Read the online version | ISSN 2600-2558
  19 February 2021

Competition Weekly e-news

Cases, Judgments, News

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Commission clears acquisition of Varian by Siemens Healthineers, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Varian Medical Systems by Siemens AG, through its subsidiary Siemens Healthineers. The approval is conditional on full compliance with the commitments offered by Siemens to ensure the interoperability of the companies' medical imaging and radiotherapy solutions with third-party solutions.



Commission adopts final measures to preserve the divestment of former Aleris plant in Belgium following Novelis' acquisition of Aleris

The European Commission has adopted final measures to preserve the divestment of the former Aleris plant in Duffel, Belgium, by Novelis under the EU Merger Regulation. To obtain clearance of its acquisition of Aleris in 2019, Novelis offered to divest the plant in binding commitments but failed to close the sale within the deadline set in those commitments, despite extensions granted.



Ryanair v Commission

The Commission takes note of today's judgments of the General Court which upheld two 2020 Commission State aid decisions approving, respectively, a French scheme deferring the payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and a Swedish guarantee scheme to support airlines affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Importantly, the General Court upheld important aspects of the Commission's assessment framework under the two main legal bases (namely Article 107(2) TFEU on damage compensation and the State aid Temporary Framework) that Member States have used to provide support to undertakings in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

In particular, the General Court found that the French and Swedish schemes approved by the Commission were necessary, appropriate and proportionate and do not constitute a breach of the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of nationality nor do they involve an unjustified restriction on the freedom to provide services.

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Public consultations

18/12/2020 - 26/03/2021

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:
  • provide up-to-date guidance
  • cater for business needs in accordance with competition rules.
The aim is to have revised rules in place for when the current rules expire.

See also: EU competition rules – revision of the Vertical Guidelines.

22/01/2021 - 16/04/2021

Consultation on the Notice on the enforcement of State aid rules by national courts
Public authorities, citizens, companies and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from the national courts and authorities dealing with State aid, academics and lawyers.

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 Base rates in force

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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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