Competition weekly news summary
Friday, November 19, 2010

Conferences and Speeches

  • Unilever and Syngenta mergers
    Press Conference, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    17 November 2010
    "We have avoided the risks of higher prices for buyers of sunflower seeds in Syngenta, and deodorants in Unilever. We have put in place clear, structural remedies. We have given the parties legal certainty and they can now go forward with their mergers."
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Competition

  • EU Commission and US Department of Transportation publish joint report on transatlantic alliances
    16 November 2010
    The European Commission and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) have published the main findings of a joint research project aimed at deepening their understanding of transatlantic air services. This project provides a foundation for substantive cooperation between the Commission and the DOT in the competitive assessment of airline alliances.
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Mergers

  • Commission clears acquisition of industrial group Dyson by Lloyds TSB Bank and Svenska Handelsbanken
    18 November 2010
    The proposed transaction does not raise any competition concerns because Lloyds TSB Bank and Svenska Handelsbanke do not control any company with activities in the same markets as Dyson or on related markets.
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  • Commission clears Unilever's proposed acquisition of Sara Lee Household and Body Care business, subject to conditions
    17 November 2010
    The Commission has cleared the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever's acquisition of the body and laundry care businesses of Sara Lee of the US, subject to conditions. The Commission's in-depth investigation had confirmed competition concerns in a number of deodorants markets. To remedy these concerns, the merging parties offered to divest Sara Lee's Sanex brand and related business in Europe.)
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  • Commission clears Syngenta’s acquisition of Monsanto's sunflower seed business, subject to conditions
    17 November 2010
    The Commission has cleared the acquisition of US company Monsanto's global sunflower seed business by Syngenta of Switzerland. The decision is conditional upon the divestment of Monsanto’s sunflower hybrids and parental lines used in the creation of those hybrids or currently under development, for Spain and Hungary. This is because the transaction, as initially notified, would have removed a considerable and innovative competitor from the markets for the commercialisation of sunflower seeds in Spain and Hungary, thereby reinforcing Syngenta's market leader position.
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State aid

  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into planned investment at Delimara Power Plant in Malta
    17 November 2010
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into Maltese plans to grant €15.5 million aid for the modification of boilers at the Delimara Power Station, operated by the State-owned electricity incumbent Enemalta. Such aid would reduce Enemalta's costs for meeting existing environmental standards. At this stage, the Commission has doubts whether the subsidy is necessary and well designed to perform a service of general economic interest, as is argued by the Maltese authorities.
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  • Commission authorises €7 million aid to support digital switch-over in Slovakia
    17 November 2010
    The Commission has approved a €7 million aid scheme supporting parallel analogue and digital broadcasting during the transition to digital TV in Slovakia. The Commission found the aid to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it was technologically neutral and limited to the minimum necessary.
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  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into subsidies for producers of non-ferrous metals in Germany
    17 November 2010
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into a €40 million scheme relieving German producers of non-ferrous metals of part of their electricity costs. As a result, these companies might gain a competitive advantage vis-à-vis their European competitors.
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  • Commission approves €19.7 million public funding for innovative Dutch regional jet
    17 November 2010
    The Commission has authorised The Netherlands to grant a repayable advance of €19.7 million to Rekkof Aircraft, for the development of a new generation of Fokker regional aircraft. The Commission found the aid to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it is limited to the minimum necessary to allow Rekkof to launch the critical development phase of the programme and will act as an incentive for private investors to join the venture.
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  • Commission approves €11 million aid for biomass project in France
    17 November 2010
    The Commission has authorised France to provide an €11 million grant for the construction of a boiler using renewable biomass by Roquette Frères in Beinheim. The Commission found the aid tol be in line with EU state aid rules, because on balance, the positive effects of the measure outweigh the potential distortions of competition.
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  • Commission temporarily authorises €52 million rescue aid for Air Malta
    15 November 2010
    The Commission has authorised a loan facility worth €52 million for Air Malta. The aid is in line with EU state aid rules, because it is limited in time and scope. The Commission approved the measure temporarily, until it can take a position on the restructuring plan to be submitted by Malta within maximum six months.
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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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