Competition weekly news summary
4 October 2013


Conferences and Speeches

  • Competition policy in a larger EU
    Lithuanian Presidency's European Competition Day, Vilnius, Joaquín Almunia
    3 October 2013
    "Precisely because creating the best conditions for competition and innovation is a necessary condition for Europe to emerge from the crisis, this is the time to give competition agencies what they need to be effective. And this implies, among other things, giving competition authorities the means to recruit and retain qualified staff and the ability to work together with their peers within the European Competition Network. Just as importantly, competition authorities need to be independent. They must be free from any external influence either from the companies they supervise or from the state."
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  • The Google antitrust case: what is at stake?
    European Parliament hearing, Brussels, Joaquín Almunia
    1 October 2013
    "Google has now improved the commitments it has offered. We have negotiated improvements until yesterday. Although I cannot describe the details, I can tell you that the new proposal more appropriately addresses the need for any commitments to be able to cover future developments. Therefore, the new proposal relates to queries entered in Google in whatever form - whether they are typed or spoken – and irrespective of the entry point or the device. [...] As a next step, I will seek feedback on the improved commitments proposal from complainants and other relevant market participants. To that end, we will send information requests, on the basis of the EU Antitrust Regulation 1/2003, on the improvements that are being proposed."
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  • Competitor agreements under EU competition law
    40th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy, Fordham Competition Law Institute, New York, Alexander Italianer
    26 September 2013
    "We need to remember: restrictions by object are serious - but not necessarily obvious."
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Mergers

  • Commission clears acquisition of fruit juice bottler Pride Foods (Gerber Emig) by rival Refresco, subject to conditions
    4 October 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of fruit juice bottler Pride Foods (trading under the name Gerber Emig) of the UK by Dutch rival Refresco. The clearance is conditional upon the divestment of one of Gerber Emig's production and bottling plants in Germany. The parties are both active in the production and bottling of non-carbonated soft drinks (NCSDs) to retailers and in contract manufacturing branded NCSDs for brand owners in a number of European Economic Area (EEA) Member States. The Commission's concerns related to private label bottling in France, Germany and Belgium. The commitments offered by Refresco address these concerns.
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  • Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of salmon processor Morpol by salmon farmer Marine Harvest, subject to conditions
    30 September 2013
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Morpol, the largest salmon processor in the EEA, by the leading EEA salmon farmer Marine Harvest, both of Norway. The clearance is conditional upon the divestment of the majority of Morpol's salmon farming activities in Scotland. The Commission had concerns that the transaction, as originally notified, would have significantly reduced competition in the market for farming and primary processing of Scottish salmon. The commitments offered by the merging companies address these concerns.
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State aid

  • Commission approves €20.5 million of aid to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles
    2 October 2013
    The Commission concluded that aid granted by France to the motor vehicle manufacturer Renault to help it conduct the ‘HYDIVU’ research and development programme complies with EU state aid rules. The aim of this project is to develop a diesel hybrid technology for vans. At the end of the project, Renault will equip the Trafic and Master ranges with a new hybrid engine. The diesel consumption and CO2 emissions for these two models will be reduced considerably. The state aid addresses a genuine market failure without giving rise to an undue distortion of competition.
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  • Commission finds that Simet SpA is not entitled to public service compensation
    2 October 2013
    The Commission has concluded that a planned monetary compensation in favour of Simet SpA, which provides bus services to and from Calabria, is incompatible with EU state aid rules. By a judgment of March 2010, the Consiglio di Stato (Italian Supreme Court for administrative matters) recognised Simet’s right to obtain compensation retroactively for its inter-regional scheduled bus services between 1987 and 2003. The Italian authorities then notified the measure to the Commission, who opened an in-depth investigation in May 2012. The Commission found no justification for any such monetary compensation.
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  • Commission finds expropriation compensation for Dutch alcohol producer Nedalco involves no state aid
    2 October 2013
    The Commission has concluded that an expropriation compensation granted by the Netherlands to the alcohol producer Nedalco for relocating its site in Bergen op Zoom, in the Dutch region of Noord-Brabant, was in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission found that the compensation did not give any selective advantage to the company and thus did not involve state aid in the meaning of the EU rules.
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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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