Competition weekly news summary
31 May 2013

Conferences and speeches

  • Presenting the Annual Competition Report for 2012
    ECON Committee, European Parliament, Joaquín Almunia
    28 May 2013
    "To take the EU out of the crisis and lead it towards a sustainable recovery, we need to fix the financial system so that credit starts to flow to the real economy again; we need to continue reducing debt levels ? public and private ? through a better distribution of sacrifices; and we need to support research, education and training. In parallel, we must complete the banking-union project, and persist in our efforts to make goods, services and labour markets more integrated and more efficient. Competition policy is an essential component in this policy mix, because it can unleash the potential of the Single Market; improve the business environment; and boost growth."
    Read full speech >
  • Competition policy for consumers? and citizens? welfare
    European Competition and Consumer Day, Dublin, Alexander Italianer
    24 May 2013
    "Let me first stress that competition control is not only about prices. Of course, when we investigate a suspected cartel or abuse of dominant position, we look at the monetary impact of the infringement with extreme care. This means that we look at the higher prices that the companies involved impose on consumers and business partners. But this is only part of the story. Apart from keeping down prices, healthy competition in a given market generally improves quality; stimulates the search for innovative goods and services; and broadens choice."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • Discussion on state aid modernisation in competitiveness Council
    29 May 2013
    VP Almunia attended the Competitiveness Council where he presented the Commission's State Aid Modernisation initiative.
    Read more >
  • Annual report shows how competition policy helps unlock potential of EU Single Market
    28 May 2013
    The Commission's 2012 report on competition policy shows that without an effective European competition policy, the internal market cannot deliver its full economic potential. Private barriers to trade and competition would risk replacing the public barriers to free movement that have been painstakingly dismantled. Subsidy races would risk wasting precious budgetary resources, distorting competition between companies established in different Member States.
    Read more >

Antitrust

  • Commission sends Statement of Objections to Romanian Power Exchange OPCOM
    30 May 2013
    The Commission has informed OPCOM S.A. and its parent company CNTEE Transelectrica S.A. of its objections regarding OPCOM's business practice of requiring OPCOM's electricity spot market participants to hold a Romanian VAT registration. The Commission takes the preliminary view that OPCOM, the operator of the only power exchange in Romania, is discriminating against companies on the basis of their nationality/place of establishment, in breach of EU antitrust rules.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission clears Syniverse's acquisition of MACH, subject to conditions
    29 May 2013
    Following an in-depth review, the Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Mach of Luxembourg by Syniverse of the US. The approval is conditional upon the divestiture of Mach's Data Clearing ("DC") services and Near Trade Roaming Data Exchange ("NRTRDE") services in the European Economic Area (EEA). These two types of services are technical steps of the roaming process enabling people to use their mobile phones while travelling abroad. Syniverse and Mach are the two largest providers of these services in the EEA and globally. After a preliminary investigation, the Commission had concerns that the transaction, as initially notified, would have allowed Syniverse to raise prices or to decrease the quality of these services. Indeed, the proposed merger would combine the first and the second largest supplier, creating a dominant player with virtual monopoly market shares. The commitments offered by Syniverse to divest a significant part of Mach's assets - in particular the entirety of Mach?s DC and NRTRDE businesses in the EEA - adequately address these concerns.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Belgian potato processor Lutosa by rival McCain, subject to conditions
    29 May 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Lutosa of Belgium by McCain of Canada. Lutosa's activities overlap with those of the global market leader McCain in the production and sale of processed potato products, in particular frozen French fries. The clearance is conditional on the divestment of Lutosa's branded retail business in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Commission had concerns that the merger, as initially notified, would have reduced competition on the Belgian retail market for French fries and potato specialities. The commitments offered by the parties adequately address these concerns.
    Read more >

Court

  • T-74/11 Omnis v Commission
    30 May 2013
    The General Court (GC) ruled on an appeal against the Commission's decision to reject a complaint by the Romanian software company Omnis. Omnis had alleged that Microsoft was holding and abusing a dominant position on the software market for enterprise resource planning and enterprise application software. The GC confirmed that the Commission was entitled to reject the complaint and dismissed the appeal.
    Read full judgment >
  • Case C-70/12 P Quinn Barlo and others v Commission (Methacrylates cartel
    30 May 2013
    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on an appeal against a General Court (GC) ruling of 2011 that had upheld a Commission decision of 2006 fining Quinn Barlo and others for their particpation in a cartel in the markets for methacrylates. The ECJ entirly confirmed the GC ruling and the Commission decision and dismissed the appeal.
    Read full judgment >
    Read full GC judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2006 decision >
  • C-677/11 Doux Élevage and Coopérative agricole UKL-ARREE (preliminary ruling)
    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on questions referred by a French Court regarding the interpretation of Article 107 TFEU. The ECJ held that contributions to an inter-trade organisation made compulsory for all traders in the sector by a decision by the State do not constitute state aid in the specific factual and legal circumstances of the case at hand.
    Read Court's press release >
    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, 2013. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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