Competition weekly news summary
13 March 2015


Conferences and Speeches

  • Thoughts on merger reform and market definition
    Keynote address at Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht, Brussels, Margrethe Vestager
    12 March 2015
    "[Defining geographic markets mainly means] understanding where customers can turn to in case prices rise after a merger. If they cannot realistically rely on suppliers located outside the area, then we have a first indication of where the boundary lies. In one sense, this means that we don’t define markets – markets define themselves."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • Commission welcomes European Parliament vote to cap interchange fees and improve competition for card-based payments
    10 March 2015
    The Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament of a Regulation capping interchange fees for payments using consumer debit and credit cards and improving competition for all card payments. The Commission estimates that the rules when implemented could lead to a reduction of about €6 billion annually in hidden fees for consumer cards. The "Regulation on Interchange Fees for Card-based Payment Transactions", which largely follows a Commission proposal from July 2013, will also give more freedom of choice to retailers, enhance transparency for card transactions, and pave the way for innovative payment technologies to be rolled out.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission clears acquisition of automotive components manufacturer TRW by rival ZF, subject to conditions
    12 March 2015
    The Commission has approved the acquisition of the global automotive component manufacturer TRW of the US by its rival ZF Friedrichshafen of Germany. The decision is conditional upon the divestment of TRW’s businesses in the design, manufacturing and sale of chassis components. The Commission had concerns that the deal as notified could have led to price increases for chassis components because the few remaining players in this market would have been unable to sufficiently constrain the merged entity. The commitments offered by ZF address these concerns.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into Hungarian advertisement tax
    12 March 2015
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether Hungary's advertisement tax introduced in June 2014 complies with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission has concerns that the progressive tax rates, ranging from 0 to 50%, could selectively favour certain companies and give them an unfair competitive advantage. In a separate decision, the Commission has therefore prohibited Hungary from applying progressive rates until the Commission has finished its assessment.
    Read more >

Court

  • Commission welcomes General Court judgment upholding its prohibition of the NYSE Euronext / Deutsche Börse merger
    9 March 2015
    The Commission welcomes a General Court judgment which fully upholds the Commission's 2012 decision to prohibit the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext. The judgment is important because it confirms that the merger would have eliminated healthy competition between trading and clearing platforms in Europe and that the Commission acted properly by prohibiting it. The merger would have caused significant harm to worldwide users of European financial derivatives and to the European economy as a whole.
    Commission's press release >
    Court's press release >
    GC judgment >
    More about Commission's 2012 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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