Competition weekly news summary
13 December 2013


Conferences and Speeches

  • Intellectual property and competition policy
    IP Summit 2013 , Paris, Joaquín Almunia
    9 December 2013
    "In their different ways, both the patent system and the system that enforces competition law in the EU pursue common goals. A well-functioning IPR system can in fact promote competition by encouraging firms to invest in innovation. And both competition policy and the intellectual-property protection system contribute to create the right framework for innovators."
    Read full speech >
  • To commit or not to commit, that is the question
    CRA Competition Conference, Brussels, Alexander Italianer
    11 December 2013
    "In a nutshell, we are more likely to accept commitments that are quick, sufficient and sensible."
    Read more >

Antitrust

  • Commission fines Johnson & Johnson and Novartis € 16 million for delaying market entry of generic pain-killer fentanyl
    10 December 2013
    The Commission has imposed fines of € 10 798 000 on the US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and € 5 493 000 on Novartis of Switzerland. In July 2005, their respective Dutch subsidiaries concluded an anticompetitive agreement to delay the market entry of a cheaper generic version of the pain-killer fentanyl in the Netherlands, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Fentanyl is a pain-killer 100 times more potent than morphine.
    Read more >
    Read VP Almunia's statement >
  • Commission welcomes continued low level of potentially problematic patent settlements in EU pharma sector
    9 December 2013
    The Commission's report on patent settlement agreements concluded between originator and generic companies in the pharmaceutical sector in 2012 shows that the number of settlements that may give rise to antitrust concerns is continuously low. This shows the industry's increased awareness of potentially problematic practices. As such settlements may delay the market entry of cheaper generic medicines, this is good news for consumers and taxpayers. The report also finds that the overall number of patent settlements has increased as compared to the previous monitoring periods. This demonstrates that companies can successfully settle their disputes within the boundaries of the EU antitrust rules.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Overview of decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis
    13 December 2013
    Go to overview >

Court

  • T-399/09 HSE v Commission (calcium carbide cartel)
    13 December 2013
    The GC ruled on an appeal by HSE against a Commission decison of July 2009 fining several companies for operating a cartel in the markets for calcium carbide and magnesium based reagents. The GC dismissed the appeal and confirmed that the Commission was correct to find HSE liable for the involvement of its then subisdiary TDR.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2009 decision >
  • Commission welcomes General Court judgment in Microsoft/Skype merger case
    11 December 2013
    The Commission welcomes a judgment by the General Court which dismisses Cisco Systems' appeal of a Commission decision of October 2011 to clear the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft. The judgement confirms the Commission's assessment of new markets and technologies under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission's decision to clear the transaction did not put the development of innovative products and services at risk.
    Read more >
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2011 decision >
  • Commission welcomes Court ruling on exemptions from excise duty on mineral oils used as fuel for alumina production
    10 December 2013
    The Commission welcomes a judgement by the EU Court of Justice, setting aside a General Court ruling that had annulled a Commission Decision of December 2005 finding exemptions from excise duty on mineral oils used as fuel for alumina production granted by France, Ireland and Italy to be in breach of EU state aid rules. This ruling clarifies the powers of the EU Courts to raise pleas of their own motion and, most importantly, confirms again the Commission's exclusive competence regarding state aid control in the EU and the objectivity of the concept of state aid.
    Read more >
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2005 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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