Competition weekly news summary
Friday, June 10, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • Recent trends in EU Merger Control
    7th International Conference on Competition Law and Policy, Beijing, Cecilio Madero Villarejo
    "We should strive to work towards converged and compatible policies and legal instruments so that our companies will face similar tests and that requested remedies are similar and not incompatible with one another. This work will require a closer contact between our agencies and there are multiple channels of communication to achieve this."
    Read full speech >
  • Fair process in EU competition enforcement
    European Competition Day, Budapest, Joaquín Almunia
    30 May 2011
    "During the whole review process, we have kept three goals in mind: making our control more effective; adding more safeguards to protect the rights of the parties; and opening more and better channels of information. Fifteen months after I took office as Commissioner for Competition, I can tell you that the services I found were already first-class in terms of efficiency, fairness and transparency. So, what I’ve been presenting to you is not a revolution – there was no need for it. It is just the latest stage in the organic evolution of a fine European authority for competition."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission confirms investigation into suspected cartel in the sector of seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels
    9 June 2011
    Starting on 7 June 2011, Commission officials carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of companies that supply car seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels, known in the industry as automotive occupant safety systems.
    Read more >
  • Commission confirms unannounced inspections in the engines' sector
    27 May 2011
    On 25 May 2011, Commission officials undertook unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the manufacturing, supply and distribution of piston engines mainly used for industrial applications, such as generator sets, engines for industrial transportation and engines providing mechanical drive, in several Member States.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of Ferrosan's Consumer Health Care Business by Pfizer
    9 June 2011
    The Commission has cleared the acquisition of the consumer health care business of Ferrosan Holding A/S of Denmark by Pfizer of the US. The Commission concluded that the merged company would continue to face a number of credible competitors.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves joint acquisition of German polyester producer Trevira by Indorama and Sinterama
    9 June 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed joint acquisition of German polyester producer Trevira by Indorama of Thailand and Sinterama of Italy. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the parties' market shares would remain modest and that the merged entity will continue to face significant competitors.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Sanex by Colgate
    6 June 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of sole control of Unilever's Sanex business by Colgate-Palmolive Group. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves styrene joint venture of BASF and INEOS, subject to conditions
    1 June 2011
    The Commission has cleared the creation of a joint venture combining the existing styrene monomer, polystyrene and acrylonitrile–butadiene-styrene (ABS) businesses of INEOS of Switzerland and BASF of Germany. The decision is conditional upon the divestment of activities in the ABS sector. ABS is a chemical product used for instance in computer keyboards or steering wheel covers.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigations into two proposed acquisitions in the hard disk drive sector
    30 May 2011
    The Commission has opened two separate in-depth investigations into two proposed concentrations in the hard disk drive ("HDD") sector. The first transaction concerns the planned acquisition of the HDD business of Korean firm Samsung by Seagate Technology of the US. The second transaction concerns the planned acquisition of the storage business of Japan's Hitachi by Western Digital Corporation of the US. HDDs systems are used in computers, digital video recorders, camcorders and other electronic devices, to store and access digital data.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears Axa, Permira online travel agency joint venture
    30 May 2011
    The Commission has approved the creation of a joint venture between France's Axa and equity firm Permira, that will bring together their proposed acquisition of Opodo and their respective existing online travel agency subsidiaries, GO Voyages and eDreams. The joint venture will face competition from airlines such as Air France, Alitalia, Windjet, easyJet and Ryanair and from other OTAs like Expedia and Bravofly/Volagratis.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves proposed acquisition of Kokerei Prosper by ArcelorMittal Bremen
    27 May 2011
    The Commission's investigation showed that the proposed transaction does not give rise to competition concerns as far as the market for coke is concerned. This is because ArcelorMittal's competitors who are currently supplied by Kokerei Prosper will continue to have access to coke from Kokerei Prosper in the medium term under the current contractual arrangements. In the longer term the expansion of one of the customers' (HKM) own coke ovens will be sufficient to replace supplies from Prosper.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves liquidation aid for Danish Eik Bank
    6 June 2011
    The Commission has cleared a Danish support measure for the liquidation of Eik Bank, as it provided for an orderly wind-up of the bank and foresees sufficient safeguards to limit distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission temporarily approves rescue aid for Danish Amagerbanken
    6 June 2011
    The Commission has temporarily approved a Danish support measure for the liquidation of Amagerbanken, which was declared bankrupt in February 2011. The aid is limited to what is necessary to facilitate an orderly wind-up of the bank.
    Read more >
  • Commission authorises extension of bank support schemes in Ireland and Spain
    1 June 2011
    The Commission authorised a six month prolongation, until 31 December 2011, of guarantee schemes for credit institutions in Ireland and Spain. The Commission concluded that the extension of the measures is in line with its guidance on support measures for banks during the financial crisis. In particular, the extended measures are well targeted, proportionate and limited in time and scope.
    Read more >

Court

  • Joined cases C-71/09, C-73/09 and C-76/09 Comitato "Venezia vuole vivere" and others / Commission
    9 June 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on appeals against a General Court judgment that had upheld a Commission decison of November 1999. The Commission's decision had found state aid granted by Italy to certain companies in the regions of Venezia and Chioggia in the form of reductions or exemptions from social security contributions to be incompatible with EU state aid rules. The Court fully upheld the Commission's decision.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Joined cases C-465/09 to C- 470/09 Diputación Foral de Vizcaya and others / Commission
    9 June 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on appeals against Commission decisons of December 2001, finding fiscal examptions for new companies granted by several basque regions incompatible with EU state aid rules. The Court entirely confirmed the Commission's decisions.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Cases T-206/06 and T-217/06 Total/Elf Aquitaine, Arkema and others / Commission
    7 June 2011
    The General Court ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of May 2006 fining the applicants and other companies for a cartel in the sector for methacrylates. The Court fully upheld the fines imposed on the parent companies Total and Elf Aquitaine. The Court reduced the fine imposed on Arkema and its subsidiaries.
    Read full judgment T-206/09 >
    Read full judgment T-217/09 >
    Read more about 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.

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