Competition weekly news summary
5 October 2012

Conferences and Speeches

  • Competition policy as a pan-European effort
    European Competition Day, Nicosia, Joaquín Almunia
    2 October 2012
    "As a pillar of the Single Market, competition policy has always been intended as an instrument to build a united Europe. Our action is crucial to the vision that our founding fathers had for a peaceful, prosperous and united continent. I would say that we are among the most tangible expressions of that vision, because EU competition control is one of the very few policies that Member States have assigned entirely to common institutions: the Commission and the Court of Justice."
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  • Innovation and competition
    Fordham Competition Law Institute Conference, New York, Alexander Italianer
    21 September 2012
    Mr Italianer spoke about competition and innovation. He analysed the relationship between agreements between competitors and innovation; he then touched upon the interrelation between intellectual property law and competition law; and he finished by looking more in detail at innovation in high-tech markets.
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State aid

  • Commission approves restructuring aid for Austrian bank Hypo Tirol
    4 October 2012
    The Commission found that a planned capital injection of €220 million for the Austrian bank Hypo Tirol Bank AG was in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission found that the restructuring plan ensures the bank's viability without state support and provides for a sufficient own contribution to the restructuring costs while minimising distortions of competition.
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  • Commission finds that prolongation of Italian compensation scheme for interruptibility services in Sardinia and Sicily involves no state aid
    3 October 2012
    The Commission authorised the prolongation until 2015 of an Italian scheme which remunerates companies for the provision of instant interruptibility services in Sardinia and Sicily. The Commission found, in particular, that these services are still needed and remunerated at market value; therefore the scheme does not constitute state aid in the meaning of the EU rules. However, this finding is based on the current market situation and is therefore limited until the end of 2015.
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  • Commission finds that financing of Munich airport's terminal 2 does not contain aid
    3 October 2012
    The Commission concluded that financial arrangements regarding Munich airport's terminal 2 are in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission found that loans by public entities to finance terminal 2 as of 2000 were granted on market terms and therefore did not involve state aid in the meaning of the EU rules. Before 2000, EU state aid rules did not apply to the financing of airport infrastructure.
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  • Commission finds OPAP's exclusive rights and exclusive VLT license contain no state aid after amendments
    3 October 2012
    The Commission has authorised Greece to prolong until 2030 exclusive rights to operate certain games of chance granted to OPAP, the Greek public gambling operator, and to grant OPAP an exclusive licence to operate 35,000 Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) until 2022. The Commission concluded that OPAP will pay an adequate fee in exchange of the exclusive rights and VLT license and therefore received no undue economic advantage.
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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.

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