Competition weekly news summary
19 April 2013


Antitrust

  • Commission market tests commitments proposed by Penguin for the sale of e-books
    19 April 2013
    The Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Penguin (Pearson Group, United Kingdom). The proposed commitments aim to alleviate concerns that Penguin may have engaged in an anti-competitive concerted practice affecting the sale of e-books in the EEA. They are substantially the same as those proposed by Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette, Holtzbrinck and made legally binding by the Commission in December 2012. If the market test confirms that Penguin's commitments are suitable to address the Commission's competition concerns, the Commission may make them legally binding on Penguin.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of Invensys' railway signalling division by Siemens
    18 April 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Invensys Rail, the railway signalling division of the Invensys Group of the UK, by Siemens of Germany. The Commission's investigation confirmed that Invensys Rail and Siemens are not close competitors and that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong competitors, such as Thales, Alstom, Bombardier and Ansaldo.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of UK cable operator Virgin Media by Liberty Global of the US
    15 April 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc., registered in the US, by the US-based company Liberty Global, Inc. The transaction, with a value of €17.2 billion, would bring together the second largest Pay TV operator in the UK (Virgin Media) and the largest cable operator in Europe (Liberty Global). The Commission's investigation confirmed that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties operate cable networks in different Member States and because of the merged entity's limited market position in the wholesale of TV channels in the UK and Ireland.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Zijerveld&Veldhuyzen and Den Hollander by dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina, subject to conditions
    12 April 2013
    The Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition by the leading Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina of two Dutch companies: Zijerveld & Veldhuyzen B.V., a specialised cheese wholesaler, and Den Hollander Food B.V., a packaging services provider (together "the target"). The clearance is conditional upon the implementation of a package of commitments offered by FrieslandCampina. The Commission had concerns that the transaction, as originally notified, would have significantly reduced competition on the market for the production and sale of semi-hard goat cheese in the Netherlands. The commitments address these concerns as they will ensure that sufficient quantities of semi-hard goat cheese are available to third parties.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission extends inquiry into public support measures for Estonian Air
    16 April 2013
    The Commission has extended the scope of an in-depth investigation opened in February 2013 into public support measures in favour of Estonian Air to include Estonia's decision of 28 February 2013 to increase a previous rescue loan by €28.7 million. The Commission will now investigate whether the measure is in line with EU state aid rules.
    Read more >
  • UK video games tax relief faces Commission scrutiny
    16 April 2013
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed UK video games tax relief. The objective of the measure is to provide an incentive to video games developers to produce games meeting certain cultural criteria. However, the Commission considers that there is no obvious market failure in this dynamic and growing sector and that such games are produced even without state aid. Consequently, at this stage, the Commission doubts that the aid is necessary.
    Read more >
  • State aid: working document on evaluation of state aid granted by EU Member States
    16 April 2013
    As part of the State aid Modernisation (SAM) initiative, the competition services of the Commission have published an issues paper on the possible role and scope of an evaluation of state aid granted by Member States. In particular, the paper explains the context and rationale of evaluation and raises some key issues how evaluation can be the most effectively designed in the field of state aid. As the state aid rules are being revised under the umbrella of SAM, the requirement of evaluation is being gradually introduced into those documents (see for instance paragraphs 53 of the new broadband guidelines, which contain provisions for evaluation. The issues paper shall serve as a basis for discussion in a workshop between the Commission services, Member States and other stakeholders scheduled for 23 April 2013. Comments or views on this paper can be sent to State Aid Greffe under the reference number HT.3751.
    Go to issues paper >
  • Overview of decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis
    16 April 2013
    Go to overview >

Conferences and Speeches

  • Statement on Cyprus in the European Parliament
    17 April 2013
    VP Rehn and Almunia and Commissioner Barnier informed the Parliament about the support programme for Cyprus.
    Read full statement by VP Rehn >

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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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