Competition weekly news summary
Friday, February 10, 2012

Conferences and Speeches

  • "Industrial policy and Competition policy: Quo vadis Europa?"
    New Frontiers of Antitrust 2012 – Revue Concurrences, Paris, Joaquín Almunia
    10 February 2012
    "There are rising fears in Europe that we are in a process of de-industrialisation. To allay these fears, it would be unwise to ask our governments to subsidise industrial companies and keep them in operation regardless of market conditions. We should instead respond using the right arguments; which means promoting competitiveness, productivity, and innovation. Above all, we should do so not for individual companies or sectors, but across the board. In this context, competition policy lies at the basis of a modern industrial policy because it ensures that the functioning of markets is not distorted, either by government measures, or by the anti-competitive behaviour of private firms."
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Antitrust

  • Commission confirms unannounced inspections in the electricity sector
    7 February 2012
    On 7 February 2012, Commission officials undertook unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in managing power exchanges in several Member States. The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated European antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.
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Mergers

  • Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Maxam by Advent and a group of individuals
    7 February 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over MaxamCorp Holding of Spain by the US based Advent International Corporation and approximately 110 individuals including some of Maxam's current managers and employees. The Commission examined the vertical links created by the proposed transaction and concluded that the merged entity would continue to face sufficient competition.
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State aid

  • Commission approves Austrian support scheme for renewable energies "2012 Green Electricity Act"
    8 February 2012
    The Commission found an Austrian scheme to support the production of energy from renewable sources in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because it creates incentives for an increased use of renewable energy while containing safeguards to limit distortions of competition.
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  • Commission orders Sweden to recover incompatible aid from property sale by Municipality of Vänersborg
    8 February 2012
    The Commission concluded that the sale of a food processing facility from the Swedish municipality of Vänersborg to the real estate company Hammar Nordic Plugg was incompatible with EU state aid rules. Since the sale was not carried out at market conditions, it gave the company an undue economic advantage over its competitors, which needs to be paid back.
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  • Commission refers Italy to Court for failure to recover incompatible aid from Italian metal producers
    8 February 2012
    The Commission has referred Italy to the EU Court of Justice for not complying with a Commission decision of February 2011 finding that subsidised electricity tariffs granted to metal producers Portovesme, ILA and Eurallumina were incompatible with EU state aid rules and ordering Italy to recover the undue advantage from the beneficiaries.
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  • Commission investigates potential state aid at La Rochelle airport in France
    8 February 2012
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether financial arrangements between public authorities and the airport of La Rochelle (France), as well as rebates and marketing agreements concluded between this airport and some of the airlines using it, are in line with EU state aid rules.
    Read more >
  • Overview of pending decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis
    6 February 2012
    Go to overview >

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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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