Competition weekly news summary
30 November 2012

Conferences and speeches

  • Approval of the restructuring plans of BFA-Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia
    28 November 2012
    Read full statement in Spanish >
  • Competition and personal data protection
    Privacy Platform event: Competition and Privacy in Markets of Data, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    26 November 2012
    "In this respect, I believe that one of the principles of the current data protection reform goes to the heart of competition policy. As I said, the proposed Regulation aims to ensure the ‘right of portability’. This means that users should be able to move their personal data from one company to another without hassle and undue costs. [...] Customers should not be locked in to a particular company just because they once trusted them with their content. Whether this is a matter for regulation or competition policy, only time will tell."
    Read full speech >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of German automotive supplier ixetic by rival Magna of Canada
    29 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of ixetic Verwaltungs GmbH of Germany by Magna International of Canada, both suppliers to the automotive industry. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of strong competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of stakes in Dutch wholesale clothing company HVEG by ABN AMRO and Rabobank
    28 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition by the Dutch banks ABN AMRO and Rabobank of controlling stakes in HVEG, a Dutch wholesale company specialised in clothing and accessories. HVEG is currently controlled by Vecelia which is itself a holding company for a private individual. Vecelia will exercise joint control over HVEG along with the two Dutch banks after the transaction. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the operation would not raise competition concerns because it would not significantly alter the market structure.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of Swedish paper producer Billerud by Swedish investment company Kinnevik, subject to conditions
    27 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Swedish pulp- and paper-based packaging products manufacturer Billerud by the Swedish investment company Kinnevik, owner of the rival paper company Korsnäs, also of Sweden. The clearance is conditional upon the divestment of Korsnäs' white sack kraft paper and white machine finished/unglazed ("MF/UG") kraft paper business. The Commission had concerns that the transaction would have reduced effective competition in these markets. The commitments offered by the parties address these concerns.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Irish electrical company Cooper Industries by rival Eaton
    23 November 2012
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Cooper Industries of Ireland by Eaton Corporation of the US. The transaction combines the electrical equipment and component businesses of Cooper and Eaton. The Commission's investigation confirmed that following the transaction customers in the electrical components industry will continue to have alternative electrical products suppliers.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves restructuring plans of Spanish banks BFA/Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia
    28 November 2012
    The Commission has concluded that the restructuring plans of the four Spanish banks BFA/Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia are in line with EU state aid rules. The in-depth restructuring undergone by BFA/Bankia, NCG Banco and Catalunya Banc will allow them to become viable in the long-term without continued state support. Moreover, the banks and their stakeholders adequately contribute to the costs of restructuring. Finally, the plans foresee sufficient safeguards to limit the distortions of competition induced by the state support. Because its viability could not be restored on a standalone basis, Banco de Valencia will cease to exist as an independent entity and will be sold and integrated into CaixaBank. The restructuring plans were submitted for Commission approval as foreseen by the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between Spain and the Eurogroup in July 2012. The Commission's approval will allow the banks to receive aid from the European Stability Mechanism in the context of the financial assistance programme to recapitalise the Spanish banking sector.
    Read more >
    Frequently asked questions >

Court

  • Case T-491/07 CB v Commission
    29 November 2012
    The European General Court (GC) ruled on an appeal against a Commission decison of 2007 finding that the French payment card scheme operator "Groupement des Cartes Bancaires" had restricted competition by hindering the issuance of cards at competitive prices. The GC dismissed the appeal and entirely upheld the Commission's decision.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2007 decision >
    Frequently asked questions about Commission's 2007 decision >
  • Case C-262/11 Kremikovtzi
    29 November 2012
    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on a preliminary question referred by a Bulgarian Court regarding the application of EU state aid rules in the context of Bulgaria's EU accession. The ECJ ruled that Bulgaria was entitled to adopt a decision to recover state aid from the Bulgarian steel maker Kremikovtzi on the basis of the agreements concluded between Bulgaria and the EU before Bulgaria's EU accession.
    Read full judgment >

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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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