Competition weekly news summary
20 July 2012

Conferences and Speeches

  • Statement on Microsoft non-compliance with the browser choice commitments
    Midday press briefing, Berlaymont press room, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    17 July 2012
    "Although Microsoft submitted in a report to the Commission in December 2011 that the choice screen was still present, we have received indications from third parties that Microsoft has not complied with its commitments in the period from February 2011 until today. Microsoft has recognised these facts. More precisely, it appears that since the launch of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 in February 2011, the choice screen has no longer been displayed. As a result, about 28 million users may not have seen the choice screen at all."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • European Competition Network publishes 3rd issue of 2012 news brief
    16 July 2012
    The European Competition Network (ECN), composed of the Commission and the competition authorities of the Member States, has published the third issue of its 2012 news brief. Areas such as banking, the sale of package tours, gas distribution, rail and agricultural products have been scrutinised during the reporting period. Sector inquiries and market studies are presented in relation to sectors such as fuel, groceries, the automotive aftermarket, financial products, professional services and the private motor insurance market.
    Go to full news brief >

Antitrust

  • Commission opens proceedings against Microsoft to investigate possible non-compliance with browser choice commitments
    17 July 2012
    The Commission has opened proceedings against Microsoft in order to investigate whether the company has failed to comply with its 2009 commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser.
    Read more >
  • Commission confirms unannounced inspections in the sector of thermal systems for cars
    13 July 2012
    On 22 May 2012 Commission officials undertook unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the thermal systems and related products industry. Thermal systems are air conditioning and engine cooling products sold to car manufacturers. The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of TNT Express by UPS
    20 July 2012
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of TNT Express of the Netherlands by the American company United Parcel Service (UPS), both major players in the small package delivery sector. The Commission's preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns in the markets for small parcel delivery services, in particular international express services, in numerous Member States where the parties would have very high combined market shares.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves creation of Taxibot joint venture by EADS and Israel Aerospace Industries
    16 July 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over a newly established joint venture by Airbus SAS of France, part of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) of The Netherlands, and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI). The joint venture will produce a pilot-controlled semi-robotic tugging tractor for aircraft, called "Taxibot". The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not negatively affect competition in markets within the scope of the joint venture's activity, given the novelty of Taxibot.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of advanced composite material supplier Umeco by US rival Cytec Industries
    16 July 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the UK-based manufacturer and supplier of advanced composite materials Umeco by Cytec, an American specialty chemicals and materials company. Advanced composite materials typically combine a fibre and a resin resulting in a material that can replace metals such as aluminium and steel in the production of, for example, aircraft or automotive components. The Commission found that the merged entity would continue to face a number of strong competitors.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission temporarily approves recapitalisation of Caixa Geral de Depósitos
    18 July 2012
    The Commission has temporarily approved an injection of €1 650 million of core Tier 1 capital into Caixa Geral de Depósitos S.A. (CGD) for reasons of financial stability. Portugal committed to provide a restructuring plan for CGD within six months of the injection. The Commission will take a final decision on the compatibility of the capital injection with EU state aid rules when assessing the restructuring plan.
    Read more >
  • Commission invites comments on use of state aid rules for supporting risk capital investments
    16 July 2012
    The Commission has launched a review of its risk capital guidelines, which outline the criteria for assessing the compatibility of public support measures in this field. The review starts with a public consultation, seeking stakeholders' views on the functioning of the guidelines since their adoption in 2006 and in particular on market developments concerning the supply of equity and debt finance to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). In light of the submissions received and its own experience in applying the guidelines, the Commission will propose revised draft guidelines in 2013.
    Read more >

Court

  • Case C-264/11 P Kaimer / Commission (Fittings cartel)
    19 July 2012
    The Court of Justice ruled on an appeal against a General Court ruling of March 2011 that had mainly upheld a Commission decision of 2006 fining several companies for operating a cartel in the copper fittings sector. The GC had slightly reduced the duration of the infringement and the amount of the fine for Kaimer, who had appeald the judgment to the Court of Justice. The Court dismissed the appeal and fully upheld the previous judgment.
    Read full ECJ judgment >
    Read full GC judgment under appeal >
    Read more about initial Commission decision >
  • Joined cases C-628/10 P and C-14/11 P Alliance One International and SCTC / Commission (Spanish raw tobacco cartel
    19 July 2012
    The Court of Justice ruled on appeals against a General Court ruling of 2010, that had mainly upheld a Commission decision of 2004 fining several companies for operating a cartel in the Spanish market for raw tobacco. The General Court had however annulled the Commission decision insofar as it established liability for the intermediate holding company TCLT. Both TCLT and the Commission appealed the ruling. The Court of Justice now rejected both appeals and confirmed the General Court ruling in its entirety.
    Read full ECJ ruling >
    Read full GC ruling under appeal >
    Read more about initial Commission decison >

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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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