Competition weekly news summary
23 November 2012

Competition

  • European Competition Network refines its Model Leniency Programme
    22 November 2012
    The European Competition Network (ECN), composed of the European Commission and the competition authorities of all EU Member States, has strengthened the Model Leniency Programme ("MLP"), around which ECN competition authorities align their own leniency procedures. The MLP was adopted in 2006 to make it easier for companies to apply for leniency where it is not clear which competition authority will take the case forward.
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Mergers

  • Commission approves Glencore's acquisition of Xstrata, subject to conditions
    22 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Xstrata, the world's fifth largest metals and mining group, by Glencore, the world's leading metals and thermal coal trader. The clearance is conditional on the termination of Glencore's off-take arrangements for zinc metal in the European Economic Area (EEA) with Nyrstar, the world's largest zinc metal producer, and the divestiture of Glencore's minority shareholding in Nyrstar. The Commission had concerns that the merged entity would have the ability and incentive to raise prices for zinc metal, an important input for many EU industries. The commitments address these concerns.
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  • Commission approves joint acquisition of HDI Poland by Talanx and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over two Polish insurance companies HDI Asekuracja and HDI-Gerling Zycie by Talanx International and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company, respectively a German and a Japanese insurer. The two acquired companies are currently solely controlled by Talanx. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because the merged entity would continue to face a number of strong competitors.
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  • Commission approves acquisition of German kitchen manufacturer Alno by Whirlpool
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the German kitchen manufacturer Alno by the US household appliances company Whirlpool. The Commission's investigation showed that there were enough alternative suppliers with significant market shares, both in the supply of domestic appliances and in the manufacture and marketing of kitchen furniture. The proposed transaction, therefore, does not raise competition concerns.
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State aid

  • Commission endorses €1.56 billion compensation for Poste Italiane for public services delivered over 2009-2011
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has approved two compensations received by Poste Italiane for delivering two public services in the period 2009-2011, namely a compensation of €1.1 billion for the universal postal service and a compensation of €458 million for reduced postal tariffs offered, over the same period, to publishers, not-for-profit organisations and electoral candidates. The measures were in line with EU rules on public service compensation since, in particular, they did not over-compensate Poste Italiane for providing these services, and therefore did not lead to cross-subsidisation of commercial activities.
    Read more about State Aid Modernisation >
  • Commission clears UK umbrella support scheme for broadband investment 'BDUK'
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has found that a UK umbrella support scheme for investments in next generation access (NGA) broadband networks, 'BDUK', is in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the scheme is aimed at supporting local projects in rural and remote areas, where such networks would unlikely be developed on commercial terms.
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  • Commission opens in-depth inquiry into state measures in favour of Latvian airline airBaltic
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to verify whether various public support measures provided by Latvia in favour of the majority State-owned airline airBaltic are in line with EU state aid rules. At this stage, the Commission has doubts that these measures were carried out on terms that a private player operating under market conditions would have accepted.
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  • Commission finds sale of LOT Polish Airlines’ subsidiaries did not involve state aid
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has concluded that the sale of LOT Services, LOT Catering and LOT Airport Maintenance Services, subsidiaries of LOT Polish Airlines, was carried out on market terms and did therefore not involve state aid in the meaning of EU rules.
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  • Commission opens in-depth inquiry into state measures in favour of Slovenian airline Adria Airways
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to verify whether a number of public support measures in favour of the Slovenian airline Adria Airways are in line with EU state aid rules. These measures include four capital injections between 2007 and 2011 amounting to around €85.5 million. The Commission has doubts that they were granted on market terms.
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  • Commission opens two in-depth inquiries into Italian support measures in energy sector in Sardinia
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has opened two separate in-depth investigations regarding public support measures in the region of Sulcis-Iglesiente in Sardinia, Italy. Firstly, the Commission will investigate the compliance with state aid rules of support measures amounting to over €400 million granted by Italy since 1998 in favour of Carbosulcis, the company exploiting the Nuraxi Figus coal mine. Secondly, the Commission will verify whether subsidies that Italy intends to grant for the 'Sulcis project', i.e. the construction of a coal-fired plant fitted with a Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration (CCS) Section, are in line with EU state aid rules.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears support scheme for next generation broadband networks in Bavaria, Germany
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has approved a €2 billion support scheme aimed at promoting the development of next generation access (NGA) broadband networks in currently underserved areas of the German region of Bavaria. The Commission found the scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because it ensures that support is granted only in areas where no commercial NGA network rollout is foreseen in the near future. This will avoid the crowding out of private investments.
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  • Commission approves new Spanish scheme for early depreciation of assets acquired via finance leases
    20 November 2012
    The Commission has ruled that a new Spanish system for the early depreciation of the cost of certain assets acquired through finance leasing does not constitute state aid under EU rules, inter alia because it is not selective.
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  • Commission approves amendments to the restructuring plan of ING
    19 November 2012
    Following an agreement between the Commission and The Netherlands, the Commission has approved an amended restructuring plan of the Dutch-based financial institution ING. ING agreed to a fixed repayment schedule and revamped its proposals to ensure that a new competitive force emerges in the Dutch retail market. At the same time the prolongation of certain deadlines for the divestment of assets is compensated by longer behavioural constraints on the bank. This new plan addresses the Commission's concerns.
    Read more >

Court

  • Case C-89/11 P E.ON v Commission
    22 November 2012
    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on an appeal against a GC judgment that had upheld a Commission decision of 2008 fining German energy company E.ON for the breach of a seal during an antitrust inspection. The ECJ entirely upheld the GC judgment and confirmed the Commission's decision.
    Read full ECJ judgment >
    Read full GC judgment >
    Read more about 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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