Competition weekly news summary
Friday, May 27, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • An integrated approach to State aid
    European State Aid Law Institute Conference, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    26 May 2011
    " [...] we are asked to review on average well over one thousand new cases per year. This is why I want to take a more systemic approach to deal with State aid cases. I want to simplify and clarify our rules, and I want to focus on the aid that most hinders the functioning of the Single Market."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission fines Suez Environnement and Lyonnaise des Eaux €8 million for the breach of a seal during an inspection
    24 May 2011
    The Commission has fined Suez Environnement and its subsidiary Lyonnaise des Eaux France (LDE) €8 million for the breach of a seal affixed by the Commission during an antitrust inspection at LDE’s premises, in April 2010. The breach of a seal is a serious infringement of EU competition law, because this undermines the effectiveness of inspections.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission opens in-depth investigations into State aid to Romanian air transport sector; approves aid for two regional airports in the UK and in Italy
    24 May 2011
    The Commission has opened two separate in-depth investigations, one into a Romanian scheme for investments in regional airports and the second, to ascertain whether certain rebates and discounts granted by the Timisoara airport to some airlines distort competition. The Commission is particularly concerned that the agreements concluded between Timisoara airport and Wizz Air could procure the latter an unfair economic advantage over its competitors. Separately, the Commission approved investment aid mostly to improve access to an airport in Wales and to promote the use of rail and bus to and from the airport in Italy's Friuli Venezia Giulia region.
    Read more >
  • Commission rules that Crédit Mutuel was not overcompensated for distribution of Livret bleu savings account
    24 May 2011
    The Commission found that Crédit Mutuel was not overcompensated for distributing between 1991 and 2008 the Livret bleu savings account in France. In 2009, France liberalised the rules on the distribution of the Livret bleu and Livret A tax-free savings accounts and as of then all banks are allowed to market them.
    Read more >
  • Commission prohibits aid to Greek casinos; finds that privatisation of Casino Mont Parnès involved no aid
    24 May 2011
    The Commission concluded two state aid investigations concerning Greek casinos. In one decision, the Commission found that the lower taxation of admissions in state-owned casinos is unlawful aid because it creates a fiscal discrimination in favour of public casinos without objective justification. In the other decision, the Commission concluded that the terms of the sale of the Greek State's 49% stake in Casino Mont Parnès were market conform and therefore free of state aid.
    Read more >
  • Commission temporarily approves aid for Austrian Hypo Alpe Adria Group
    24 May 2011
    The Commission temporarily approved additional state aid of €200 million for Austria's Hypo Alpe Adria Group (HGAA). At the same time, the Commission has extended its in-depth investigation into the bank's restructuring plan, so as to include the additional aid in its assessment.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves restructuring plan of Agricultural Bank of Greece
    23 May 2011
    The Commission approved the restructuring plan of Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE), finding it apt to restore the bank's long-term viability while ensuring it contributes to the cost of its restructuring and limits distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Overview of decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis
    23 May 2011
    Go to overview >

Court

  • Joined cases T-109/05 and T-444/05 Navigazione Libera del Golfo / Commission
    24 May 2011
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by NLG against a Commission decision rejecting NLG's request for access to documents related to a state aid investigation. The Court confirmed that commercially-sensitive data contained in confidential versions of Commission decisions is protected under Regulation 1049/2001 on access to documents, provided a concrete and individual assessment has been carried out. The Court further ruled that where a Member State has objected to the disclosure of confidential documents, the Commission needs to indicate the reasons of the objection made by that Member State.
    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.

© European Union, 2011. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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