EU: 19 countries call for new antitrust rules to create “European champions”

EU: 19 countries call for new antitrust rules to create “European champions”

A total of 19 EU governments have proposed updating the EU’s antitrust rules in order to facilitate the emergence of European industrial giants able to face “fierce competition” from the US and China. After a ministerial meeting in Paris on Tuesday, December 18, the group of 19 countries called for “new political impetus” to ensure […]

EU: EC approves investment in microelectronics

EU: EC approves investment in microelectronics

On Tuesday, December 18, the European Commission found that an integrated project jointly notified by France, Germany, Italy, and the UK for research and innovation in microelectronics, a key enabling technology, is in line with EU State aid rules and contributes to a common European interest. The four Member States will provide in the coming […]

EU: EC fines Bulgarian gas company €77M

EU: EC fines Bulgarian gas company €77M

The European Commission announced on December 17 that it has fined Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) €77.1 million (US$87.6 million) for blocking competitors’ access to key gas infrastructure in Bulgaria, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The European Commission, which raided the company in 2011 in a move that led to the opening of an investigation […]

EU: EC issues new guidance to facilitate access to Commission files

EU: EC issues new guidance to facilitate access to Commission files

The European Commission has published two new guidance documents to facilitate access to the Commission’s files on a case, by companies subject to antitrust proceedings. Companies’ access to the information that the Commission is looking at during an investigation is a fundamental procedural step in antitrust cases. It allows the companies that receive Statements of […]

EU: EC approves acquisition of Houghton by Quaker, with conditions

EU: EC approves acquisition of Houghton by Quaker, with conditions

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Houghton by Quaker, both producers of industrial lubricants. The decision is conditional on the divestment of Houghton’s EEA businesses related to certain lubricants used to produce steel and aluminium. Quaker and Houghton are both active globally in the development, production and marketing […]

EU: Google investigation won’t conclude this year says Vestager

EU: Google investigation won’t conclude this year says Vestager

  The European Commission’s latest investigation into Google won’t conclude before the end of the year, the EU’s antitrust chief said Tuesday, December 4. Speaking at a press conference at the Slush tech conference in Helsinki, Finland, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the EU’s probe involving Google’s AdSense service would “not be done before […]

EU: Commission finds no aid to container terminal operators in Antwerp

EU: Commission finds no aid to container terminal operators in Antwerp

The European Commission has concluded that reductions in compensation payments granted by the state-owned Port of Antwerp to two container terminal operators were granted on market terms and hence do not involve State Aid within the meaning of EU rules. The Port of Antwerp is managed by the Antwerp Port Authority, a public authority, which […]

EU: Vestager warns China against unfair competition

EU: Vestager warns China against unfair competition

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday, November 20,  warned China against unfair competition, urging it to offer “the same conditions” to European companies as those enjoyed by Chinese firms in the EU. In an interview with AFP, Vestager stressed the importance of “fair competition not only with competition enforcement but also with… reciprocity.” “It […]

EU: Comm publishes report on application of AG competition rules

EU: Comm publishes report on application of AG competition rules

The European Commission has published the first report on the application of competition rules in the agricultural sector. The report shows that the work of European competition authorities can help farmers to obtain better conditions when selling their products to large buyers or cooperatives. Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said, “This report provides […]

EU: EC probing Ryanair’s state aid in Frankfurt

EU: EC probing Ryanair’s state aid in Frankfurt

The EC has opened an investigation into whether Ryanair had benefited from illegal state aid at Germany’s Frankfurt-Hahn airport. “We will investigate whether regional and local authorities in Germany, against the rules, gave an unfair advantage to Ryanair over its competitors,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. Under the deal in question, […]