Competition weekly news summary
Friday, September 30, 2011

Conferences and speeches

  • SGEI reform: Presenting the draft legislation
    College of Europe, Bruges, Joaquín Almunia
    30 September 2011
    “Our new rules are designed to help public authorities across the EU to design and provide smarter, more efficient, and more effective public services. […] The reform is our contribution to defend Europe’s public services and to preserve them for the future”.
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission calls on France to ensure non-discriminatory allocation of digital TV broadcasting frequencies
    29 September 2011
    The Commission expects France to bring its procedure for granting digital TV broadcasting frequencies into line with EU law. At this stage, the Commission takes the view that the granting of additional TV channels to the three incumbents Canal+, TF1 and M6 without any competitive tendering procedure penalises rival broadcasters and deprives French viewers of more attractive programming.
    Read more >
  • Commission confirms unannounced inspections in the natural gas sector
    27 September 2011
    Commission officials undertook unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the supply, transmission and storage of natural gas in several Member States. The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have engaged in anticompetitive practices in breach of EU antitrust rules or that they are in possession of information relating to such practices.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens investigation in e-payment market
    26 September 2011
    The Commission has opened an antitrust investigation into the standardisation process for payments over the internet ('e-payments') undertaken by the European Payments Council (EPC). The EPC is the coordination and decision-making body of the European banking industry for payments. The Commission will examine the standardisation process to ensure that competition is not unduly restricted, for example through the exclusion of new entrants and payment providers who are not controlled by a bank. Excluding competitors in the online payments market could result in higher prices for web merchants and ultimately consumers.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of German automotive spare parts dealer Europart by private equity fund Triton
    30 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the German automotive spare parts dealer Europart by the private equity fund Triton of Jersey. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, because customers have sufficient alternative sources of supply.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Belgian wind turbine gearbox manufacturer Hansen by German automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    30 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Belgian wind turbine gearboxes manufacturer Hansen by ZF of Germany, a supplier to the automotive industry. Wind turbine gearboxes are used in wind turbines to convert wind energy into electricity. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the parties' moderate market shares and the presence of several strong, effective competitors.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of German automotive supplier GETRAG's all-wheel-drive business by GKN
    28 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the all-wheel-drive components business of the German automotive group GETRAG by GKN of the UK. The Commission found that in all the markets concerned, the merged entity will continue to face several strong, effective competitors and customers will therefore continue to have access to a sufficient number of suppliers.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves merger of activities of North Sea and Argos Groeps in petroleum sector
    27 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over North Sea Group Beheer by Reggeborgh Invest and Argos Energy, both of the Netherlands, following a transfer of shares of their respective subsidiaries North Sea Group and Argos Groep. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the parties' relatively moderate market shares and the presence of a number of credible competitors in the markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of MAN by Volkswagen
    26 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of MAN SE by Volkswagen AG, both of Germany. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because the merged entity would continue to face strong competition from other well established manufacturers.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of German plant care supplier Compo by private-equity firm Triton
    26 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the German supplier of plant care products Compo by the private equity firm Triton, based in Jersey. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly alter the structure of the markets for plant care products as Triton presently has no ownership interests in the same business.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission temporarily approves rescue aid for Spanish savings banks NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Unnim Banc
    30 September 2011
    The Commission has granted temporary approval to the recapitalisations of NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Unnim Banc by the Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancaria ("FROB"). All three banks were created this year as part of the restructuring of the Spanish savings banks system. Final approval of the recapitalisations is conditional upon the submission of a restructuring plan that ensures that the banks will be viable in the long-term, that shareholders adequately share the burden of restructuring and that distortions of competitions are limited.
    Read more >

Court

  • C-520/09 and C-521/09 Arkema and Elf Aquitaine / Commission
    29 September 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on two appeals against General Court rulings of September 2009 that had upheld a Commission decision of 2005 fining several companies for a cartel in the markets for monochloroacetic acid. The Court of Justice entirely dismissed Arkema's apppeal and upheld the Commission decision in that respect. The Court of Justice annulled the Commission's decision insofar as it held Elf Acquitaine liable for the infringement of its subsidiary Arkema. As Elf Aquitaine was held jointly and severally liable with Arkema for part of the fine, the overall amount of the fine remains unaffected by the ruling.
    Read full ECJ judgment on Arkema >
    Read full ECJ judgment on Elf Aquitaine >
    Read full CFI judgment under appeal on Arkema >
    Read full CFI judgment under appeal on Elf Aquitaine >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • T-442/07 Ryanair / Commission
    29 September
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by Ryanair alleging that the Commission had failed to act on complaints submitted by Ryanair regarding alleged unlawful state aid in the Italian air transport sector. The Court rejected some of Ryanair's pleas but ruled that the Commission should have further investigated some of the measures raised by Ryanair.
    Read full judgment >
  • T30/03 RENV 3F / Commission
    27 September 2011
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by a Danish trade union against a Commission decision of November 2002 authorising, without opening an in-depth investigation, a Danish scheme allowing fiscal advantages for certain seafarers. The Court of Justice, upon appeal, had confirmed that the trade union's action was admissible and had referred the case back to the General Court for a ruling on the substance. The General Court confirmed that the Commission was not obliged to open an in-depth investigation, as the case did not raise serious difficulties and the duration of the preliminary examination was justified by the circumstances and context of the procedure.
    Read full GC judgments >
    Read full ECJ 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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