European Commission

DG COMP (Brussels)

The European Commission, together with the national competition authorities, directly enforces EU competition rules, Articles 101-109 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), to make EU markets work better, by ensuring that all companies compete equally and fairly on their merits. Within the Commission, the Directorate-General (DG) for Competition is primarily responsible for these direct enforcement powers.

Linked authors

French Competition Authority (Paris)
OECD - Competition Division
DGCCRF (Paris)

Articles

754268 Bulletin

European Commission The EU Commission fines eight producers of capacitors for cartel (Elna / Hitachi Chemical / Holy Stone / Matsuo / NEC Tokin / Nichicon / Nippon Chemi-Con / Rubycon)

566

Antitrust: Commission fines eight producers of capacitors €254 million for participating in cartel* The European Commission has fined Elna, Hitachi Chemical, Holy Stone, Matsuo, NEC Tokin, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con, Rubycon € 253 935 000. Together with the immunity applicant, Sanyo, they (...)

European Commission The EU Commission fines maritime car carriers and car parts suppliers in three separate cartel cases (MOL / NYK / "K" Line / Wwl-Eukor / Csav, Denso / Bosch / NGK / TRW / Continental)

526

Antitrust: Commission fines maritime car carriers and car parts suppliers a total of €546 million in three separate cartel settlements* In three separate decisions, the European Commission has fined four maritime car carriers €395 million, two suppliers of spark plugs €76 million, and two (...)

European Commission The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies in the global media market and rejects a referral request by the Polish Competition Authority (Discovery / Scripps)

311

Mergers: Commission approves Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps, subject to conditions; rejects referral request by Polish competition authority* The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Scripps by Discovery, both US based global media (...)

European Commission The EU Commission pursues Ireland before the Court of justice for failure to recover illegal tax benefits from an American multinational technology company (Apple)

97

State aid: Commission refers Ireland to Court for failure to recover illegal tax benefits from Apple worth up to €13 billion* The European Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover from Apple illegal State aid worth up to €13 billion, as (...)

European Commission The EU Commission sends statements of objection to three undertakings regarding possible breach of EU merger procedural rules (Merck / Sigma-Aldrich, General Electric / LM Wind and Canon / Toshiba)

198

Mergers: Commission alleges Merck and Sigma-Aldrich, General Electric, and Canon breached EU merger procedural rules* The Commission has sent three separate Statements of Objections to Merck and Sigma-Aldrich, General Electric and Canon alleging they breached EU merger rules: General Electric, (...)

European Commission The EU Commission adopts a new anonymous whistleblower tool

107

Antitrust: Commission introduces new anonymous whistleblower tool* A new tool to make it easier for individuals to alert the Commission about secret cartels and other antitrust violations while maintaining their anonymity has been launched by the European Commission today. Individuals can now (...)

European Commission The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a social network suspected of having transmitted misleading informations concerning a merger (Facebook / WhatsApp)

86

Mergers: Commission alleges Facebook provided misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger (...)

European Commission The EU Commission sends a statement of objections against two airlines concerning a potentially anticompetitive codeshare agreement (Brussels Airlines / TAP Portugal)

52

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Brussels Airlines and TAP Portugal on code-sharing on Brussels-Lisbon route* The European Commission has informed Brussels Airlines and TAP Portugal of its preliminary view that their codeshare cooperation on passenger services between (...)

European Commission The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to an international sport association suspected to have breached EU antitrust rules (International Skating Union)

78

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to International Skating Union on its eligibility rules* The European Commission has informed the International Skating Union (ISU) of its preliminary view that the ISU rules under which athletes face severe penalties for participation in (...)

European Commission The EU Commission clears a merger, subject to remedies, on the telecommunication market and rejects a referral request issued by the Dutch competition authority (Vodafone / Liberty Global)

88

Mergers: Commission clears Vodafone/Liberty Global telecoms joint venture, subject to conditions; rejects referral request by Dutch competition authority* The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of a joint venture in the Netherlands by mobile (...)

European Commission The EU Commission fines truck producers for cartel (MAN)

236

Antitrust: Commission fines truck producers € 2.93 billion for participating in a cartel* The European Commission has found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF broke EU antitrust rules. These truck makers colluded for 14 years on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of (...)

European Commission The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a technology company suspected of imposing restrictions on device manufacturers and mobile network operators (Google Android)

159

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Google on Android operating system and applications* The European Commission has informed Google of its preliminary view that the company has, in breach of EU antitrust rules, abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on (...)

European Commission The EU Commission accepts commitments proposed by an electricity provider in order to open up the Bulgarian wholesale electricity market (Bulgarian Energy Holding)

76

Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Bulgarian Energy Holding to open up Bulgarian wholesale electricity market* The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) to end competition restrictions on (...)

European Commission The EU Commission pursues its in-depth investigation on a merger in the mobile telecommunications services market without referral to the UK NCA (Hutchison / Telefónica UK)

65

Mergers: Commission continues investigation of Hutchison 3G /Telefónica UK merger without referral to UK* Commission does not refer investigation of Hutchison/Telefónica UK merger to UK The European Commission has decided not to refer the planned acquisition of Telefónica UKby Hutchison to the (...)

European Commission The EU Commission opens a formal investigation concerning undue tax benefits potentially granted by Luxembourg to a fast food restaurant chain (McDonald’s)

26

State aid: Commission opens formal investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s* The Commission has opened a formal probe into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s.Its preliminary view is that a tax ruling granted by Luxembourg may have granted McDonald’s an advantageous tax (...)

European Commission The EU Commission approves the acquisition of a data centre operator by rival subject to the divestment of a number of data centres in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt (Telecity / Equinix)

108

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Telecity by Equinix, subject to conditions* The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of data centre operator Telecity by rival Equinix subject to the divestment of a number of data centres in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt. The (...)

European Commission The EU Commission clears an acquisition on the markets of oil and gas exploration, the liquefaction of gas and the wholesale supply of liquefied natural gas (BG Group / Royal Dutch Shell)

77

Commission clears acquisition of BG Group by Royal Dutch Shell* The transaction was cleared as it will not grant Shell market power in oil and gas exploration, LNG liquefaction or LNG wholesale supply. Shell will also not be able to prevent competitors from using its gas infrastructure in the (...)

European Commission The EU Commission open an in-depth investigation concerning a merger in the market of small package delivery, freight forwarding and cargo transportation services (TNT / FedEx)

165

Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of TNT by FedEx* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of TNT Express by FedEx Corporation is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. Both companies are major (...)

European Commission The EU Commission partially refers a proposed merger to the Danish Competition Authority in the market of pig meat and clears the merger outside Denmark (Danish Crown / Tican)

23

Commission partially refers Danish Crown / Tican merger to Denmark’s competition authority; clears proposed merger outside Denmark* The European Commission has partially referred the proposed merger between Danish Crown and Tican to the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) at its (...)

European Commission The European Commission sends a statement of objection to five lead recycling companies suspected of participating in a purchasing cartel for scrap lead-acid batteries

84

Commission sends statement of objections to suspected participants in car battery recycling cartel* The European Commission has informed five lead recycling companies that it suspects them of having participated in a purchasing cartel for scrap lead-acid batteries, in breach of EU antitrust (...)

European Commission The European Commission launches a market test concerning the commitments proposed by an electricity provider operating on the Bulgarian wholesale electricity market (Bulgarian Energy Holding)

123

Commission market tests commitments by Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) concerning Bulgarian wholesale electricity market* The European Commission is inviting comments from interested parties on commitments offered by the State-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (BEH) to address competition (...)

European Commission The EU Commission opens an investigation on e-book’s distribution agreements concluded between several publishers and an electronic commerce company (Amazon)

147

Commission opens formal investigation into Amazon’s e-book distribution arrangements* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into certain business practices by Amazon in the distribution of electronic books ("e-books"). The Commission will in particular investigate (...)

European Commission Glossary: Withdrawal or abandonment of concentrations

88

According to the Commission Consolidated Jurisdictional Notice under Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings : "A concentration ceases to exist and the Merger Regulation ceases to be applicable if the undertakings concerned abandon the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Cross subsidisation

206

Cross subsidisation means that an undertaking bears or allocates all or part of the costs of its activity in one geographical or product market to its activity in another geographical or product market. Under certain circumstances, cross subsidisation in the postal sector, where nearly all (...)

European Commission Glossary: Clearance phase II (merger)

161

Phase II is an in-depth analysis of the merger’s effects on competition and requires more time. It is opened when the case cannot be resolved in Phase I, i.e. when the Commission has concerns that the transaction could restrict competition in the internal market. A phase II investigation (...)

European Commission Glossary: Clearance phase I (merger)

52

After notification of the merger the Commission has 25 working days to analyse the deal during the phase I investigation. More than 90% of all cases are resolved in Phase I, generally without remedies. A phase I review may involve the following: Requests for information from the merging (...)

European Commission Glossary: Boycott

78

A collective boycott occurs when a group of competitors agree to exclude an actual or potential competitor. This practice generally constitutes a restriction by object. © European Commission

European Commission Glossary: Agency agreement

97

An agent is a legal or physical person vested with the power to negotiate and/or conclude contracts on behalf of another person (the principal), either in the agent’s own name or in the name of the principal, for the: – purchase of goods or services by the principal, or – sale of goods or (...)

European Commission Glossary: Exclusive purchasing agreement

262

The Commission notice concerning Commission Regulations (EEC) No 1983/83 and (EEC) No 1984/83 of 22 June 1983 on the application of Article 85 (3) of the Treaty to categories of exclusive distribution and exclusive purchasing agreements defines exclusive purchasing agreement as follow : "In (...)

European Commission Glossary: Exclusive right

42

Commission Directive 2006/111/EC of 16 November 2006 on the transparency of financial relations between Member States and public undertakings as well as on financial transparency within certain undertakings defines exclusive rights as "rights that are granted by a Member State to one (...)

European Commission Glossary: Access to essential facility

60

«An undertaking which occupies a dominant position in the provision of an essential facility and itself uses that facility (i. e. a facility or infrastructure, without access to which competitors cannot provide services to their customers), and which refuses other companies access to that (...)

European Commission Glossary: Contrat d’agence

97

Un agent est une personne physique ou morale investie du pouvoir de négocier et/ou de conclure des contrats pour le compte d’une autre personne (le commettant), soit en son nom propre soit au nom du commettant en vue de: l’achat de biens ou de services par le commettant, ou de la vente de (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Joint venture

10313

Association of firms or individuals formed to undertake a specific business project. Under the EU competition rules, joint ventures are undertakings which are jointly controlled by two or more other undertakings. In practice joint ventures encompass a broad range of operations, from merger-like (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Cartel

23558

Arrangement(s) between competing firms designed to limit or eliminate competition between them, with the objective of increasing prices and profits of the participating companies and without producing any objective countervailing benefits. In practice, this is generally done by fixing prices, (...)

European Commission Glossary: Joint control

8625

Joint control exists where two or more undertakings or persons have the possibility of exercising decisive influence over another undertaking. Decisive influence in this sense normally means the power to block actions which determine the strategic commercial behaviour of an undertaking. Joint (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Brand competition

37095

Intra-brand competition Competition among distributors or retailers of the same branded product, be it on price or non-price terms. For example, a pair of Levi’s jeans may be sold at a lower price in a discount store as compared to a department store but often without the amenities in services (...)

European Commission Glossary: Damages

35

According to the Communication from the Commission on quantifying harm in actions for damages based on breaches of Article 101 or 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; "Infringements of Article 101 or 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Entry barriers

13934

Barriers to entry are factors which prevent or hinder companies from entering a specific market. Entry barriers may result for instance from a particular market structure (e.g. sunk cost industry, brand loyalty of consumers to existing products) or the behaviour of incumbent firms. It is (...)

European Commission Glossary: Periodic penalty payment

5518

The Commission may by decision impose periodic penalty payments in order to compel an undertaking to stop an infringement of competition rules in accordance with an earlier decision. In such a case, a daily amount is fixed which has to be paid for every day the infringement continues after the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Fine

12860

A monetary penalty imposed by a Commission decision on an see definition forundertaking for a violation of EC see definition forcompetition rules.See in particular: Article 15 of Regulation No 17 and Article 14 Merger Regulation. © European (...)

European Commission Glossary: Vertical agreement

14387

Agreement or concerted Practice entered into between two or more undertakings each of which operates, for the purposes of the agreement, at a different level of the production or distribution chain, and relating to the conditions under which the parties may purchase, sell or resell certain (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Tying or tied selling

10175

Commercial practice of conditioning the sale of one product on the purchase of another product. If tying is not objectively justified by the nature of the products or their commercial usage, such practice may restrict competition. Economic theory suggests that a firm which enjoys market power (...)

European Commission Glossary: Collecting society

5155

Association, which collects payments made by users of intellectual property rights for the holders of such rights. For instance, a radio station, playing a record for which a record company holds a copyright, has to pay a fee to a collecting society, which then transfers the payments to the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Services of general economic interest

10095

Services of an economic nature, the provision of which can be considered to be in the general interest. For example: basic, publicly accessible supply of energy, telecommunication, postal services, transport, water and waste disposal services. The Member States are primarily responsible for (...)

European Commission Glossary: Hard core restrictions

23881

Refers to restrictions of competition by agreements or business practices, which are seen by most jurisdictions as being particularly serious and normally do not produce any beneficial effects. They therefore almost always infringe competition law. Under EU law, the most prominent examples on (...)

European Commission Glossary: Ancillary restraints

22161

Restrictions on the parties to an agreement (including an agreement to form a concentration), which do not constitute the primary object of the agreement, but are directly related to and necessary for the proper functioning of the objectives envisaged by agreement. In the field of co-operation (...)

European Commission Glossary: International competition network (ICN)

5486

A project-oriented, consensus-based, informal network of antitrust agencies from developed and developing countries. The ICN serves to share experiences and exchange views on competition issues deriving from an ever-increasing globalisation of the world economy, as well as to encourage the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Absolute territorial protection

10629

Practice by manufacturers or suppliers relating to the resale of their products and leading to a separation of markets or territories. Under absolute territorial protection, a single distributor obtains the rights from a manufacturer to market a product in a certain territory and other (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Predatory pricing

14692

A (deliberate) strategy, usually by a dominant firm, of driving competitors out of the market by setting prices below production costs. If the predator succeeds in driving existing competitors out of the market and in deterring future entry of new firms, he can subsequently raise prices and (...)

European Commission Glossary: Concerted practice

30022

Co-ordination between undertakings which, without having reached the stage of concluding a formal agreement, have knowingly substituted practical co-operation for the risks of competition. A concerted practice can be constituted by direct or indirect contact between firms whose intention or (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Market power

21336

Strength of a firm on a particular market. In basic economic terms, market power is the ability of firms to price above marginal cost and for this to be profitable. In competition analysis, market power is determined with the help of a structural analysis of the market, notably the calculation (...)

European Commission Glossary: Buyer power

15868

Ability of one or more buyers, based on their economic importance on the market in question, to obtain favourable purchasing terms from their suppliers. Buyer power is an important aspect in competition analysis, since powerful buyers may discipline the pricing policy of powerful sellers, thus (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Dominant position

38212

A firm is in a dominant position if it has the ability to behave independently of its competitors, customers, suppliers and, ultimately, the final consumer. A dominant firm holding such market power would have the ability to set prices above the competitive level to sell products of an inferior (...)

European Commission Glossary: Complaint

4881

Request by a natural or legal person who claims a legitimate interest asking the Commission to investigate an alleged infringement of EU competition law and to bring it to an end. Formal complaints oblige the Commission to act (either to find that there is an infringement or to reject the (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Market share

9823

Measure for the relative size of a firm in an industry or market, in terms of the proportion of total output, sales or capacity it accounts for. In addition to profits, one of the frequently cited business objectives of firms is to increase market share. This is because market share, economies (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Merger

6990

A concentration arises either where two or more previously independent undertakings merge (merger), where an undertaking acquires control of another undertaking (acquisition of control), or where a joint venture is created, performing on a lasting basis all the functions of an autonomous (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Oligopoly

7355

A market structure with few sellers, who realise their interdependence in taking strategic decisions, for instance, on price, output and quality. In an oligopoly, each firm is aware that its market behaviour will distinctly affect the other sellers and their market behaviour. As a result, each (...)

European Commission Glossary: Nullity

3892

Under Article 101(1) TFEU agreements between undertakings which restrict competition and may affect trade between Member States are prohibited. According to Article 101(2) TFEU they are void unless they are exempted from the prohibition under certain conditions laid down in Article 101(3) TFEU. (...)

European Commission Glossary: Notification

7201

Formal information which firms provide to the Commission under EU merger law in certain situations. The Merger Regulation obliges undertakings to notify any concentration of Community dimension to the Commission on the basis of form CO, normally within one week of the conclusion of the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Single branding

14045

This term covers both non-compete obligations and quantity forcing. A non-compete obligation is an obligation or incentive scheme in a supply or distribution agreement which causes the buyer not to manufacture, purchase, sell or resell products which compete with the contract products or to (...)

European Commission Glossary: Interim measures

7159

Conservatory measures imposed on firms by the Commission in relation to a competition case, in which a final decision on the substance has not been reached yet, in order to avoid that anti-competitive behaviour leads to irreversible damage before being sanctioned. Interim measures may be taken (...)

European Commission Glossary: Remedies (antitrust)

9725

When the Commission decides to pursue a case, it will most likely adopt one of the following two types of decision. The first is formally to find an infringement pursuant to Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 on the implementation of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty ("Regulation (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Relevant market

32879

The definition of a relevant market is a tool to identify and define the boundaries of competition between firms. It allows to establish the framework within which competition policy principles are applied by the Commission. The main purpose of market definition is to identify in a systematic (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Bid rigging

23312

Particular form of co-ordination between firms which can adversely affect the outcome of any sale or purchasing process in which bids are submitted. For example, firms may agree their bids in advance, deciding which firm will be the lowest bidder. Alternatively, they may agree not to bid or to (...)

European Commission Glossary: Trustee

3991

A legal or natural person appointed in merger cases to oversee the implementation of commitments and to contribute to their implementation where required. The trustee is appointed by the parties who have offered commitments the Commission with the Commission’s approval. His powers and duties are (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Franchising

6567

A special type of agreement whereby one undertaking (the franchisor) grants to the other (the franchisee), in exchange for direct or indirect financial consideration, the right to exploit a package of industrial or intellectual property rights (franchise) for the purposes of producing and/or (...)

European Commission Glossary: Non-competition clause

16149

Contractual clause bringing about a direct or indirect obligation causing the parties to an acquisition agreement, or at least one of them, not to manufacture, purchase, sell or resell independently goods or services which compete with the contract goods or services. Such an obligation on the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Leniency (programme)

10395

General term for the total or partial reduction of fines applied to firms that co-operate with antitrust authorities in cartel investigations. The current leniency programme of the Commission is the 2006 Notice on immunity from fines and reduction of fines in cartel cases, as amended in 2015 . (...)

European Commission Glossary: Parallel trade (parallel imports)

17483

Trade in products which takes place outside the official distribution system set up by a particular firm. Through their own distribution system, firms may cause differences in prices for different countries, exploiting national differences in the behaviour of consumers. Parallel traders buy (...)

European Commission Glossary: De minimis notice

11507

Communication from the Commission clarifying under what conditions the impact of an agreement or practice on competition within the common market can in its view be considered to be non-appreciable, namely where the aggregate market share of the undertakings involved remains below certain (...)

European Commission Glossary: Exclusive distribution

21678

Distribution system, in which a company grants exclusive rights on its products or services to another company. The most common forms include single branding and/or exclusive territory rights, whereby a single distributor obtains the right to market a supplier’s product in a specific territory. (...)

European Commission Glossary: Selective distribution

30734

Distribution system whereby a supplier enters into (vertical) agreements with a limited number of selected dealers in the same geographic area. Selective distribution agreements, on the one hand, restrict the number of authorised distributors. On the other hand, they prohibit sales to (...)

European Commission Glossary: Effect on trade between member states

8294

Necessary condition for the application of EU antitrust rules. Articles 101 and 102 TFEU are only applicable if there may be a direct or indirect, actual or potential influence on the flow or pattern of trade between at least two Member States of the EU. An effect on trade exists in particular (...)

European Commission Glossary: Spill-over effects

9548

Side effects of an agreement or a merger between two or several firms which affect competition between them in another relevant market than the one covered by the agreement or the merger in question. Spill-over effects are referred to in Article 2(4) of the Merger Regulation, which concerns the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Commitments (or remedies)

9787

Proposal by the parties to a concentration to modify their originally notified project within a specified period (for example by divesting a business or assets). Such commitments must address the competition concerns raised by the Commission and restore competition in the relevant product and (...)

European Commission Glossary: Public undertaking

6814

An undertaking over which the public authorities directly or indirectly exercise dominant influence by virtue of their ownership, financial participation, or the rules which govern it. A dominant influence of public authorities is in particular presumed when they: a) hold the major part of the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Undertaking

10194

For the purpose of EU antitrust law, any entity engaged in an economic activity, that is an activity consisting in offering goods or services on a given market, regardless of its legal status and the way in which it is financed, is considered an undertaking. To qualify, no intention to earn (...)

European Commission Glossary: Exhaustion

3129

Intellectual property rights (IPRs) such as patents and trademarks give the developer certain exclusive rights over the exploitation of his work, such as in production and commerce. However, within the EU, the exclusive right cannot be used to artificially split up the common market along (...)

European Commission Glossary: Block exemption (regulation)

19240

Regulations, issued by the Commission or by the Council pursuant to Article 101(3) TFEU specifying the conditions under which certain types of agreements are exempted from the prohibition of restrictive agreements laid down in Article 101(1) TFEU. When an agreement fulfils the conditions set (...)

European Commission, OECD Competition Division Glossary: Extra-territoriality

5878

Term normally used to describe the exercise by a sovereign state of jurisdiction over foreigners in respect of acts done outside the borders of that state. One could say that - in a very broad sense - the EU applies its competition rules in an extra-territorial manner when it makes use of the (...)

European Commission Glossary: Essential facility

9753

Facility or infrastructure which is necessary for reaching customers and/or enabling competitors to carry on their business. A facility is essential if its duplication is impossible or extremely difficult due to physical, geographical, legal or economic constraints. Take for example a national (...)

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