Competition weekly news summary
12 April 2013


Antitrust

  • Commission makes legally binding commitments from CEZ concerning Czech electricity market
    10 April 2013
    The Commission has made legally binding a set of commitments offered by CEZ, the Czech electricity incumbent. The Commission had concerns that CEZ may have abused its dominant market position by reserving capacity in the transmission network in order to prevent competitors from entering the market. To address these concerns, CEZ offered to divest a significant generation capacity. Following a consultation of market participants, the Commission is satisfied that the final commitments offered by CEZ adequately address its concerns.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens investigation into MasterCard inter-bank fees
    9 April 2013
    The Commission has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether MasterCard may be hindering competition in the EEA with regard to payment cards, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The Commission has concerns that some of MasterCard's inter-bank fees and related practices may be anti-competitive.
    Read more >
  • Commission extends CDS information market investigation to International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)
    26 March 2013
    The Commission has extended the scope of an investigation into credit default swaps (CDS) to include the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), a professional organisation of financial institutions involved in the over-the-counter (OTC) trading of derivatives. The Commission's inquiry found preliminary indications that ISDA may have been involved in a coordinated effort of investment banks to delay or prevent exchanges from entering the credit derivatives business. Such behaviour, if established, would stifle competition in the internal market in breach of EU antitrust rules.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission clears creation of Penguin Random House, combining publishing businesses of Bertelsmann and Pearson
    5 April 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed creation of Penguin Random House, combining parts of the publishing businesses of the media company Bertelsmann of Germany and the publishing company Pearson of the UK. The Commission found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will continue to face several strong competitors.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of chemical company Petrochem Carless Holdings by rival Haltermann
    27 March 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Petrochem Carless Holdings Limited of the UK by Haltermann Holding GmbH of Germany, a wholly owned subsidiary of HIG Europe Capital Partners. The parties are active in the chemicals sector. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed operation would not raise competition concerns as it would not significantly alter the structure of the relevant markets.
    Read more >
  • Commission consults on proposal for simplifying procedures under the EU Merger Regulation
    27 March 2013
    The Commission invites comments on a proposal to simplify certain procedures for notifying mergers under the EU Merger Regulation. The proposal aims to make EU merger control even more business-friendly by cutting red tape and streamlining procedures. The proposed changes could allow up to 70% of all mergers notified to the Commission to qualify for review under the simplified procedure, i.e. about 10% more than today. This could result in savings for the merging companies, cutting lawyers' fees by up to one half and reducing preparatory in-house work. In addition, the Commission proposes to reduce the net amount of information required to notify all mergers, which will significantly lessen the administrative burden. This initiative is part of the Commissionís overall effort to make administrative procedures less burdensome for business, thereby stimulating growth and making Europe more competitive.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Shell's Harburg refinery assets by Nynas
    26 March 2013
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition by Nynas AB of Sweden of refinery assets located in Hamburg/Harburg (Germany) and currently owned by Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH. The Commissionís initial investigation revealed possible competition concerns in the markets for naphthenic base oils, naphthenic process oils and transformer oils ('TFO') where the merged entity would have very high market shares in the EEA. These oils are used for the production of industrial greases, metalworking fluids, adhesives, inks, insoluble sulphur, industrial rubber, fertilisers, defoamers and additives.
    Read more >

Court

  • 22 judgments on collecting societies (CISAC case)
    12 April 2013
    The General Court (GC) ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of July 2008 finding certain agreements and practices of collecting societies in breach of EU competition rules. The GC confirmed the Commission decision regarding the anti-competitiveness of membership and exclusivity clauses contained in the CISAC model contract. The GC annulled the Commission decision regarding the existence of a concerted practice among collecting societies.
    Read full judgments >
    Read more about Commission's 2008 decision >
  • Case C-652/11 P Mindo v Commission (Italian raw tobacco cartel)
    11 April 2013
    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on an appeal against a General Court (GC) judgment that had dismissed on procedural grounds Mindo's appeal against a Commission decision of October 2005 fining Mindo for its participation in a cartel in the Italian raw tobacco sector. The ECJ annulled the GC judgment and sent the case back to the GC.
    Read full ECJ judgment >
    Read full GC judgment under appeal >
    Read more about Commission's 2005 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, 2013. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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