Competition weekly news summary
8 July 2016

Antitrust

  • Commission accepts commitments by container liner shipping companies on price transparency
    7 July 2016
    The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by fourteen container liner shipping companies. The commitments aim to increase price transparency for customers and to reduce the likelihood of coordinating prices.
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  • Commission confirms unannounced inspections in rail passenger transport sector
    6 July 2016
    On 28 June 2016 Commission officials carried out unannounced inspections in the sector of rail passenger transport in several Member States. The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have entered into anti-competitive agreements aiming to shut out competing rail passenger transport operators from the market, in breach of EU antitrust rules (Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).
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State aid

  • Commission opens in-depth investigations into tax exemptions for Belgian and French ports
    8 July 2016
    The European Commission has opened two in-depth probes to check if corporate tax exemptions granted under Belgian and French law to ports' economic activities are in line with EU state aid rules and whether they give companies in a certain sector an advantage over competitors in other Member States.
    Read more >
  • Commission approves public compensation for Brussels IRIS hospitals
    5 July 2016
    After an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has concluded that public financing granted to compensate the Brussels public IRIS hospitals for deficits incurred for the provision of health and social services of general economic interest since 1996 is in line with EU state aid rules.
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  • Commission finds Hungary's food chain inspection fee and tax on tobacco sales in breach of EU rules
    4 July 2016
    The European Commission has found that two Hungarian fiscal measures based on progressive turnover rate structures were in breach of EU State aid rules. The Commission concluded that the progressive tax rates grant a selective advantage to companies with low turnover over their competitors.
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  • Commission clears support measures for certain football clubs in the Netherlands
    4 July 2016
    After an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has concluded that support measures granted by several Dutch municipalities to five football clubs are in line with EU State aid rules.
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  • Commission decides Spanish professional football clubs have to pay back incompatible aid
    4 July 2016
    Following three separate in-depth investigations, the European Commission has concluded that public support measures granted by Spain to seven professional football clubs gave those clubs an unfair advantage over other clubs in breach of EU State aid rules.
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Court

  • Case C-567/14 Genentech Inc. vs. Hoechst & Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland (Preliminary ruling)
    7
    July 2016
    The EU Court of Justice ruled on questions referred by a French court regarding the interpretation of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, that prohibits anticompetitive agreements. The Court of Justice clarified that in circumstances as in the case at hand, Article 101 does not prevent the payment of royalties, even though the licensed patents had not been infringed by the licensee's product. This is because the license agreement was concluded before the grant of the relevant patents and the commercial purpose of the agreement was to allow the licensee to use the technology without incurring the risk of infringement action by the licensor. The Court held that as long as the licensee was free to terminate the agreement with reasonable notice and contest the validity of the licensed patents, the license agreement did not violate Article 101.
    See Court of Justice case page>
    Court's press release >

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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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