Competition weekly news summary
Friday, March 16, 2012

Conferences and Speeches

  • "Recent developments regarding the Commission's cartel enforcement"
    Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht Conference, Brussels, Alexander Italianer
    14 March 2012
    "The EU Courts have last year fully confirmed the legality of the so-called "parental liability presumption". By virtue of this principle, the Commission is allowed to presume that a parent company that holds 100% or close to 100% of the shares of its subsidiary has actually exercised decisive influence on that subsidiary's conduct and that therefore these entities constitute one single undertaking. It is then up to the company to rebut this presumption by submitting sufficient evidence showing that the subsidiary behaves independently on the market. The purpose of this provision is not to impose the highest possible fine. It reflects the fact that at the end of the day, it is the undertaking as such - and not only the subsidiary - that is responsible for the infringement and that pockets the benefits of the cartel."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission market tests commitments proposed by Siemens and Areva concerning nuclear technology markets
    14 March 2012
    The Commission is inviting comments on commitments offered by Siemens and Areva to meet concerns that a non-compete agreement between the two companies, covering a number of nuclear technology markets, may be in breach of EU antitrust rules. Siemens and Areva have proposed to reduce both the product scope and the duration of the non-compete obligation.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of CPA by Cinven
    15 March 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of George Topco Limited (CPA), a Jersey company active in patent renewal services related to intellectual property rights (IPR), by Cinven, a private equity fund. The Commission approved the transaction in particular because there is no overlap between the activities of CPA and any of the companies in the Cinven portfolio, and the limited vertical relationships between the parties are not capable to cause anticompetitive effects.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission consults on future film support rules
    14 March 2012
    The Commission has launched a public consultation on revised criteria for assessing Member States' film support schemes. Comments can be submitted until 14 June 2012. The final version is due to be adopted in the second half of 2012.
    Read more >
    Frequently asked questions >
  • Commission approves two UK schemes easing SMEs access to credit
    14 March 2012
    The Commission has approved a UK measure aimed at reducing the cost of finance for SMEs until 30 June 2012. The Commission found the National Loan Guarantee Scheme to be in line with its rules on state aid for banks during the crisis, because it ensures that the reduced funding costs which banks will benefit from are passed on to SMEs. The Commission also cleared a second measure, the Business Finance Partnership, aimed at increasing the credit supply to SMEs through non-bank lending. The Commission found that investments through the scheme will be made on equal terms with that of private lenders and that the management of the fund will be chosen through an open tender. The Commission therefore concluded that the latter scheme does not involve state aid within the meaning of the EU rules.
    Read more >

Court

  • T-391/08 - Ellinika Nafpigeia v Commission (Hellenic shipyards case)
    15 March 2012
    The General Court ruled an appeal against a Commission decision of July 2008, that had ordered the recovery of incompatible aid from the Greek company Hellenic Shipyards. The Court dismissed the appeal and entirely upheld the Commission's decison.
    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, 2012. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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