Competition weekly news summary
Friday, April 20, 2012

Conferences and Speeches

  • International cooperation to fight protectionism
    11th Annual Conference of the International Competition Network, Rio de Janeiro, Joaquín Almunia
    18 April 2012
    "Governments everywhere were tempted to raise barriers during the crisis, but protectionism is not the answer. Every country has an interest in minimising the distortions caused by protectionist barriers; building a level playing field in international trade will bring benefits to all. The EU – for its part – remains committed to its G20 pledge to refrain from protectionist measures and will continue to make the case for open markets in its bilateral and global relations."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • Training of national judges in competition law - deadline extended
    17 April 2012
    The deadline for the Call for Proposals on Training of National judges in EU Competition Law and Judicial Cooperation has been extended until 31st May 2012. Grants may be awarded to support measures taken by bodies which foster judicial cooperation and other measures aimed at promoting training in EU competition law for national judges and cooperation between them. Such measures include the organisation of conferences, seminars or meetings, training, the distribution of information specifically tailored to the needs of national judges and cooperation between judicial authorities and other bodies responsible for monitoring the application of EU competition law by national judges.
    Details and useful information >
  • Commission publishes amicus curiae observations submitted to national courts
    13 April 2012
    The European Commission has published three amicus curiae observations. The first submission concerns the Orange Caraibe case, before the French "Cour de Cassation" about infringements of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and French national competition law on the market for mobile telephony in French overseas territories. The subject of the Commission's observations was the interpretation of the notion of "appreciable effect on trade between Member States". The "Cour de Cassation" followed the interpretation put forward by the Commission in its judgment. Secondly, the BIDS case before the Irish High Court concerns a so-called "crisis cartel" in the beef and veal sector, where capacity-reducing restructuring agreements were used to address over-capacity. In its amicus curiae observations, the Commission discusses the application of the criteria of Article 101(3) TFEU to such agreements. Thirdly, the "Garage Grémeau" case before the Paris Court of Appeal is the first case in which the Commission submitted amicus curiae observations (in 2006). The submission concerned an exemption from the application of Article 101 TFEU for quantitative and qualitative selective distribution systems and the differences in applicable rules between the two types of systems. The Commission also published on its website the recent judgment of the UK High Court in the National Grid case on access to documents from the Commission file in actions for damages before the national court. The Commission submitted amicus curiae observations in relation to this case in November 2011.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission approves Sony and Mubadala's takeover of EMI's music publishing business, subject to conditions
    19 April 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over the music publishing business of EMI Group, a British company, by Sony Corporation of the USA and Mubadala Development Company PJSC, an investment fund based in the United Arab Emirates. The decision is conditional upon the divestiture of the worldwide publishing rights to four catalogues and the musical works of 12 contemporary authors. In light of these commitments, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of medical device company Synthes by Johnson & Johnson
    19 April 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Synthes by Johnson & Johnson, both US companies active in the area of orthopaedic medical devices. The Commission's investigation confirmed that, subject to the divestment of Johnson & Johnson's trauma business, the merged entity would continue to face a number of strong competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all of the markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Hungarian retail company Magyar Hipermarket by Groupe Auchan
    18 April 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Magyar Hipermarket by the French retail group Auchan. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face a number of other strong competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Air Products Homecare by Linde
    18 April 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the homecare business of Air Products and Chemicals in Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain by Linde of Germany. Medical homecare consists mainly in supplying oxygen and other therapies to patients in their homes. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly change the existing market situation in the five countries concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into the creation of a mobile commerce joint venture by UK mobile operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere
    13 April 2012
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed creation of a joint venture in the UK between Vodafone, Telefónica and Everything Everywhere in the field of mobile commerce. The Commission’s preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns in the nascent markets of mobile payment applications supply (so-called "mobile wallets"), mobile advertising and related data analytics services, where the joint venture may have very high market shares.
    Read more >

Court

  • Case C-549/10 P Tomra Systems and Others v Commission
    19 April 2012
    The Court of Justice ruled on Tomra's appeal against a Commission decision of March 2006, fining Tomra €24 million for abusing a dominant position on the market for machines for the recovery of empty beverage bottles. Tomra had appealed the decision to the General Court, who had upheld the Commission decision in September 2009. Tomra appealed that judgment to the ECJ. The Court entirely confirmed the Commission decision and GC judgment and dismissed the appeal.
    Read full judgment >
    Read full 1st instance 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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