Competition weekly news summary
Friday, November 25, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • Competition – what's in it for consumers?
    European Competition and Consumer Day, Poznan, Joaquín Almunia
    24 November 2011
    "In all our cases we start by looking at the likelihood of "harm" to consumers. What we want to know is to what extent the merger, agreement or practice in question can reduce choice, increase prices or stifle innovation. By pursuing our objective of protecting consumers, we are also in fact promoting those firms that can offer competitive and innovative products and services to them, at all levels of the value chain. In addition, the discipline imposed by competition rules pushes our companies to increase their competitiveness. By imposing this discipline at home, in national markets or in the Single Market, we ensure that our firms are better equipped to take on their competitors on world markets."
    Read full speech >
  • Work Programme for 2012
    Presentation at the ECON committee, European Parliament, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    22 November 2011
    Starting next year, I will launch a broad initiative to better reflect in our policies the contribution of State aid to growth and the constraints of the fiscal consolidation strategies implemented in the majority of our Member States. I will also take measures to make our control simpler and more efficient. [...] The other major initiative is about the right of individuals and firms to seek compensation for the damage caused by breaches of EU antitrust law. I will propose to the Commission an initiative designed to remove the major obstacles for damages actions before national courts."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • Commission's new info pages on compliance
    23 November 2011
    The Commission has set up a dedicated section within its competition website, to assist business in complying with EU competition rules. Companies need to be aware of the risks of infringing competition rules and how to develop a compliance strategy that best suits their needs. An effective compliance strategy enables a company to minimize the risk of involvement in competition law infringements, and the costs resulting from anti-competitive behaviour.
    Visit compliance pages >

Mergers

  • Commission clears Western Digital's acquisition of Hitachi's hard disk drive business subject to conditions
    23 November 2011
    The Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer Viviti Technologies, a subsidiary of the Hitachi Group, by rival Western Digital of the US. The approval is conditional upon the divestment of essential production assets for 3.5-inch HDD, including a production plant, and accompanying measures. Western Digital cannot complete the acquisition of Viviti until it has found a suitable purchaser that is approved by the Commission.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of Spanish light fixture manufacturer Indal by Philips
    23 November 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Indal of Spain by Philips of the Netherlands. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns because the merged entity would continue to face sufficiently strong competition from other well-established manufacturers in the markets for lamps, light fixtures, light fixture components, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and LED modules.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission orders recovery of illegal aid granted under Portuguese short-term export-credit scheme
    23 November 2011
    The Commission has concluded that a Portuguese scheme providing short-term export credit insurance to certain companies significantly below market price was in breach of EU state aid rules as it distorts competition with rivals. This means Portugal needs to recover the difference between the premium level charged under the scheme and the market price from the beneficiaries.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears Czech support scheme for reduction of air pollution in Moravia-Silesia
    23 November 2011
    The Commission has approved a Czech scheme worth CZK 6 billion (approx. €250 million) for projects that reduce the level of air pollution in highly polluted areas in the Moravia-Silesia Region. The Commission found the scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, because the aid will be awarded through a competitive tender to companies that increase the level of environmental protection, either where there are currently no EU standards or going beyond such standards.
    Read more >
  • Commission grants temporary approval to Spanish support for Banco de Valencia
    22 November 2011
    The Commission has temporarily approved a capital injection up to €1 billion and a liquidity facility of up to €2 billion for the Spanish Banco de Valencia provided by the Spanish Fondo de Reestructuración Ordenada Bancaria (FROB). The Commission found the rescue package to be in line with its guidance on state aid to banks during the crisis because it is limited in time and Spain committed to submit a restructuring plan within six months.
    Read more >

Court

  • C-458/09 P Italy vs European Commission
    24 November 2011
    The Court of Justice ruled on Italy's appeal against a CFI judgment of September 2009 that had upheld a Commission decision of March 2005 finding aid granted by Italy to newly listed companies in breach of EU state aid rules and ordering Italy to recover the aid from the beneficiaries. The ECJ rejected the appeal and confirmed the Commission decision.
    Read full ECJ judgment >
    Read full CFI judgment >
    Read more about intitial Commission decision >
  • T-296/09 EFIM / Commission
    24 November 2011
    The General court ruled on an appeal by EFIM against the Commission's rejection of its complaint regarding the alleged abuse of a dominant position in the inkjet cartridges' after-markets. The Court rejected the appeal and confirmed the Commission's decision to rejct the complaint because it had found no evidence to establish an infringement of competition law.
    Read full ruling >
  • T-320/07 Glen Jones v Commission
    23 November 2011
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by M. Jones against a Commission decison of June 2007 rejecting a complaint regarding alleged price discrimination in the purchase of coal for electricity generation in the UK. The Court rejected the appeal and confirmed the Commission's decision.
    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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