Competition weekly news summary
9 October 2015

Conferences/Speeches

  • Speech by Commissioner Vestager 'Competition in maritime transport'
    21st annual EMLO Conference – Copenhagen
    5 October 2015
    "[..]Enforcement of EU competition law in the maritime sector is not a limiting factor. Quite the opposite, in fact. Competition policy is a guarantee for all players in these and related markets that they have the same opportunities to do business in Europe on an equal footing.."
    Read full speech >

Competition

  • European Parliament adopts European Commission proposal to create safer and more innovative European payment
    8 October 2015
    The new rules will protect consumers better when they make payments, promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments and make European payment services safer. The European Commission welcomes today's adoption by the European Parliament of the revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2). This new law, proposed by the European Commission in July 2013, enhances consumer protection, promotes innovation and improves the security of payment services. PSD2 is the latest in a series of laws recently adopted by the EU in order to provide for modern, efficient and cheap payment services and to enhance protection for European consumers and businesses.
    Read more >

Antitrust

  • Commission opens formal investigation into International Skating Union's eligibility rules
    5 October 2015
    The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into International Skating Union (ISU) rules that permanently ban skaters from competitions such as the Winter Olympics and the ISU World and European Championships if they take part in events not approved by the ISU. The investigation follows a complaint by two Dutch ice speed skaters, Mark Tuitert and Niels Kerstholt. The Commission will in particular investigate whether ISU rules are unduly preventing athletes from exercising their profession by putting disproportionate and unjustified obstacles in the way of companies not linked to the ISU that want to organise alternative ice-skating events.
    Read more >

Mergers

  • Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of BASE Belgium by Liberty Global
    5 October 2015
    The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of BASE Company NV by Liberty Global would harm effective competition. On the basis of its initial investigation, the Commission has concerns that the transaction could lead to higher prices, less choice and less innovative services for customers in the Belgian telecommunications market.
    Read more >

State aid

  • Commission approves UK pricing methodology for nuclear waste transfer contracts
    9 October 2015
    The European Commission has found that the pricing methodology for waste transfer contracts to be concluded between the UK Government and operators of new nuclear power plants is compatible with EU state aid rules. This methodology establishes the price that operators of new nuclear plants in the UK will have to pay for the underground disposal of their spent fuel and intermediate level waste in a planned UK geological disposal site. It aims at ensuring that it will be the nuclear power operators – and not taxpayers – who bear the cost of disposing their nuclear waste and that they set aside sufficient funds to cover their future liabilities.
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Court

  • Judgment of the Court of Justice in the case C‑303/13 P Commission vs. Andersen (Appeal)
    6
    October 2015
    The EU Court of Justice ruled on an appeal by the Commission against an earlier General Court ruling of March 2013. The 2013 ruling had annulled a Commission decision of 2010 (2011/3/EU), holding that the Commission was wrong in having retroactively applied EU state aid rules governing land transport that came into force in 2009 to measures concerning the periods 2000-2004 and 2005-2014. The Commission's 2010 decision had found that public service contracts awarded by the Danish authorities to the Danish railway incumbent Danske Statsbaner, were compatible with the 2009 rules on state aid for land transport, subject to certain conditions. Jorgen Andersen, a competitor of Danske Statsbaner, brought an action for annulment of the Commission's decision (Case T-92/11). The Court of Justice has now partly confirmed the General Court ruling. In particular, the Court held that the 2009 rules are not applicable to compensation paid before they entered into force and annulled the Commission's 2010 decision in that respect. The Court referred the case back to the General Court for a reassessment of the compensation paid after the entry into force of the 2009 rules.
    See Court of Justice case page>


  • Judgment of the Court of Justice in the case C‑23/14 Post Danmark A/S vs. Konkurrencerċdet
    6
    October 2015
    The Court of Justice ruled on preliminary questions referred by a Danish Court regarding the assessment of certain rebates under EU antitrust rules. The Court clarified in particular that in order to determine whether a retroactive standardised rebate scheme results in shutting out competitors in breach of Article 102 TFEU, it is necessary to examine all the circumstances of the case. The Court held further that the application of a price-cost test (known as "as efficient competitor test") is one of the tools available for determining that a rebate scheme is abusive but is not a necessary condition for doing so. The Court also clarified that, in order to be caught by Article 102 TFEU, the anti-competitive effects of a rebate scheme must be probable but there is no need to show that they are serious or appreciable.
    See Court of Justice case page>

  • Judgment of the General Court in the case T‑250/12, Corporación Empresarial de Materiales de Construcción, SA, formerly Uralita vs. European Commission
    6
    October 2015
    The General Court ruled on an appeal by Corporación Empresarial de Materiales de Construcción (formerly Uralita) against a Commission decision of 2012 that had amended the Commission's 2008 decision fining several companies for participating in a cartel in the markets for sodium chloride. The 2012 decision had reduced the fine for Uralita in order to ensure that its liability as a parent company did not exceed those of its subsidiary Aragonesas, following a partly successful appeal by the subsidiary. Uralita brought an action for annulment of the 2012 decision. The Court entirely dismissed the action and upheld the Commission's 2012 decision. The Court held in particular that the Commission was not time-barred to impose a fine on Uralita in 2012
    .
    See Court of Justice case page>

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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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