Competition weekly news summary
21 June 2013


Conferences and Speeches

  • Competition Law within a framework of rights and the Commission's proposal for a Directive on antitrust damage actions
    12th Annual conference of the Association of European Competition Law Judges (AECLJ), Luxembourg, Alexander Italianer
    14 June 2013
    "If the Directive materialises, I believe this would be a perfect illustration of how Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights on the right to an effective remedy in case of violation of rights and freedoms guaranteed under Union law, can be guaranteed in practice in matters related to antitrust enforcement."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission fines Lundbeck and other pharma companies for delaying market entry of generic medicines
    19 June 2013
    The Commission has imposed a fine of € 93,8 million on the Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck and fines totalling € 52,2 million on several producers of generic medicines. In 2002, Lundbeck agreed with each of these companies to delay the market entry of cheaper generic versions of Lundbeck's branded citalopram, a blockbuster antidepressant. These agreements violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit anticompetitive agreements (Article 101 TFEU).
    Read more >
    Read VP Almunia's statement >
  • Commission confirms inspections in the sector of cargo train transport services
    19 June 2013
    On 18 June 2013 Commission officials carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several companies active in the sector of cargo train transport services to South Eastern Europe. Inspections took place in several Member States. The Commission has reasons to believe that the companies concerned may have violated Article 101 of the TFEU, which prohibits anticompetitive practices such as price fixing and customer allocation.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission consults on possible improvements to EU merger control in certain areas
    20 June 2013
    The Commission has invited the public to comment on a number of options for possible future improvements of the EU Merger Regulation in two areas: minority shareholdings and the transfer of cases between the Commission and national competition authorities. Comments on the consultation paper can be submitted until 12 September 2013.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears proposed joint acquisition of Virgin Atlantic by Delta and Virgin Group
    20 June 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over Virgin Atlantic by Delta and Virgin Group. Delta will replace Singapore Airlines as a 49% minority shareholder in Virgin Atlantic, while Virgin Group will retain its 51% stake. Furthermore, Delta and Virgin Atlantic will enter into a fully integrated joint venture in order to bring together their passenger air transport operations on routes between the United Kingdom and North America. T he Commission's investigation confirmed that in all markets the combined entity would continue to face competition from several strong competitors, notably British Airways and American Airlines.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises by Time Warner
    14 June 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises ("CME"), based in Bermuda, by Time Warner of the United States. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction will not have negative effects on competition, since the activities of the parties are mainly complementary and not in direct competition with each other.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves the provisional restoring to former level of a guarantee of German bank HSH Nordbank
    21 June 2013
    The Commission has provisionally approved the restoring of the guarantee provided by the regions of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein in favour of HSH Nordbank from €7 billion to the original framework of €10 billion. The restoring of the guarantee framework to its former level by its majority shareholders will ensure that the bank has adequate capital ratios against a background of increased demands on the capital base and the ongoing crisis in shipping markets.
    Read more >
  • Commission adopts Guidelines on regional aid for 2014-2020
    19 June 2013
    The Commission has adopted guidelines on how Member States can grant investment aid to companies in order to support the development of disadvantaged regions in Europe between 2014 and 2020. These guidelines are part of a broader strategy to modernise state aid control, which aims at fostering growth in the Single Market by encouraging more effective aid measures and focusing the Commission’s enforcement on cases with the biggest impact on competition.
    Read more >
  • Terrestrial digital platform operators in Spain must pay back incompatible subsidies
    19 June 2013
    The Commission has concluded that a Spanish €260 million scheme to finance the digitisation and extension of the terrestrial television network in remote areas of Spain was incompatible with EU State aid rules. The measure favours the terrestrial digital technology to the detriment of others. The operators of terrestrial platforms received a selective advantage over their competitors using other technologies and therefore have to pay it back to the Spanish taxpayer.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth inquiry into State measure in favour of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
    19 June 2013
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to verify whether a public support measure granted in 2012 by Sweden and Denmark to Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission has also examined other measures in favour of SAS in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and has come to the conclusion that they were carried out on market terms and therefore do not involve state aid.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves changes to restructuring plan of Croatian shipyard 3.Maj
    19 June 2013
    The Commission has authorised an amendment to the restructuring plan for 3.Maj, one of the Croatian shipyards in difficulty. The Commission concluded that any distortion of competition that may arise from the modest increase in the total amount of restructuring aid would be offset by the additional compensatory measures proposed by Croatia. This clears the way for the privatisation of the yard by 1 July 2013, the date of Croatia's EU accession, as required by the Act of Accession.
    Read more >
  • Commission finds privatisation of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal does not involve state aid
    19 June 2013
    The Commission has concluded that the privatisation of ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal, S.A. was carried out on market terms and therefore did not involve any state aid in the meaning of EU rules.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves French proposal for a parafiscal levy on online horse-race betting
    19 June 2013
    The Commission has approved a French proposal for a parafiscal levy on online horse-race betting to finance horse-racing companies. The changes made to the proposal by the French authorities after the opening of the Commission investigation ensure fair competition between horse-race betting operators.
    Read more >

Court

  • C-269/12 Cañas v Commission
    20 June 2013
    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on an appeal against a General Court (GC) order of March 2012. The GC had dismissed an appeal against the Commission's rejection of a complaint from a professional tennis player regarding the alleged anticompetiveness of certain anti-doping rules. The ECJ confirmed the GC order.
    Read full judgment >
  • C-681/11 Schenker (preliminary ruling)
    18 June 2013
    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on questions referred by an Austrian Court regarding the interpretation of European competiton law. The ECJ held that legal advice given by a law firm or a decision of a national competition authority does not exempt a company from anti-competitive conduct or from the imposition of a fine.
    Go to Court's press release >
    Read full judgment >
  • T-404/08, T-406/08 Fluorsid and others v Commission (Aluminium fluoride cartel)
    18 June 2013
    The EU General Court (GC) ruled on appeals against a Commission decision of June 2008 fining several companies for their participation in a cartel in the markets for aluminium fluoride. The GC dismissed the appeals and entirely upheld the Commission decision.
    Read full Fluorsid, Minmet judgment >
    Read full ICF judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2008 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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