Competition weekly news summary
Friday, January 14, 2011

Antitrust

  • Commission market tests measures proposed by Greece concerning the Greek electricity market
    14 January 2010
    The Commission invited comments from interested parties on measures offered by Greece to comply with a Commission decision of March 2008. This decision found that Greece had infringed EU competition rules by giving the state-owned electricity incumbent Public Power Corporation (PPC) privileged access to lignite. Greece has now proposed to grant access to 40% of lignite-fired generation to competitors of PPC in the Greek electricity market.
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Mergers

  • Commission clears proposed acquisition of Genzyme by Sanofi-Aventis
    12 January 2010
    The Commission's examination has shown that the proposed transaction would not lead to significant combined market shares. In addition, the proposed transaction also does not raise concerns in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, where both parties are developing treatments. In all cases there will remain a sufficient number of credible competitors.
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  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed merger of Votorantim's Citrovita and Fischer's Citrosuco in orange juice sector
    7 January 2010
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed creation of a joint venture by the Brazilian groups Votorantim and Fischer combining their respective activities in the orange juice sector. The Commission’s initial market investigation indicated that the transaction raises potential competition concerns in the EEA with respect to orange juice and a number of by-products that arise during the transformation of fresh oranges into juice.
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State aid

  • Commission approves €25.3 million French aid for the construction of a geothermal boiler
    12 January 2010
    The Commission has authorised France to provide a €25.3 million grant for the construction of a heat boiler using renewable energy. The produced geothermal heat will be sold to the industrial site operated by Roquette Frères in Beinheim, enabling the company to partly replace its existing gas-fired heating boilers. The Commission concluded that the aid is in line with EU state aid rules, because on balance, the positive effects of the measure outweigh the potential distortions of competition brought about by the aid.
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  • The Commission approves Swedish €10 million aid for R&D project «LignoBoost»
    12 January 2010
    The Commission has authorised a support of approximately €9.8 million that Sweden intends to grant to the LignoBoost research and development project. The Commission concluded that the project is compatible with EU state aid rules because the aid aims at tackling a market failure and generates positive effects for the EU, notably increased research activities and environmental protection.
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  • Commission requires Spain to abolish tax scheme favouring acquisitions in non EU countries
    12 January 2010
    The Commission has requested Spain to abolish a 2002 provision of its corporate tax regime that allows Spanish companies to amortise 'financial goodwill' deriving from acquisitions of shareholdings in companies in third countries. The Commission also asks for the recovery of any aid granted under this provision since 21 December 2007, unless concrete legal obstacles to invest could be demonstrated.
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  • Commission agrees with Italy amount of subsidies Agusta Westland needs to reimburse for projects that have civilian uses
    12 January 2010
    The Commission has endorsed negotiations with Italy concerning the amount of subsidies that Agusta Westland must reimburse for two military projects that also found civilian applications. The company received state support for two military helicopters. As the Commission established that the support had also benefitted civilian helicopters, the distortions of competition brought about by the aid had to be compensated.
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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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