Competition weekly news summary
Friday, March 23, 2012

Antitrust

  • Commission asks Bulgaria to ensure open and non-discriminatory access to digital terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure market
    22 March 2012
    The Commission considers that Bulgaria did not comply with EU law when in 2009 it assigned five spectrum lots for digital terrestrial broadcasting via two contest procedures, limiting without justification the number of companies that could enter the market. Moreover, the selection criteria of the contest procedures were disproportionate. Applicants were not allowed to have links with content providers (TV channels operators), including operators active only outside Bulgaria, or with broadcasting network operators. The Commission therefore sent a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria, as a second step in infringement proceedings under Article 258 of the TFEU.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of Gemeaz Cusin by Avenance Italia in foodservices
    23 March 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Gemeaz Cusin by Avenance Italia, which is part of the Elior Group. Both companies are active in the provision of contract foodservices in Italy. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face credible competition from a number of competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of Bominflot's marine fuel business by Marquard & Bahls
    20 March 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of parts of Bominflot by Marquard & Bahls, both of Germany. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of Hendrix by Forfarmers
    19 March 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of animal feed producer Hendrix, currently part of Nutreco, by the Dutch agricultural commodities and feed producer Forfarmers. The Commission found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the limited market position of the merging parties and the presence of sufficient competitors.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves pension relief and restructuring aid in favour of the Royal Mail Group
    21 March 2012
    The Commission has approved UK plans to relieve the Royal Mail Group (RMG) from excessive pension costs relating to its past monopoly position and to provide RMG with restructuring aid consisting of a debt reduction of £1089 million (around €1311 million). RMG's revised restructuring plan will ensure a sustainable future for the group in its twofold function of providing universal postal services and of granting access to its delivery network to other providers in the UK. Moreover, the plan negotiated with the Commission includes appropriate measures to minimise distortions of competition induced by the aid.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves France’s plan to digitise its film heritage
    21 March 2012
    The Commission concluded that a French scheme to support the digitisation of historic cinematographic works is compatible with EU state aid rules, in particular because it helps promote culture while limiting distortions of competition. The scheme is aimed at making European film heritage available to the widest possible audience thanks to new technology.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into aid granted to Nürburgring racetrack in Germany
    21 March 2012
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether a €524 million set of aid measures supporting the racetrack and leisure park at Nürburgring in Germany is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission has doubts whether these measures promote services of general economic interest or alleviate a funding default caused by the financial and economic crisis.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into financing of arenas in Copenhagen and Uppsala
    21 March 2012
    The Commission has opened two distinct investigations to examine whether public funding for the construction of multifunction arenas in Copenhagen (Denmark) and in Uppsala (Sweden) is in line with EU state aid rules. At this stage, the Commission has concerns that the public funding may procure an undue economic advantage to the new arenas which their competitors do not have, thereby distorting competition in the internal market.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigations in air transport sector in Belgium, France and Germany
    21 March 2012
    The Commission will investigate whether financial arrangements between public authorities and the airports of Charleroi (Belgium), Angoulême (France) and Dortmund (Germany), 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 >
  • Vice President Almunia and UEFA President Platini confirm Financial Fair-Play rules in professional football are in line with EU state aid policy
    21 March 2012
    Vice President Joaquín Almunia and UEFA President Michel Platini issued a joint statement on the interaction between the application to professional football of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by UEFA and the control of state aid in professional football by the Commission. Both disciplines seek to achieve that professional football clubs live within their own means. The joint statement provides a basis for further cooperation between the Commission and UEFA with a view to promoting fair competition between football clubs.
    Read more >

Court

  • Joined cases T-458/09 and T-171/10 Slovak Telekom a.s. / Commission
    22 March 2012
    The General Court ruled on appeals against two Commission decisions requesting Slovak Telekom to provide information in the context of an ongoing antitrust investigation on competition in electronic communications markets in Slovakia. The Court dismissed the appeals and confirmed, in particular, that the Commission had the right to request companies to provide all necessary information.
    Read full judgment >
  • Joined Cases T-50/06 RENV, T-56/06 RENV, T-60/06 RENV, T-62/06 RENV and T-69/06 RENV
    21 March 2012
    The General Court ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of December 2005, that had found exemptions from certain excise duties in France, Ireland and Italy to be incompatible with EU state aid rules and had ordered their partial recovery from the beneficiaries. The Court annulled the decision.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >

Subscriptions:

Editorial and legal information

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.

Competition website