Competition weekly news summary
Friday, May 13, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • Reform of EU State aid rules on the Services of General Economic Interest
    90th Plenary Session of the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    12 May 2011
    "At present, the aid can cover all the costs incurred by the service provider plus a reasonable profit margin, regardless of how efficient the provider is. In times of budget consolidation, this clashes with the growing need to make an efficient use of public spending. Once again, let me put you some questions. What if the contracts included incentives for the service provider to become more efficient? The system is not new, for instance it is already used in certain transport services. And the efficiency gains could be shared between the provider and the public authority [...]"
    Read full speech >

Mergers

  • Commission clears acquisition of British automotive repair company Speedy (Kwik-Fit) by Itochu of Japan
    12 May 2011
    The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that Itochu and Speedy together have only a limited market presence on the markets for automotive repair and replacement services and the wholesale supply of replacement tyres.
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  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control of Ansaldo Energia by First Reserve Fund and Finmeccanica
    11 May 2011
    The transaction does not result in any horizontal or vertical relationship between the activities of each of the parent companies and those of the joint venture.
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State aid

  • Commission extends formal investigation against Germany concerning aid to Deutsche Post
    10 May 2011
    The Commission has extended the scope of a state aid investigation into the compensation of the universal service obligations of Deutsche Post AG (DPAG). The extension concerns the subsidies paid by the German State to cover the costs of the pensions of DPAG's employees who have a civil servant status. Germany claims that pension subsidies compensate 'legacy costs' from the time when Deutsche Post was a postal administration and ought to be compatible with EU State aid rules. However, Germany also allowed an increase in regulated letter prices specifically to cover DPAG's pension costs. The Commission has concerns that this could have resulted in overcompensating DPAG for those 'legacy' pension costs to the detriment of competitors.
    Read more >
  • Commissin finds that procedure for awarding France's fourth 3G mobile phone licence did not involve state aid
    10 May 2011
    The Commission concluded that the procedure for awarding France's fourth 3G mobile phone licence in 2009 did not involve any state aid because the award was made by way of a transparent and open procedure in accordance with EU regulations and resulted in a competitive outcome.
    Read more >

Court

  • Joined cases T-267/08 and T-279/08 Région Nord Pas de Calais et autres / Commission
    12 May 2011
    The General Court ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of 23 June 2010, adopted after the withdrawal of an earlier decision of 2008, finding aid in favour of Arbel Fauvet Rail incompatible with EU state aid rules and ordering France to recover the aid. The Court entirely confirmed the Commission's decision and dismissed the appeals.
    Read full judgment >

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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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