Competition weekly news summary
9 November 2012

Conferences and Speeches

  • Merger review: Past evolution and future prospects
    Conference on Competition Policy, Law and Economics, Cernobbio, Joaquín Almunia
    2 November 2012
    "What we must avoid are attempts to shield Europe's companies from competition, in particular during this harsh period for the economy. In this game, only a few of them will benefit, and the majority will lose. I will firmly react against these temptations. Merger control is not the place for protectionist measures. The discipline imposed by a keen competition environment in the Single Market is a tonic for Europe's companies. It prepares them to do business on the global markets and to succeed. We must stand up for these principles. They are good for Europe's economy and they also give us the moral ground to negotiate fair and equal terms with our commercial partners around the world."
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Competition

  • Commission publishes observations submitted in Belgian court case regarding tax deductibility of EU fines
    30 October 2012
    The Commission submitted amicus curiae observations to the Belgian Constitutional Court in the context of a case concerning the question whether or not fines imposed by the Commission can be wholly or partially deductible from taxes.
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Mergers

  • Commission approves Outokumpu's acquisition of Inoxum, subject to conditions
    7 November 2012
    Following an in-depth review, the Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Inoxum, the stainless steel division of ThyssenKrupp of Germany, by the Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu. The approval is conditional upon the divestiture of Inoxum's stainless steel production facility in Terni, Italy. The Commission had concerns that the combination of the two largest suppliers of cold rolled steel products would have given the merged entity the power to raise prices. The commitments offered address these concerns.
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  • Commission approves joint-venture between ARM, Giesecke & Devrient and Gemalto, subject to conditions
    7 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed creation of a joint-venture between ARM, a UK semiconductor intellectual property ("IP") supplier, Giesecke & Devrient ("G&D") of Germany and Gemalto of the Netherlands, both providers of security solutions. The joint venture will develop and market trusted execution environments ("TEE") for consumer electronic devices. TEEs offer enhanced security services for applications such as mobile payments running on smartphones and tablets. The approval is subject to conditions. ARM will provide the necessary hardware information to competitors at the same conditions as to the joint venture to enable them to develop alternative TEE solutions. Moreover, ARM will not design its IP in a way that would degrade the performance of alternative TEE solutions. The Commission had concerns that the transaction as initially notified could have enabled ARM to shut out competitors of the joint venture from the market for TEE. The commitments offered by the companies address these concerns.
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  • Commission approves acquisition of personal care packaging manufacturer Rexam by Sun Capital Partners
    30 October 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Rexam Personal and Home Care Packaging Business ("Rexam PC") of the United Kingdom by the US private investment fund Sun Capital Partners Fund V L.P. The Commission's investigation confirmed that customers in the cosmetics and perfumery industry will continue to have alternative suppliers for cosmetic packaging.
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State aid

  • Commission extends in-depth investigation into Italian support measures in favour of former Tirrenia Group
    7 November 2012
    The Commission has extended the scope of an in-depth investigation opened in October 2011 into public support measures in favour of companies of the former Tirrenia Group. The Commission will now also investigate whether several measures granted to these companies or their buyers after the opening of the investigation in October 2011 are in line with EU state aid rules.
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  • Commission approves Cypriot bank guarantee scheme
    6 November 2012
    The Commission has authorised a Cypriot state guarantee scheme for credit institutions until 31 December 2012. The purpose of the scheme is to facilitate the access of eligible credit institutions to medium-term funding. This will help maintaining stability in the Cyprus financial sector without creating undue distortions of competition, in line with EU state aid rules.
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Court

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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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