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  13 November 2020

Competition Weekly e-news

Cases, Judgments, News

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Welcome to the updated version of Competition Weekly e-news, and particularly a heartfelt welcome to new subscribers coming from the former State Aid Weekly e-News newsletter.

In this weekly newsletter you will find a comprehensive collection of the latest developments of EU competition (decisions, consultations, case-law, etc.) We hope you find it useful.


Statement by Executive Vice-President Vestager on the second investigation into Amazon's e-commerce business practices

"Today, the Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Amazon with the preliminary conclusion that Amazon illegally distorted competition in online retail markets. The Commission has also decided today to open a second investigation into Amazon's e-commerce business practices." […]



Commission opens second investigation into Amazon's e-commerce business practices

The European Commission has informed Amazon of its preliminary view that it has breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in online retail markets. The Commission takes issue with Amazon systematically relying on non-public business data of independent sellers who sell on its marketplace, to the benefit of Amazon's own retail business, which directly competes with those third party sellers.

The Commission also opened a second formal antitrust investigation into the possible preferential treatment of Amazon's own retail offers and those of marketplace sellers that use Amazon's logistics and delivery services.

State aid


Commission approves German nation-wide scheme to support deployment of Gigabit networks in Germany

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a German scheme to support the deployment of very high capacity broadband networks offering Gigabit speeds in Germany. The aid will bring these networks to customers in areas where the market does not provide them, in line with the EU broadband connectivity objectives.

Public consultations

13/10/2020 - 20/11/2020

Competition policy and the Green Deal
DG Competition has published a call for contributions on questions about how competition rules and sustainability policies work together.

23/10/2020 - 20/11/2020

EU competition rules – revision of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation
The Vertical Block Exemption Regulation expires on 31 May 2022. The Regulation exempts agreements between different levels of the same supply chain from the EU’s competition rules. In a business environment reshaped notably by the growth of e-commerce, this initiative aims to revise the rules to:

1. provide up-to-date guidance;
2. cater for business needs in accordance with competition rules.

The aim is to have revised rules in place for when the current rules expire.

08/09/2020 - 05/01/2021

Evaluation of State aid rules for broadband infrastructure deployment
The purpose of the public consultation is to assess whether the Broadband State aid Guidelines and the relevant GBER provisions have met their objectives, what effect they have had on the market and on competition, and whether they need to be updated in light of recent technological and market developments and the new EU digital policy goals. In the consultation, the Commission aims at assessing the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value of the existing rules, in line with the Better Regulation requirements.

12/11/2020 - 07/01/2021

Revision of the Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines (EEAG)
A Fitness Check on the State aid modernisation package has been carried out. The results of this evaluation, which largely covered the time before the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of the twin transition, show that the EEAG and corresponding GBER rules have generally delivered on their objectives. However, it identified certain aspects where the EEAG should be modernised in a way that minimises distortions of trade and competition in the Single Market. Furthermore, the announcement of the Green Deal requires a wider and deeper review of the EEAG, in particular in the two areas mentioned below.

This initiative is guided by the general main objective of coherence with the twin green and digital transformation of the economy. The revision should result in a modernised, simplified, easy to apply and future-proof enabling framework for public authorities to help reaching the EU environmental and energy objectives in a cost effective manner with minimum distortions of competition and trade within the Union. The two main buildings blocks are a review of the compatibility criteria for environmental protection, as well as an assessment of State aid to energy intensive users.

15/09/2020 - 15/01/2021

Call for proposals: Training of national judges in EU Competition Law
The new call for proposals focuses on EU competition law trainings addressing national judges dealing with competition cases at national level. This also includes prosecutors, apprentice national judges and the staff of national courts of eligible countries.

12/10/2020 - 25/01/2021

EU automotive sector – exemption from antitrust rules (review)
EU antitrust rules usually ban vertical agreements and concerted practices, which are likely to restrict competition in a given sector. There is currently an exemption for certain agreements and practices in the automotive sector, but this expires on 31 May 2023. This evaluation will check whether the exemption is still effective, efficient, and consistent with other EU and national rules.
New legislation
Antitrust   Mergers   State Aid
New Legislation    New Legislation    New Legislation 
'What's new?'    'What's new?'    'What's new?' 

Other relevant information:

Commission Decisions

SA Block exemptions

European Economic Area: EFTA State aid register, EFTA Block exemption information sheets and EFTA competition cases

Court: Judicial calendar of the Court

Miscellanea: European Commission Press corner: Latest Daily News and Change to the Base Rates for the Euro zone

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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.

© European Union, 2020. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.