Competition weekly news summary
11 April 2014


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Conferences and Speeches

  • Developments in EU competition policy
    European Competition Day, Athens, Joaquín Almunia
    10 April 2014
    "Strengthening our enforcement activity and our advocacy is not easy in these times, but this is precisely our responsibility. We do not serve private interests or corporative privileges, but the interest of every company that plays by the rules and of every consumer. Our duty is to instil openness and transparency in the markets and make sure that every player has the same opportunities to create jobs and generate growth. But the most important factor of success is the active cooperation of the population and I want to praise the Greek people for their engagement."
    Read full speech >

State aid

  • Commission adopts new rules on public support for environmental protection and energy
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has adopted new rules on public support for projects in the field of environmental protection and energy. The guidelines will support Member States in reaching their 2020 climate targets, while addressing the market distortions that may result from subsidies granted to renewable energy sources. To this end, the guidelines promote a gradual move to market-based support for renewable energy. They also provide criteria on how Member States can relieve energy intensive companies that are particularly exposed to international competition from charges levied for the support of renewables. Furthermore, the guidelines include new provisions on aid to energy infrastructure and generation capacity to strengthen the internal energy market and ensure security of supply.
    Read more >
    VP Almunia's statement >
    Frequently asked questions >
  • Commission approves amendments to restructuring plan of Royal Bank of Scotland
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has concluded that proposals by UK authorities to amend Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) restructuring plan are in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission has found that delaying the divestment of RBS's UK SME bank entity Rainbow will not jeopardise the viability of the business. The Commission has also agreed to changes of the terms of the priority dividend received by the UK. The changes endorsed today better align the incentives of RBS with those of the UK without resulting in lower dividends as compared to what RBS could realistically be expected to pay under the existing terms.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves regional aid map 2014-2020 for Finland
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has approved Finland's map for granting regional development aid between 2014 and 2020. The map 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. The guidelines aim to foster growth and greater cohesion in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves £110 million aid for three sports stadiums in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has concluded that Northern Irish plans to grant £110 million (around € 133 million) for the reconstruction of three sports stadiums in Belfast is consistent with EU State aid rules. The Commission found that the proposed funding contributes to urban regeneration and social cohesion, in line with EU objectives, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves €34 million in aid for the TOURS 2015 research programme to be carried out by STMicroelectronics
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has concluded that the aid granted by France to STMicroelectronics for the development of new technologies in the nanoelectronics sector was in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission considers that the project will help achieve EU scientific and environmental targets without unduly distorting competition.
    Read more >
  • Commission streamlines handling of state aid complaints
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has introduced a new mandatory complaint form that will enable complainants to provide the Commission with the core elements necessary to investigate possible illegal aid in a single submission. This will make it easier for complainants to identify which information the Commission needs for its investigation and enable the Commission to act faster on suspected violations of the state aid rules. With the adoption of the form, the last building block of the reform of state aid procedures has been put in place.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves aid scheme for airlines launching new routes to Canary Islands
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has found that a Spanish scheme aimed at providing "start-up" aid to airlines launching new routes to the Canary Islands is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission has concluded that the project will boost the economic development of the region, in line with EU objectives, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves regional aid map 2014-2020 for Romania
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has approved Romania's map for granting regional development state aid between 2014 and 2020 within the framework of the new regional aid guidelines adopted by the Commission in June 2013. The new guidelines set out the conditions under which Member States can grant state aid to businesses for regional development purposes. They aim to foster growth and greater cohesion in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves €12.7 million Italian investment aid for Verona and Brescia airports
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has found that a €12.7 million capital injection into the company managing the Italian airports Verona and Brescia, Aeroporto Valerio Catullo di Verona Villafranca S.p.A, was in line with EU state aid rules. The measure aimed at enabling the company to carry out infrastructure investments over a period of ten years. The Commission concluded that these investments will improve the mobility of citizens and meet transport needs in northern Italy, in line with EU transport policy objectives and without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves regional aid map 2014-2020 for Latvia
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has approved Latvia's map for granting regional development state aid between 2014 and 2020 within the framework of the new regional aid guidelines adopted by the Commission in June 2013. The new guidelines set out the conditions under which Member States can grant state aid to businesses for regional development purposes. The guidelines aim to foster growth and greater cohesion in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves Dutch operating aid for Groningen airport
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has found that operating aid totalling €19.2 million in support of operations at Groningen Airport Eelde is in line with EU state aid rules. The state aid granted by The Netherlands will improve the region's connectivity and the decongestion of bigger airports without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission authorises investment aid for Finnish pyrolysis oil production plant
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has found that Finnish plans to grant Fortum Power € 8.1 million investment aid for a pyrolysis oil production plant in Joensuu, Finland, are in line with EU State aid rules. Pyrolysis oil is a bio-liquid and can be used as a cleaner substitute for heavy fuel oil. The Commission has concluded that the aid will further EU energy and environmental goals, such as reducing CO2 emissions, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens in-depth inquiry into €35 million restructuring aid for Slovenian Cimos Group
    9 April 2014
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether €35 million of restructuring aid for the Cimos Group, a Slovenian manufacturer of automotive components, complies with EU state aid rules. The Commission will examine in particular whether the planned aid will enable the company to become viable without continued public support and whether the company owners contribute sufficiently to the cost of restructuring.
    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.

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