Competition weekly news summary
Friday, December 9, 2011

Conferences and Speeches

  • "Quantity" and "quality" in economic assessments
    Charles River Associates Annual Conference, Brussels, Alexander Italianer
    7 December 2011
    "[...] when we build a case, we add the priors with the story of harm and a layer of data if it matches-up. We use the best evidence that is available, and that we can reasonably use according to the theory of the case and we fit data in when possible and when it strengthens the case. Indeed, our presumptions or theories of harm are not set in stone. We need to tell a story where economic evidence and analysis validates these presumptions. And we also use economic reasoning and econometric analysis to avoid relying only on the data adduced by parties. Taken together, these factors make the robustness of the case, which can then be tested in Court."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission fines producers of refrigeration compressors € 161 million in fifth cartel settlement
    7 December 2011
    The Commission has settled a cartel with producers of household and commercial refrigeration compressors, used in fridges, freezers, vending machines and ice-cream coolers. ACC, Danfoss, Embraco and Panasonic were fined a total of €161 198 000 for operating together with Tecumseh a cartel that covered the whole EEA. The fine includes a reduction of 10% for the companies’ acknowledgement of their participation in the cartel and their liability in respect of such participation. Tecumseh was not fined as it benefited from immunity under the 2006 Leniency Notice for revealing the existence of the cartel to the Commission.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens formal proceedings to investigate sales of e-books
    6 December 2011
    The Commission is investigating whether international publishers Hachette, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck have, possibly with the help of Apple, engaged in anti-competitive practices affecting the sale of e-books in the EEA.
    Read more >
  • Review of current regime for licensing of technology
    6 December 2011
    The Commission invites comments on the application of EU antitrust rules for the assessment of technology transfer agreements, i.e. patent, know-how and software licensing. The aim is to strengthen the incentives for research and innovation, facilitate the diffusion of intellectual property and stimulate competition. In light of stakeholders' submissions, the Commission will make a proposal on how to assess technology transfer agreements after the expiry of the current regime in April 2014. Comments can be submitted until 3 February 2012.
    Go to the consultation page >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of energy company Nuon's Belgian assets by ENI
    8 December 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the Belgian assets of Nuon by the Italian energy group ENI. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns in the EEA because of the parties' relatively moderate market shares and the presence of a number of credible competitors in the markets concerned.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission opens investigation into aid granted to Austrian bank ÖVAG
    9 December 2011
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into several support measures that Austria had granted to Österreichische Volksbank (ÖVAG) in 2009. ÖVAG had presented a restructuring plan in autumn 2010. The Commission had doubts that the plan would enable the bank to become viable and that it sufficiently addressed the distortion of competition brought about by the state support. Moreover, it became clear in recent months, that the bank was unable to implement the plan.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves extension of Danish winding-up scheme for credit institutions
    9 December 2011
    The Commission has authorised the prolongation of Danish winding-up and compensation schemes for credit institutions until 30 June 2012. The Commission also approved two amendments to the compensation scheme, facilitating the sale of whole or part of a failing bank. The Commission found the amended scheme to be compatible with EU state aid rules because it is limited in time and scope, ensures adequate burden-sharing and contains sufficient safeguards to minimise distortions of competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission adopts new Framework for Shipbuilding
    7 December 2011
    The Commission has adopted revised rules for assessing state aid for shipbuilding, to take account of the more specialised nature of today's shipbuilding industry. In particular, the new framework prolongs and streamlines the rules on aid for innovation in shipbuilding and extends the scope of these rules to new specialised market segments. The new framework will enter into force on 1 January 2012.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves Lithuanian short-term export credit insurance scheme
    7 December 2011
    The Commission found a Lithuanian short-term export credit insurance scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, because it requires a market-oriented remuneration and is limited to insurance cover that is currently not available on the private market. The Commission authorised the measure until 31 December 2012.
    Read more >

Court

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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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