Competition weekly news summary
12 July 2013


Antitrust

  • Commission consults on review of safe harbour for minor agreements ("De Minimis" Notice)
    11 July 2013
    The Commission invites comments on a proposal to revise its guidance notice for assessing when minor agreements between companies are not caught by the general prohibition of anticompetitive agreements under EU competition law. The proposal aims at updating the present Notice, in particular taking into account recent developments in the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
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  • Commission confirms unannounced inspections in Internet connectivity services
    11 July 2013
    On 9 July 2013 Commission officials initiated unannounced inspections at the premises of a number of telecommunications companies active in the provision of Internet connectivity in several Member States. The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position.
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  • Commission fines producers of wire harnesses € 141 million in cartel settlement
    10 July 2013
    The Commission has fined the car parts suppliers Sumitomo, Yazaki, Furukawa, S-Y Systems Technologies (SYS) and Leoni a total of € 141 791 000 for operating five cartels for the supply of wire harnesses to Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Renault. Wire harnesses conduct electricity in cars, for instance to start the motor, to open the window or to switch the air-conditioner on. The cartels covered the whole European Economic Area (EEA). Sumitomo was not fined for any of the five cartels as it benefited from immunity under the Commission's 2006 Leniency Notice for revealing the existence of the cartels to the Commission. All other companies received reductions of their fines for their cooperation in the investigation under the Commission's leniency programme. Since the companies agreed to settle the case with the Commission, their fines were further reduced by 10%.
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State aid

  • Commission adapts crisis rules for banks
    10 July 2013
    The Commission has adapted its temporary state aid rules for assessing public support to financial institutions during the crisis. The main changes are aimed at improving the restructuring process and the level playing field between banks. In particular, banks will be required to work out a sound plan for their restructuring or orderly winding down before they can receive recapitalisations or asset protection measures. Moreover, in case of capital shortfalls, bank owners and junior creditors will be required to contribute as a first resort, before banks can ask for public funding.
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  • Commission approves amendment of Bank of Ireland´s restructuring plan
    9 July 2013
    The Commission has authorised changes to Bank of Ireland's second restructuring plan, approved in December 2011, because it considers the changes compatible with EU state aid rules. In the light of various changes in the market circumstances since the 2011 decision, BOI is in particular no longer required to divest New Ireland Assurance Company (NIAC). Such a divestment would negatively affect BOI´s capital and capacity to return to profitability and would slow down progress towards long term viability. To replace this divestment, Ireland has proposed equivalent commitments which will ensure that competition distortions are limited.
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Competition

  • European Competition Network publishes ECN Brief 3/2013
    12 July 2013
    The European Competition Network (ECN), composed of the Commission and Member States' competition authorities, has published the third ECN Brief of 2013. Among other news, the Brief reports on Croatia's EU accession and new guidelines on fines in Germany. The next issue will be published in mid-October.
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Court

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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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