
  • Case T-321/05 Knauff / Commission
    1 July 2010
    The Court of Justice ruled on an appeal by the German building company Knauf against a General Court ruling of 8 July 2008 that had rejected Knauf's appeal of a commission cartel decision of November 2002 in the plasterboard sector. The Court rejected the appeal and upheld the first judgment as well as the original Commission decision.
    Read full judgment >
    Read General Court judgment under appeal >
    Read more on initial Commission decision >
  • Cases T-53/08, T-62/08, T-63/08 and T-64/08 Terni and others / Commission
    1 July 2010
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by three Italian companies and by Italy against a Commission decision of November 2007, that had found preferential electricity tariffs in favour of those companies incompatible with the Single Market. The Court rejected the appeals and upheld the Commission decision.
    Read full judgment Italie / Commission >
    Read full judgment ThyssenKrupp / Commission >
    Read full judgment Cementir / Commission >
    Read full judgment Terni / Commission >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Case T-335/08 BNP Paribas and BNL / Commission
    1 July 2010
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by BNP Paribas and BNL agaist a Commission decision of March 2008 that had found Italian state aid in favour of certain credit institutions incompatible with the Single Market. The Court rejected the appeal and upheld the Commission decision.
    Read full judgment >
  • Joined cases T-568/08 and T-573/08 M6 and TF1 / Commission
    1 July 2010
    The General Court ruled on appeals brought by the French broadcasters M6 and TF1 against a Commission decision of July 2008, that had authorised aid in favour of French broadcaster France Télévisions. The Court rejected the appeals and upheld the Commission decision.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Commission welcomes Court judgment in Alrosa / De Beers diamond case
    29 June 2010
    The Commission welcomes today's judgment of the European Court of Justice setting aside in its entirety the General Court's judgment of 25/08/2007 in the Alrosa / De Beers diamonds case. The ECJ thereby definitively upheld the Commission's decision that had made binding De Beers' commitments to end purchases of rough diamonds from Alrosa as of 2009. This is the first ECJ judgement on a commitment decision. The ruling is important, because it recognises the commitment procedure as an effective and distinct instrument providing a more rapid solution resolving competition problems.
    Read more >
    Read full judgment
    Read General Court's judgement under appeal
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Case C-139/07 Commission / Technische Glaswerke Illmenau
    29 June 2010
    The Court of Justice ruled on an appeal by the Commission against a General Court judgment of December 2006 that had annulled a Commission decision of May 2002 refusing access to certain documents in a state aid case. The Court annulled the judgment of the General Court and, ruling on the dispute itself, dismissed the action for annulment brought by Technische Glaswerke Illmenau before the General Court.
    Read full judgment >
    Read General Court judgment under appeal >

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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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