Competition weekly news summary
Friday, June 17, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • Beyond the banking crisis: another chapter in Ireland's history of resilience
    Federation of International Banks in Ireland, Dublin, Joaquín Almunia
    17 June 2011
    "As a result of the Irish authorities’ strategy to build the new banking system on two pillar banks, the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank will work in a de facto duopoly in the Irish market. As European Commissioner for Competition, let me say that this prospect will require close surveillance, because duopoly may hamper competition in Ireland’s banking market. I expect that the Irish authorities will ensure the best conditions for efficient competition in the market. [...] Ireland needs an open and contested market for financial services and products to finance its growth in the future."
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  • Public services for a better Europe
    CEEP (The European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services), Budapest, Joaquín Almunia
    16 June 2011
    "I attach a great deal of importance to this reform because public services lie at the core of my vision of Europe’s social market economy. As an economist by training, I believe that an efficient, well regulated, and free market is the best model for our economic behaviour and relations – at least, the best model we have managed to find yet. But, as a politician and as a citizen, I know that this does not mean that the market can be elevated to the rank of a universal model. In our model of society principles and values rank higher than economic interests. There are certain services and public goods that cannot be left to market forces alone, because we have evidence that, when they are, the goods are not provided to the many but only to a few – and in some cases they are not provided at all."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission consults on guidance for quantifying harm in antitrust damages actions
    17 June 2011
    The Commission has opened a public consultation on a draft guidance paper on quantifying harm in actions for damages based on breaches of Article 101 or 102 of the TFEU.
    Go to consultation page >

Mergers

  • Commission refers Liberty Global's planned acquisition of German cable company KBW to German competition authority
    17 June 2011
    The Commission referred the assessment of the proposed acquisition of Kabel Baden-Württemberg by Liberty Global Inc. to the German competition authority, at the latter request. After a preliminary investigation, the Commission found that the proposed transaction may significantly affect competition in the market for the provision of free-TV services to housing associations, where contracts with tenants are negotiated collectively, a big market in Germany.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of automotive business of Keiper Recaro Group by Johnson Controls
    17 June 2011
    The Commission approved the acquisition of the automotive business of Keiper Recaro Group, which comprises metal structures and mechanisms for car seats, by Johnson Controls, a supplier of automotive systems and components. The Commission concluded that the parties will continue to face competition from other suppliers and that car manufacturers have an important role in the selection of suppliers of seat structures and mechanisms for their car models.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of biomedical company Beckman Coulter by technology group Danaher
    17 June 2011
    The Commission cleared the proposed acquisition of sole control of Beckman Coulter by Danaher, both of the US. 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.
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  • Commission clears acquisition of Columbian Chemicals by Birla Group
    15 June 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of US-based Columbian Chemicals by Indigold Carbon, controlled by the Indian Aditya Birla Group, both worldwide producers of carbon black. Carbon black is a chemical product used mostly in the production of tyres but also in printing inks and plastics. The Commission concluded that although the merger would create one of the three largest companies in the sector, European customers would continue to enjoy healthy competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of Parmalat by Lactalis
    14 May 2011
    The Commission investigated the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the different markets for dairy products such as the procurement of raw milk, fresh milk, long life milk, cream and cheeses. It found that the proposed transaction would not significantly modify the structure of the relevant markets as the increments in market shares are negligible and a number of credible competitors would continue to exercise a competitive constraint on the merged entity.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into financing of infrastructure projects at German Leipzig/Halle airport
    15 June 2011
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to verify whether loans and capital injections granted to the Leipzig/Halle airport, in Eastern Germany, to finance new infrastructure projects are in line with EU state aid rules. At this stage, the Commission considers that Germany has not demonstrated that the public funding, which covers 100 % of the total investment costs, is justified and proportionate.
    Read more >

Court

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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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