Competition weekly news summary
Friday, May 6, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • Reforming EU State aid rules on public services: The way forward
    EPC policy Dialogue, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    2 May 2011
    "Our scrutiny applies rather uniformly across the spectrum; from large market players that operate on an international scale, to activities organised by local authorities, such as water or waste management, sports and recreation for the young, and other social activities. It seems quite obvious to me that among these services, there are some that will have little impact on trade between Member States and little potential to distort competition; whilst others are key to ensure a proper functioning of our common market. Therefore, I think that we need to adjust our scrutiny here and focus it on the cases that have a clear impact on the Single Market."
    Read full speech >
  • Competition Law Conference – IBA / KBA
    Introductory Speech by Cecilio Madero, Seoul
    28 April 2011
    "The Asia-Pacfic region is at the confluence of the world's fastest growing economies. It is home to some of the newest competition laws, as well as to competition agencies with an excellent record, such as the KFTC. The KFTC has undoubtedly contributed to the promotion of a solid competition culture in Korea and has therefore helped in the long-term development of the Korean economy. (...) There are of course differences and nuances in our systems since each enforcement system and case is based on the local legal traditions and market conditions. But I believe that these differences should not stop competition authorities from continuing to work towards common principles in the years to come. Most importantly, I think that we all ultimately share the same objectives in our enforcement actions across jurisdictions, including a commitment to an effects-based approach put to the benefit of consumers."
    Read full speech >
  • Competition Law Conference – IBA / KBA
    Introductory Remarks for Panel Session on "Enforcement of competition law: the global and local perspective", Cecilio Madero, Seoul
    28 April 2011
    "The architecture of the EU competition enforcement system is built around financial sanctions on undertakings. It is the companies that pocket the extra profits resulting from the cartel and they must therefore bear responsibility for their actions. We believe that such sanctions are able to ensure a high degree of deterrence and that criminal sanctions are not warranted in our enforcement system. An important point is that no-one seriously argues that criminalisation of individual behaviour is in itself sufficient. It can always only be complementary to - and supportive of - action against companies. We cannot let any debate about criminalisation distract from the need to take continued and effective enforcement action against companies."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • Commission appoints two Deputy Directors General for competition
    4 May 2011
    The Commission has appointed Cecilio Madero as Deputy Director General for Antitrust and Bernd Langeheine as Deputy Director General for Mergers, both within the Competition Directorate General.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed merger between Caterpillar and MWM
    5 May 2011
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition of sole control of MWM Holding of Germany by Caterpillar Inc. of the US. Both companies commercialise reciprocating engine generator sets (“gensets”), which are used for power generation. The Commission’s initial market investigation indicated potential competition concerns with respect to gas-fuelled gensets.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of Bucyrus by Caterpillar
    5 May 2011
    The market for surface mining trucks is relatively concentrated, with only a few large players producing this type of truck. However, the EEA accounts only for a very small part of the global market and Bucyrus does not sell any mining trucks in Europe. Whilst the transaction will result in high combined market shares worldwide, the additional market share increase accounted for by Bucyrus is relatively low. Furthermore, Caterpillar and Bucyrus are not generally viewed as each other's closest competitors and several other large players will remain on the market.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears proposed merger of the orange juice businesses of Votorantim and Fischer
    4 May 2011
    The Commission approved the creation of a joint venture between the Brazilian groups Votorantim and Fischer that will combine their respective activities in the orange juice sector. Although the merger will create the world's largest wholesale supplier of orange juice, the Commission concluded, after an in-depth investigation, that there would remain sufficient competition from a number of companies in Europe and worldwide.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears proposed acquisition of German chocolate manufacturer KVB by Cargill
    2 May 2011
    The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong competitors. After the transaction, customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers available on all markets concerned.
    Read more >

Court

  • C-305/09 Commission / Italie
    5 May 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on a Commission decision of 14 December 2004 finding fiscal incentives in favour of companies taking part in trade fairs abroad to be incompatible with EU state aid rules and ordering Italy to recover the unlawful aid from the beneficiaries. The Court found that by failing to fully recover the incompatible aid, Italy had failed to fulfill its obligations under the Treaty.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • C-375/09 - Tele2 Polska
    20 April 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on a request for a preliminary ruling by the Polish Supreme Court on the interpretation of the Antitrust Regulation 1/2003. In particular, the Court found that the Commission alone is empowered to adopt decisions finding that there has been no infringement of EU competition rules.
    Read full judgment >

Subscriptions:

Editorial and legal information

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, 2011. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

Competition website