Competition weekly news summary
Friday, January 7, 2011

Antitrust

  • Commission sends Statement of Objections to Czech energy companies Energetický a prumyslový holding and J&T Investment Advisors for obstruction during inspection
    20 December 2010
    The Commission has sent a Statement of Objections (SO) to Energetický a puemyslový holding and J&T Investment Advisors, active in the electricity sector in the Czech Republic. The Commission's preliminary view is that the companies obstructed an inspection carried out by Commission officials from 24 to 26 November 2009 at their premises in Prague as part of an antitrust investigation. Such obstruction would be in breach of companies' obligations to cooperate with Commission officials during such inspections and to disclose all documents relevant to the investigation.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission refers Thomas Cook's acquisition of CGL's and Midlands' travel businesses to UK competition authorities
    07 January 2011
    The Commission has referred, following a request by the United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the assessment of the proposed acquisition of the travel businesses of Co-operative Group (CGL) and of Midlands Co-operative Society (Midlands) by Thomas Cook to the UK authorities. CGL and Midlands are active in the UK only. The Commission found that the proposed concentration threatens to give rise to competition concerns in the market for holiday distribution, in particular of package holidays, in the UK. The issue will now be examined by the competent UK competition authorities under national law.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of US energy company Dresser by General Electric
    4 January 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Dresser Holdings by General Electric Company (GE), both of the US. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves joint venture between Shell and Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Cosan
    4 January 2011
    The Commission has cleared the creation of a joint venture between Shell Brazil Holding B.V. belonging to Shell Group of the UK and Cosan S.A. Indústria e Comércio of Brazil, for the production, distribution and sale of sugar, ethanol and related products.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into SC Johnson's acquisition of Sara Lee's household insect control business
    22 December 2010
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of the global household insect control business of Sara Lee by SC Johnson of the US. The Commission's initial market investigation indicated potential competition concerns with respect to the supply of household insecticide products in Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Greece, where the parties' activities show significant overlaps.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears News Corp's proposed acquisition of BSkyB
    21 December 2010
    The Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of British and Irish pay TV operator BSkyB by News Corporation, a global media and communications company headquartered in the US. The Commission's findings concern solely the competition aspects of the proposed transaction. They are without prejudice to the ongoing investigation by the competent UK authorities of whether the proposed transaction is compatible with the UK interest in media plurality, which is different from the Commission's competition assessment.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission temporarily clears support for Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide Building Society and Allied Irish Bank
    21 December 2010
    The Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules emergency measures for three Irish banks. For Anglo Irish Bank, the Commission has approved a recapitalisation of up to €4.946 billion and a guarantee covering certain off-balance sheet transactions. The Commission has also approved a recapitalisation of €2.7 billion of Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS). Finally, the Commission has endorsed a recapitalisation of Allied Irish Bank covering its capital requirements to the end of 2010 and the capital requirements following from the Programme for Support agreed between the Irish authorities, the IMF and the EU.
    Read more >

Court

  • C-304/09 Italy / Commission
    22 December 2010
    The Court of Justice ruled on an appeal by Italy against a Commission decision of March 2005 finding tax breaks for italian companies listed for the first time on EU stock in breach of EU state aid rules and ordering recovery. The Court upheld the Commission decision.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • C-507/08 Slovakia / Commission
    22 December 2010
    The Court of Justice ruled on an appeal by Slovakia against a Commission decision of June 2006 finding state aid to Frucona Kosice incompatible with the common market and ordering recovery. The Court upheld the Commission decision.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more on initial Commission 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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