Competition weekly news summary
22 February 2013

Conferences and speeches

  • La concurrence au service de l'achèvement du marché unique
    4e Conférence Internationale Concurrences, Paris
    22 February
    Lors de la conférence Concurrences, le Vice-Président Almunia a parlé du rôle de la concurrence pour l'achèvement du marché unique. Il a plaidé en faveur de "plus d'Europe, d'une Europe plus forte et plus compétitive", en rappelant que la réussite européenne passerait par un "marché intérieur plus performant et plus intégré".
    Read full speech (in French) >

Antitrust

  • Commission consults on proposal for revised competition regime for technology transfer agreements
    20 February
    The Commission invites comments on a proposal for new competition rules for the assessment of technology transfer agreements, through which a licensor permits a licensee to exploit patents, know-how or software for the production of goods and services. The proposal aims to update the current regime in order to strengthen incentives for research and innovation, facilitate the diffusion of intellectual property and stimulate competition. In light of stakeholders' submissions, the Commission will adopt a new regime before April 2014.
    Read more >

  • Commission decides not to prolong maritime transport antitrust guidelines
    19 February
    The Commission will not prolong or renew a set of specific guidelines on the application of EU antitrust rules (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU) to maritime transport services. The current maritime guidelines will therefore expire on 26 September 2013. The main initial purpose of these guidelines was to facilitate the transition from a specific to a general competition regime for maritime transport after the repeal in 2006 of an exemption of antitrust rules for liner. This objective has now been achieved.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission temporarily approves rescue aid for SNS REAAL
    22 February 2013
    The European Commission has temporarily approved under EU State aid rules a number of measures that the Dutch State intends to take in favour of SNS REAAL and its subsidiaries. SNS REAAL will be recapitalised by EUR 300 million EUR and will also receive a bridge loan of EUR 1.1 billion. At the same time, SNS REAAL's banking subsidiary – SNS Bank – will receive a recapitalisation of EUR 1.9 billion. The Commission's approval of the support measures is conditional on the presentation within six months of a restructuring plan from the date of the decision. The Commission will take a final position on the support granted on the basis of this restructuring plan.
    Read more >

  • Commission temporarily approves rescue aid for Crédit Immobilier de France
    21 February 2013
    The Commission has authorised an amendment to the restructuring plan and the privatisation contract for Brodosplit, one of the Croat shipyards in difficulty. The amendment concerns a modest increase in the total amount of restructuring aid to Brodosplit, as well as additional compensatory measures. Croatia committed to sign the privatisation contract by 28 February 2013.
    Read more >

  • Commission approves changes to the restructuring plan of the Brodosplit shipyard
    20 February 2013
    The Commission has granted temporary approval to France, under the EU state aid rules, to provide Crédit Immobilier de France (CIF) with a €18 billion state guarantee. This guarantee is necessary to cover CIF's urgent liquidity needs and to give it time to draw up a restructuring or orderly resolution plan, which France undertook to submit to the Commission within six months from the date of the temporary approval decision.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth inquiry into state measures in favour of Estonian Air
    20 February 2013
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into a number of public support measures granted by Estonia in favour of its flag carrier airline Estonian Air. The Commission has doubts whether these measures are in line with EU state aid rules. Estonian Air has registered significant losses since 2006. In December 2012, Estonia notified to the Commission its plan to grant a rescue loan of €8.3 million to Estonian Air. The Commission has doubts that the rescue loan for Estonian Air is in line with the provisions of the EU guidelines on aid for the rescue and restructuring of companies. According to these rules, companies in difficulty can receive rescue aid only once over a period of ten years.
    Read more >

  • Commission approves new Irish Risk Equalisation Scheme
    20 February 2013
    The Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the state compensations to be granted through the new risk equalisation scheme (RES) for the provision of private medical insurance in Ireland for the period 2013 to 2015. The objective of the scheme is to promote intergenerational solidarity by ensuring better risk sharing between health insurers in the Irish PMI market. The Commission has found that the RES is in line with EU rules on services of general economic interest (SGEI).
    Read more >

  • Commission publishes updated Guide on services of general economic interest (SGEI)
    18 February 2013
    The Commission services have published an updated guide to explain how EU rules in the fields of state aid, public procurement and the internal market apply to services of general economic interest (SGEI). The guide provides simple and comprehensive answers to the most frequent questions asked by public authorities, service users and providers and other stakeholders. Originally published in 2010, it has now been revised to take account of the new state aid rules on SGEI that the Commission adopted in December 2011 and April 2012 - the so-called "Almunia" Package.
    Read more >
  • Commission temporarily approves rescue aid for Banque PSA Finance
    11 February 2013
    The European Commission has granted temporary approval to France, under the EU state aid rules, to provide Banque PSA Finance with a EUR 1.2 billion guarantee covering its market issues. The Commission’s approval is conditional on the submission during this period of a restructuring plan for the entire PSA group. This plan must also ensure the viability of Banque PSA Finance.
    The guarantee will cover new bond issues by Banque PSA Finance and will therefore extend to securities issued by the bank within a period of six months from the date of the decision. These securities will constitute claims on Banque PSA Finance. The securities will mature three years after the date of issue.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of software provider I.R.I.S. by Canon
    18 February 2013
    The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of I.R.I.S. of Belgium by Canon Inc. of Japan. The review of this transaction was referred to the Commission by the Belgian competition authority and subsequently joined by the national competition authorities of Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Sweden. The Commission's investigation found that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong competitors in the relevant office automation equipment and capture software markets.
    Read more >


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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, 2013. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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