Competition weekly news summary
20 February 2014



The next competition news will be published on 7 March.


Antitrust

  • Presentation of Preliminary Results of the Data Collection concerning Merchants' Costs of accepting Cash and Cards
    19 February 2014
    DG Competition presented the preliminary results of the data collection carried out by the Commission with the assistance of Deloitte Consulting regarding merchants' costs of accepting cash and card payments. Since the results are preliminary and only concern a specific number of large retailers DG Competition has not drawn conclusions yet; further work is required. A final, more comprehensive report is expected to be published before the summer. The data collection took place in the context of the Commission's current and possible future competition enforcement cases. However, the preliminary results for large merchants do not exceed the benchmarks proposed in the draft Interchange Fee Regulation published in July 2013.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission adopts new guidelines for state aid to airports and airlines
    20 February 2014
    The Commission has adopted new guidelines on how Member States can support airports and airlines in line with EU state aid rules. The guidelines are aimed at ensuring good connections between regions and the mobility of European citizens, while minimising distortions of competition in the Single Market. They are part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation strategy, which aims at fostering growth in the Single Market by encouraging more effective aid measures and focusing the Commission’s scrutiny on cases with the biggest impact on competition.
    Read VP Almunia's statement >
    For more information and background, see the Policy Brief
    Frequently asked questions >
    Press release >
  • Commission approves investment aid for Marseille Provence airport and airport charges
    20 February 2014
    The Commission has found that €12.3 million investment aid granted by different regional bodies to the Marseille Provence airport was in line with EU state aid rules, because it favoured the development of air traffic. The Commission has also found that discounts on airport charges payable by the airlines using the airport and a marketing contract with Ryanair involved no state aid, as they were expected to increase the operating profits of the airport. Therefore, in providing the discounts, the airport behaved as any market economy investor would.
    Read more
  • Commission approves investment aid for Czech Ostrava airport
    20 February 2014
    The Commission has found that a grant of CZK 68 million (€2.5 million) for the construction of ground lighting and illuminated signs at check points at the Czech airport of Ostrava was in line with EU state aid rules. The investment will enable Ostrava airport to attract regular traffic, in particular long-haul cargo traffic, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves agreements between Aarhus airport and Ryanair
    20 February 2014
    The Commission has found that agreements giving discounts on airport charges and marketing incentives concluded between Aarhus airport and Ryanair in 1999 did not involve any state aid. Indeed, these arrangements were expected to increase the operating profits of the airport. In providing these incentives, the airport therefore behaved as any market economy operator would.
    Read more >
  • Commission finds that public interventions at Berlin Schönefeld Airport did not involve state aid
    20 February 2014
    The Commission has concluded that various measures taken by the publicly-owned Berlin Schönefeld Airport manager FBS did not confer any undue economic advantage to the airport or to the airlines operating at the airport, and were therefore in line with EU state aid rules. The financial incentives foreseen were well-targeted and allowed sustainable growth of the airport while paving the way for its replacement by the new Berlin Brandenburg airport, to be built at the same location.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves 2014-2020 regional aid map for Poland
    20 February 2014
    The Commission has approved under EU state aid rules Poland's map for granting regional development aid between 2014 and 2020. The decision is based on the new regional aid guidelines adopted by the Commission in June 2013, which set out the conditions under which 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 >

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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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