Competition weekly news summary
6 June 2014


Mergers

  • Commission approves acquisition of Cemex West by Holcim in the building materials sector
    5 June 2014
    Following an in-depth investigation, the Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Cemex West by its Swiss rival Holcim. Cemex and Holcim are global suppliers of cement and other building materials. Cemex West comprises Cemex's activities in grey cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and cementitious materials in western Germany together with a small number of plants and sites located in France and the Netherlands. The Commission concluded that the acquisition would not raise competition concerns since the merged entity will continue to face sufficient competition from its rivals in all markets concerned.
    Read more >
  • Commission clears acquisition of Telefónica Ireland by Hutchison 3G, subject to conditions
    28 May 2014
    The Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of Telefónica Ireland's mobile telecommunications business (O2 Ireland) by Hutchison 3G (H3G). The approval is conditional upon a commitments package submitted by H3G. The Commission had concerns that the merger, as initially notified, would have removed an important competitive force from the Irish mobile telecommunications market to the detriment of consumers. To address these concerns, H3G submitted commitments ensuring that new competitors will enter the mobile telecommunications market in Ireland. These commitments remove the Commission's concerns.
    Read more >
    Frequently asked questions >
  • Commission approves acquisition of Armajaro Trading by Ecom
    23 May 2014
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the commodity trading and processing company Armajaro Trading Limited of the United Kingdom by rival Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Limited of Switzerland. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise any competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will continue to face sufficiently strong competition after the merger and customers will still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves two public service compensation measures for the French post office
    26 May 2014
    The Commission has concluded that tax relief granted by France to the French post office to ensure that a high density of postal services is maintained over the period 2013-2017 is in line with EU state aid rules. It has also authorised the payment of a grant to fund La Poste's task of transporting and delivering the press over the period 2013-2015. The Commission considered that the two aid measures are not likely to unduly distort competition in the Single Market, in particular because they only partially offset the net costs of the public service tasks incumbent on La Poste.
    Press release >
    Policy brief >

Court

  • C-557/12 preliminary ruling (related to elevators cartel)
    5 June 2014
    The EU Court of Justice ruled on questions referred by the Austrian Supreme Court regarding the interpretation of Article 101 TFEU. The dispute before the national court concerns a damage claim against Schindler, Kone, ThyssenKrupp and Otis, regarding their participation in a cartel in the market for escalators and elevators. The claimant has bought material from a supplier not involved in the cartel but claims to have paid a higher price because of the effects of the cartel (umbrella pricing) and is seeking damages for its loss from the cartelists. Austrian law does not allow for compensation in such a case because of the absence of a sufficient causal link between the cartel and the damages, and the fact that the alleged loss is not covered by the protective purpose of the Austrian competition rules. The Austrian court asked whether this is compatible with EU law, in particular with the principle of effectiveness. The EUCJ has answered in the negative. The EUCJ held, in particular, that where a cartel has the effect of leading competitors to raise their prices, victims of such price rises may claim compensation from cartel members for the damage they have suffered, even if there is no contractual link between the victim and any member of the cartel.
    Read Court's press release >
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2007 cartel decision >
  • Case C-547/11 (Eurallumina state aid case)
    5 June 2014
    The Commission had referred Italy to Court for having failed to recover incompatible state aid from the beneficiary Eurallumina. The EUCJ confirmed the Commission's findings.
    Read full judgment >
    Read more about Commission's 2005 Eurallumina decision >
    Read more about Commission's 2007 Eurallumina 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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