Competition weekly news summary
7 February 2014


Conferences and Speeches

  • Opening a Path for Recovery: Competition in Financial Markets
    University College London, Joaquín Almunia
    6 February 2014
    "I hope that the decisions I've talked about today and the rest of our work in financial markets make it sufficiently clear that we will remain alert to keep the industry open, competitive, and transparent. We've all seen what can happen when things go wrong in the financial sector. Financial markets will remain a top enforcement priority for us."
    Read full speech >

Antitrust

  • Commission obtains from Google comparable display of specialised search rivals
    5 February 2014
    The Commission has obtained an improved commitments proposal from Google in the context of the ongoing antitrust investigation on online search and search advertising. In its proposal, Google has now accepted to guarantee that whenever it promotes its own specialised search services on its web page (e.g. for products, hotels, restaurants, etc.), the services of three rivals, selected through an objective method, will also be displayed in a way that is clearly visible to users and comparable to the way in which Google displays its own services. This principle will apply not only for existing specialised search services, but also to changes in the presentation of those services and for future services.
    Read more >
    Read VP Almunia's statement >
    Frequently asked questions >

Mergers

  • Commission approves General Electric as purchaser of Thermo Fisher's divestment businesses
    31 January 2014
    The Commission has approved General Electric as the purchaser of Thermo Fisher's divestments businesses producing and supplying (i) media and sera for cell culture, (ii) gene silencing products, and (iii) polymer-based magnetic beads. Thermo Fisher had committed to divest these three businesses as a condition for the Commission to allow the acquisition of Life Technologies. In the parallel US investigation, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved at the same time the acquisition of Life Technologies by Thermo Fisher as well as General Electric as the purchaser of the respective divestment businesses.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission authorises investment aid for ''energy from waste'' gasification plant in Lahti, Finland
    4 February 2014
    The Commission has concluded that Finnish plans to grant Lahti Energia € 14. 725 million of investment aid for a gasification plant are in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission found in particular that the aid will further EU energy and environmental goals without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
    Read more
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into restructuring aid for Cyprus Airways
    4 February 2014
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to verify whether Cyprus' plans to support the restructuring of Cyprus Airways with €102 million are in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission will investigate in particular whether the restructuring plan is suitable to make Cyprus Airways viable without continued state support and to offset the competition distortions created by the state aid.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into restructuring aid for Estonian Air
    4 February 2014
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to verify whether the plans of Estonia to grant €40.7 million state aid for the restructuring of the national flag carrier Estonian Air is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission will in particular assess whether the airline's restructuring plan is suitable to restore the company's long term viability and to offset the distortions of competition created by the state support.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves regional aid map 2014-2020 for Czech Republic
    4 February 2014
    The Commission has approved the Czech map for granting between 2014 and 2020 regional aid within the framework of the Commission's new regional aid guidelines. The new guidelines set out under which conditions Member States can grant state aid to businesses for regional development purposes. They aim to foster growth and promote greater cohesion in the Single Market.
    Read more >

Court

  • 3 appeals in heat stabilisers cartel
    6 February 2014
    The General Court ruled on appeals by Arkema, AC Treuhand and Elf Aquitaine against a Commission decision of November 2009 fining several companies for operting a cartel in the markets for heat stabilisers. The GC entirely dismissed all appeals and upheld the Commission's findings.
    Read full Arkema judgment >
    Read full Treuhand judgment >
    Read full Elf Aquitaine judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2009 decision >
  • CEEES and AGES appeal related to Repsol investigation
    6 February 2014
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by Spanish petrol station associations CEEES and AGES against a Commission decision rejecting their complaint alleging anticompetitive practices and the violation of a commitment given by Repsol to end the Commission's antitrust investigation into long-term supply contracts with Spanish petrol stations. In 2006, the Commission had made the commitments legally binding on Repsol. The GC dismissed the appeal and upheld the Commission's decision to reject the complaint. The Court held in particular that the Commission could reject a complaint alleging Repsol's violation of the 2006 decision, in particular because these violations had already been investigated and fined by the Spanish competition authority.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2006 commitments 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, 2014. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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