EU: Almunia shoots down EC candidate over competition overhaul

European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has shot down EC presidential candidate Jean-Claude Juncker’s calls for a competition policy overhaul, calling the suggestion “misguided.”

Reports say Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called for an overhaul of competition rules as Almunia faces criticism over his approach to telco mergers. The Commission is currently reviewing Telefonica’s plans to acquire KPN’s Germany unit, as well as Liberty Global’s acquisition of Netherlands-based Ziggo among other high-profile deals in the media industry.

Almunia has been criticized for approaching the merger review with a focus on national effects, rather than pan-EU effects.

But “starting from the reform of competition rules – as Merkel, Juncker and others seem to suggest – would be misguided and it would have as a consequence a transfer of costs towards the consumers,” Almunia said, noting that the EU market must reduce fragmentation.

Full content: Reuters

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