Competition weekly news summary
Friday, December 2, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • Extension of state aid control crisis regime for banks
    Press conference, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    1 December 2011
    "We will keep the rules under review and are ready to issue further clarifications and revise the conditions further if market conditions change. Let me recall, however, that the key condition to disconnect the life-support machine between the State and the financial sector is to solve the sovereign debt crisis. Failure to do so and to do so urgently now, would be a disaster not only for one country or the banks but for the entire EU and the world itself."
    Read full speech >
  • Unleashing Europe’s potential for growth: The role of competition policy
    Competition Summit 2011, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    1 December 2011
    "Tearing down the barriers that fragment the Single Market is a fundamental goal of the EU; one that provides scale and opportunities to all European companies and brings benefits especially to SMEs. The discipline imposed by a genuine Europe-wide, competition-friendly market is the best tonic for business; it promotes efficiency and prepares European firms for global competition."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • European Competition Forum 2012
    29 November 2011
    The Commission is hosting the first European Competition Forum, to take place on 2 February 2012 in Brussels. The conference will discuss lessons learned from the economic and financial crisis and important policy issues for the years ahead. High-level decision-makers, economists, public and private competition experts and members of the media will debate and exchange ideas on competition policy and enforcement.
    Further information and registration >

Mergers

  • Commission clears acquisition of transport logistic services company ATIC by ArcelorMittal
    2 December 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of ATIC of France by ArcelorMittal Netherlands BV. Although in some parts of the EU ATIC has significant market shares in seaport terminal services for the import of iron ore and coal, which are key inputs for steel production, the Commission concluded that ArcelorMittal would have neither the ability nor the incentive to prevent competitors from importing iron ore and coal to an extent that would affect competition in the EU.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of satellite communication services company Vizada by Astrium, a subsidiary of EADS
    30 November 2011
    The Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Mobsat, the holding company of the Vizada Group of Luxembourg, by Astrium Holding SAS of France. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition problems, because it will only lead to a very limited increase in market shares and the merged entity will continue to face a sufficient number of competitors in all markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of RBS assets by Banco Santander
    30 November 2011
    The Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of retail and commercial banking assets of Royal Bank of Scotland in the UK by Banco Santander of Spain. After a re-notification following changes to the previously approved operation, the Commission concluded that the amended transaction would not raise competition concerns. In particular, the overlaps between the parties' activities are very limited and Santander's market shares remain low in the UK.
    Read more >
    Read more about previously approved transaction >

State aid

  • Commission extends crisis rules for banks
    1 December 2011
    The Commission has prolonged with limited changes temporary rules to assess public support to financial institutions during the crisis. The revised rules clarify how to ensure that the State is adequately remunerated if it recapitalises banks using instruments for which the remuneration is not fixed in advance, such as ordinary shares. The methodology regarding the remuneration of guarantees for banks' funding needs was revised to ensure that the fees paid by banks reflect their intrinsic risk, rather than the risk related to the State or the market as a whole. The revised rules will apply as long as required by market conditions.
    Read more >
  • Crisis-related aid aside, Scoreboard shows continued trend towards less and better targeted aid
    1 December 2011
    The Commission's autumn scoreboard shows that national support to the financial sector actually taken by banks between October 2008 and December 2010 amounts to around €1.6 trillion (13% of GDP). Crisis support to the real economy based on the temporary framework dropped to €11.7 billion in 2010, a fall of nearly 50% compared to 2009, reflecting both a low uptake and budgetary constraints. The temporary framework will therefore not be prolonged.
    Read more >
  • Overview of pending decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis
    1 December 2011
    Read more >

Court

  • T-238/09 SNIACE v. Commission
    30 November 2011
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by SNIACE against a Commission decision of 2009 finding that SNIACE had received incompatible state aid. The GC rejected the appeal and confirmed in particular that the Commission had adequately motivated the application of the private creditor test.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission 2009 decision >
  • T-208/06 Quinn Barlo Ltd. and others v Commission
    30 November 2011
    The General court ruled on an appeal against a Commission decision of May 2006 fining several companies for operating a cartel in the markets for methacrylates. The Court rejected most of the claims and largely upheld the Commission's decision. The GC reduced the fine imposed on Quinn Barlo from €9 million to €8,25 million.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >

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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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