Competition weekly news summary
2 May 2014


Antitrust

  • Commission finds that Motorola Mobility infringed EU competition rules by misusing standard essential patents
    29 April 2014
    The Commission has found that Motorola Mobility's seeking and enforcement of an injunction against Apple before a German court on the basis of a smartphone standard essential patent (SEP) constitutes an abuse of a dominant position in view of the particular circumstances in which the injunction was used. The Commission has ordered Motorola to eliminate the negative effects resulting from it.
    VP Almunia's statement >
    Press release >
    Frequently asked questions >
  • Commission accepts legally binding commitments by Samsung Electronics on standard essential patent injunctions
    29 April 2014
    The Commission has rendered commitments offered by Samsung Electronics legally binding under EU antitrust rules. According to these commitments, Samsung will not seek injunctions in Europe on the basis of its standard essential patents (SEPs) for smartphones and tablets against licensees who sign up to a specified licensing framework. Under this framework, any dispute over what are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (so-called "FRAND") terms for the SEPs in question will be determined by a court, or if both parties agree, by an arbitrator. The commitments therefore provide a "safe harbour" for all potential licensees of the relevant Samsung SEPs. Indeed, potential licensees that sign up to the licensing framework will be protected against SEP-based injunctions by Samsung.
    VP Almunia's statement >
    Press release >
    Frequently asked questions >

Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of chemical company DuPont's GLSV business by rival Kuraray, subject to conditions
    29 April 2014
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of DuPont's Glass Laminating Solutions/Vinyls (GLSV) business of the US by Kuraray of Japan. The clearance is conditional upon the divestment of GLSV's PVB film production facility in Uentrop, Germany, where the merged entity would have otherwise faced insufficient competitive constraint from the only one remaining player, leading to higher prices. Both parties to the transaction are active in the manufacture and supply of the following products which are part of one vertical chain: Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM), Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) resin and PVB film. The main impact of the transaction is in PVB film, which is used as an interlayer in the manufacture of laminated safety glass in the architectural and automotive industries. PVB film ensures that when the glass breaks the fragments remain stuck to the film in between.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves acquisition of MetLife Assurance Limited by Rothesay Life Limited
    29 April 2014
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the insurance company MetLife Assurance Limited ("MAL") by rival Rothesay Life Limited ("Rothesay"), both of the United Kingdom. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise any competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will continue to face strong competition after the merger.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves restructuring aid for Greek bank Eurobank
    29 April 2014
    The Commission has found the restructuring plan of Eurobank Group to be in line with EU state aid rules. The plan will enable the bank to become viable in the long term without unduly distorting competition. Greece has committed to a comprehensive set of measures covering both the restructuring of Eurobank's activities and the credit policy of the group. On the basis of the plan, the Commission has approved the restructuring aid granted by Greece to Eurobank Ergasias S.A., including recapitalisations by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) in 2012 and 2013, as well as the HFSF's backstopping of the ongoing recapitalisation. The Commission has also approved Eurobank's acquisition of Nea Proton Bank and New Hellenic Postbank, whose integration within Eurobank will reinforce the viability of the group without unduly distorting competition.
    Read more >

Court

  • Case C-238/12 P (Industrial bags cartel)
    30 April 2014
    The EU Court of Justice ruled on an appeal by FLSmidth against a General Court ruling that had dismissed its action for annulment of a Commission decision of November 2005 fining several companies for participating in a cartel on the market for industrial bags. The Court entirely dismissed the appeal and upheld the earliler GC ruling and the Commission decision.
    Read full EUCJ judgment >
    Read full GC ruling >
    Read more about the Commission's 2005 decision >
  • Cases T-179/09 and T-468/08 (Hungarian long-term power purchase agreements)
    30 April 2014
    The General Court ruled on two actions against a Commission decision of June 2008 finding that long-term power purchase agreements concluded by a Hungarian State-owned company violated EU state aid rules as they shielded the power generators concerned from commercial risk and thus put them in a better position than their competitors. The GC entirely dismissed the actions brought by Dunamenti Eromu and Tisza Eromu and upheld the Commission's decision.
    Read full Dunamenti Eromu ruling >
    Read full Tisza Eromu ruling >
    Read more about Commission's 2008 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.

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