Competition weekly news summary
Friday, January 27, 2012

Conferences and Speeches

  • Commission adopts a package of four decisions concerning the incumbent postal operators in Germany, Belgium, France and Greece
    Introductory remarks at the Press conference, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    25 January 2012
    "Liberalisation in the postal sector is now fully effective in 16 Member States. It will be completed in the remaining 11 by the end of this year. The Commission must ensure that competition in terms of quality and price is not distorted by undue public support to the incumbents. Only in this way the liberalisation of postal services across the EU will create the scope for new operators and innovative services to appear, with a direct benefit for citizens and businesses. At the same time, we also need efficient public services. The universal postal service ensures that postal items are delivered timely and at reasonable tariffs throughout the territory of each Member State. Indeed, Member States are free to define other public services obligations, such as press distribution, if they decide to do so."
    Read more >
  • Banking sector and State aid
    Economist Conferences “The third Future of Banking Summit”, Paris, Joaquín Almunia
    24 January 2012
    "In 2012 many banks – including those which have not yet received state support – will have to make restructuring efforts to comply with the EBA requirement of holding 9% of the highest quality capital after marking their sovereign-debt exposures to market. This is part of the comprehensive plan which EU national leaders adopted last October to address the consequences of the sovereign-debt crisis. The best option is that banks will go to the market or draw on their own resources to reach their capital targets; but some may turn to government support as a last resort. According to our rules, the banks that will eventually turn to the State for recapitalisation or impaired asset protection will have to submit a restructuring plan to the Commission. It goes without saying that we will not request a radical restructuring in all cases. We will give a proportionate assessment to each individual plan depending on its specific elements."
    Read full speech >

Competition

Antitrust

  • Commission opens a probe into transatlantic joint venture between Air France-KLM, Alitalia and Delta and closes proceedings against eight members of SkyTeam airline alliance
    27 January 2012
    The Commission has opened an investigation to assess whether a transatlantic joint venture between Air France-KLM, Alitalia and Delta, all members of the SkyTeam airline alliance, breaches EU antitrust rules. The goal is to ensure that this tie-up does not harm passengers on EU-US routes. Simultaneously, the Commission has closed formal antitrust proceedings in relation to cooperation agreements between eight members of SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta, KLM and Korean Air Lines.
    Read more >
  • Commission closes procedural case against Servier
    27 January 2012
    The Commission has closed an investigation into the suspected provision of misleading and incorrect information by Les Laboratoires Servier to the Commission's pharmaceuticals sector inquiry.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission grants temporary approval to Latvian support for Latvian Mortgage and Land Bank and opens in-depth review into the measures for the bank's transformation
    26 January 2012
    The Commission has granted temporary clearance to recapitalisation, liquidity and other measures for phasing out commercial activities of the Latvian Mortgage and Land Bank (MLB). At the same time, the Commission has opened an in-depth investigation, to assess whether the measures are in line with EU state aid rules.
    Read more >
  • Commission adopts a package of four decisions concerning the incumbent postal operators in Germany, Belgium, France and Greece
    25 January 2012
    The Commission has adopted a package of four decisions concerning state aid granted by Germany, Belgium, France and Greece to their respective incumbent postal operators. In two of the cases – Bpost and Deutsche Post – the Commission has ordered the recovery of incompatible aid.
    Read more >
    Read more about the German case >
    Read more about the Belgian case >
    Read more about the French case >
    Read more about the Greek case >
    Read more on state aid control in the postal sector >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigations in air transport sector in France, Germany and Sweden
    25 January 2012
    The Commission will investigate whether financial arrangements between public authorities and the airports of Niederrhein-Weeze, Altenburg-Nobitz (both in Germany), Pau (France) and Västerås (Sweden), as well as rebates and marketing agreements concluded between these airports and some of the airlines using them, are in line with EU State aid rules.
    Read more >
  • Commission scrutinises state funding of purchasers of Polish shipyards' assets
    25 January 2012
    The Commission has opened two in-depth investigations to assess whether public support for two purchasers of assets of the Gdynia shipyard, in liquidation, are in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission will examine in particular whether funding that the purchasers obtained from the Polish Industrial Development Agency was granted on market conditions.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into restructuring aid for Air Malta
    25 January 2012
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether a €130 million restructuring aid for the Maltese state-owned airline Air Malta is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission will examine in particular whether the planned measures are appropriate to restore the company's long-term viability and whether they ensure sufficient compensation for the distortions of competition triggered by the state support.
    Read more >

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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, 2012. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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