Competition weekly news summary
Friday, September 9, 2011

Conferences and speeches

  • Policy Objectives in Merger Control
    Fordham Competition Conference, New York, Joaquín Almunia
    8 September 2011
    "Europe should continue to welcome foreign investments – just as we wish European investments to be welcomed in other parts of the world – because these deals bring benefits to everyone. Our economies need access to competitive services and investments, and our companies can only become real European or global champions if they are encouraged to become more innovative and efficient; not if they are shielded from competition. Closing home markets as a reaction to protectionism abroad can only be a damaging move for everyone. Therefore, we must work for reciprocity in opening markets – not in closing them."
    Read full speech >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of Fortis Commercial Finance Holding by BNP Paribas
    6 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition by BNP Paribas of Fortis Commercial Finance Holding, a company specialised in factoring services in several EU member states. The Commission's examination showed that the horizontal overlaps between the parties' activities are limited and that the combined firm will continue to face several strong, effective competitors with significant market shares.
    Read more >

Court

  • Italian raw tobacco cartel: appeals by Deltafina and Alliance One
    9 September 2011
    The General Court ruled on two appeals against a Commission decision of October 2005 fining four Italian tobacco processors for operating a buying cartel in the Italian raw tobacco market. The Court dismissed the actions brought by Deltafina and Alliance One in their entirety maintaining the fines of €54 million. The Court's judgments confirm the Commission's position on important principles of EU competition law, such as the obligations of immunity applicants in the context of the Commission's leniency policy and the liability of parent companies.
    Read more >
    Read full judgment T-12/06 Deltafina / Commission >
    Read full judgment T-25/06 Alliance One / Commission >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • C-279/08 Commission / The Netherlands
    8 September 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on a Commission appeal against a General Court judgment of April 2008. The 2008 ruling had annulled a Commission decision of 2003, finding that the Dutch emission trading scheme constituted state aid because it procured a selective advantage to certain companies and that the aid was compatible with EU state aid rules. The Court overruled the earlier judgment and fully upheld the Commission decision and in particular the Commission's reasoning regarding the selectivity of the measure.
    Read full ECJ judgment >
    Read full General Court judgment under appeal >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Preliminary ruling on joined cases C-78/08 Paint Graphos, C-79/08 Adige Carni, C-80/08 Franchetto
    8 September 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on several preliminary questions referred by an Italian Court regarding the qualification of certain Italian tax measures in favour of corporatives as state aid in the meaning of the EU rules. The Court held that tax exemptions such as those at issue in the main proceedings constitute state aid in the meaning of Article 107(1) of the Treaty only insofar as all the requirements for the application of that provision are met. The Court further ruled that it is for the national court to determine if the tax exemptions in question are selective and if they may be justified by the nature or general scheme of the national tax system of which they form part.
    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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