Competition weekly news summary
Friday, October 7, 2011

Conferences and speeches

  • Stoking growth in Europe: a time for bold decisions
    Polish Presidency Conference "Sources of Growth in Europe", Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    6 October 2011
    "The best growth pattern to ensure prosperity and social cohesion is the one that relies on the development of our competitive advantages. To ensure prosperity and social cohesion in the long run, Europe needs to turn to its crucial assets, which – in my opinion – are its people and the size of its internal market."
    Read full speech >
  • The impact of the crisis State aid regime for banks
    European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    5 October 2011
    “[...] the public support had the potential to have significant effects on the competitive structure of the markets. However, market data suggest that this was not the case. Let me give you three facts to make this point: First, Europe’s banks have not retrenched behind national borders; Second, overall the restructuring of the banking sector did not accelerate the concentration trend that had been observed since 2001. [...] Finally, the public interventions have not affected the market performance of non-aided banks which, in fact, have performed a lot better than aided banks."
    Read full speech >

Mergers

  • Commission approves merger of activities of Galenica and Fresenius in human health sector
    6 October 2011
    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture by Galenica of Switzerland and Fresenius of Germany in the human health sector. The Commission concluded that the vertical link between the joint venture's activities in iron preparations and Fresenius' dialysis services would not prevent competitors on either of those markets from having access to sufficient customers and suppliers respectively.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of controlling stake in Israeli agrochemical company Makhteshim Agan by China National Agrochemical
    3 October 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over Israeli agrochemical company Makhteshim Agan Industries (MAI) by the Chinese state-owned company China National Chemical Corporation (CNAC) and Israeli company Koor Industries. MAI is currently under the sole control of Koor. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction did not raise competition concerns because the joint venture partners will continue to face competition from a number of other strong players in the EU and customers still retain sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of parts of Teva by Procter & Gamble
    30 September 2011
    The Commission has cleared the acquisition of important parts of the "over-the-counter" business of the pharmaceutical company Teva of Israel by the US company Procter & Gamble (P&G). The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, because the merged entity would continue to face sufficient competition in the markets concerned.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission opens in-depth inquiry into Italian support to former Tirrenia Group
    5 October 2011
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into several public support measures in favour of companies of the former Tirrenia Group, which operate ferries between mainland Italy and various islands. The Commission is concerned that the public service compensation granted by Italy to these companies for operating certain maritime routes could procure them an undue economic advantage over competitors. The Commission will also investigate whether additional support granted to Tirrenia Group companies in the context of their privatisation may distort competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves Belgian R&D aid for SABCA
    5 October 2011
    The Commission has authorised a repayable advance of €32.8 million that Belgium intends to grant to the aeronautics company SABCA for the development of flap support structures for the future Airbus A350 XWB passenger aircraft. The Commission found that the aid complies with EU state aid rules, because its positive effects on innovation outweigh potential distortions of competition.
    Read more >

Court

  • C-302/09 Commission / Italie
    6 October 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled that Italy has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty by failing to implement a Commission decision of November 1999 that had ordered Italy to recover state aid granted to companies in Venice and Chioggia by way of social security relief.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • T-11/6, T-19/06, T-39/06 Romana Tabacchi and others / Commission
    5 October
    The General Court ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of October 2005 fining several companies for operating a cartel in the market for raw tobacco in Italy. The Court entirely rejected Transcatab's appeal and maintained the fine imposed. The court reduced the fine for Romana Tabacchi because the Commission had not adduced sufficient evidence for part of the duration of its participation in the infringement. Finally, the Court found that Mindo had lost its legal interest in bringing proceedings and that therefore the Court was not required to rule on the latter's appeal anymore.
    Read full Romana Tabacchi judgment >
    Read full Mindo judgment >
    Read full Transcatab judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Joined cases C-403/08 and C-429/08 FAPL and others
    4 October 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on preliminary questions regarding a licensing system for the broadcasting of football matches, referred by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. The Court ruled that a licensing system that grants broadcasters territorial exclusivity on a Member State basis and that prohibits television viewers from watching the broadcasts with a decoder card in other Member States is contrary to EU law.
    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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