Commission renders legally binding commitments from Star alliance members Air Canada, United and Lufthansa on transatlantic air transport passenger market
23 May 2013
The Commission has accepted commitments offered by Air Canada, United and Lufthansa to address the Commission's concerns that the parties' cooperation under a revenue-sharing joint venture may be in breach of EU antitrust rules and harm premium passengers on the Frankfurt-New York route.
Premium passengers are passengers travelling in the first, business and flexible economy classes.
In order to address these concerns, the parties offered to make slots available at Frankfurt and New York airports and to enter into agreements with competitors, allowing them to offer more attractive services.
As a result, competition on the Frankfurt-New York route will improve.
After having consulted interested parties through a market test, the Commission has now made these commitments legally binding on the three airlines for a period of ten years.
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Commission approves merger of Munksjö and Ahlstrom's label and processing paper business, subject to conditions
24 May 2013
Following an in-depth investigation, the Commission has approved the proposed merger of Munksjö AB of Sweden and the label and processing paper business of Ahlstrom Corporation of Finland in the specialty paper industry.
The approval is conditional upon the divestment of Ahlstrom's abrasive paper backings and pre-impregnated paper ("PRIP") business located at Osnabrück, Germany.
The Commission had concerns that the transaction, as initially notified, would have allowed the merged entity, Munksjö Oyj, to raise prices in heavy weight abrasive paper backings, which are used in abrasive products, and PRIP, a type of décor paper used by furniture manufacturers (e.g. IKEA).
The commitments offered by the parties effectively address these concerns.
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State aid in the audiovisual sector (Cinema Communication)
17 May 2013
On 17 May, VP Almunia attended the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council, where he participated in a discussion on the Commission's proposal for new EU rules on state aid to the audiovisual sector – the so-called "Cinema Communication".
Read full statement by VP Almunia >
Cases T-146/09, T-154/09 and joined cases T-147/09, T-148/09, Parker and others v Commission (Marine Hose cartel)
17 May 2013
The General Court (GC) ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of 2009 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel in the market for marine hoses.
The GC confirmed the Commission's findings on substance and upheld the fines for Trelleborg and Manuli.
The GC reduced the fine for Parker.
Go to GC's press release >
Read full judgment on Parker >
Read full judgment on Trelleborg >
Read full judgment on Manuli >
Read more about Commission's 2009 decision >
Case C 615/11 P Commission v Ryanair
16 May 2013
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on the Commission's appeal against a General Court (GC) ruling of 2011.
In its ruling, the GC had held that the Commission had failed to fulfill its obligations under the EU Treaty because it had not adopted a decision on an alleged state aid involved in the transfer of certain Allitlia employees following a complaint from Ryanair.
The ECJ confirmed the GC ruling and dismissed the appeal.
Read full ECJ judgment >
Read full GC judgment >