December 1998

Anticompetitive practices

The European Commission fines a price fixing cartel implemented by ferry operators (Greek Ferries)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
"Decision of the Commission dated 9/12/98 in case IV/34.466-Greek Ferries"* The facts Following receipt of a complaint from a member of the public, the Commission carried out investigations without prior warning at the offices of ferry operators, in Greece and in Italy in July 1994. Strong (...)

Mergers

The European Commission approves, subject to divestiture, an acquisition in the engineering sector (ABB/Elsag Bailey Process Automation)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* In many ways typical of the new power to accept formal undertakings to remedy competition problems at Phase I was ABB/Elsag Bailey Process Automation NV. This concerned the acquisition by the ABB engineering and technology group of Elsag (...)

The European Commission addresses the issue of spill over effects of a merger in a case concerning the creation of a joint venture in the broadcasting sector (Canal+/CDPQ/BankAmerica)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* In Canal+/CDPQ/BankAmerica, the spill-over effects were found on a market upstream from the joint venture. The joint venture itself concerned pay-TV in France; but competition problems were found to result in the market for the (...)

The EU Commission opens a detailed enquiry into a proposed joint venture between two of the world’s largest telecommunications operators (British Telecom / AT&T)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* The Commission decided to open detailed enquiry into a proposed joint venture between British Telecom and the US firm AT&T, two of the world’s largest telecommunications operators. The joint venture will provide a broad range of (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission does not approve illegal aid to chemical company granted by the German government and orders its recovery (Riedel-de Haën)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Germany - Commission does not approve illegal aid to the firm of the chemical sector Riedel-de Haën and asks for repayment"* The European Commission has not authorised state aid measures already granted by Germany to Riedel-de Haën on its investment in a residue processing plant. Germany (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court concluded to absence of State aid in case of an open and non-discriminatory tendering privatisation procedure (CIC/SG-BNP-CCF)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État, Assemblée), 18 December 1998, Société Générale, Banque Nationale de Paris, Crédit Commercial de France v. Ministre de l’économie, des finances et de l’industrie, Case n° 197175 The liberalization of the bank sector in the European Union initiated (...)

The European Commission authorizes two measures proposed by the Swedish government in favor of professional training and employment, considering that such measures do not constitute state aid
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Sweden - Measures in favour of employment and in favour of training"* On December 16, the Commission has authorised two measures proposed by the Swedish government in favour of professional training and employment, considering that such measures do not constitute state aid. The aim of the (...)

The European Commission considers aid compensating for damage caused by extreme heavy rain in the Netherlands compatible with the common market
DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Netherlands. – The Commission considered aid compensating for damage caused by extreme heavy rain in The Netherlands compatible with the common market"* On December 9th the European Commission decided to consider the aid measure compensating for the damage caused by extreme heavy rain on (...)

Procedures

The EU Commission adopts a new regulation on the hearing of parties in certain proceedings under Art. 85 and 86 of the EC Treaty (Regulation (EC) n°2842/98)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"New procedures for anti-trust cases: hearings, and notification of transport cases"* Background One of the underlying objectives of the current legislative activities of the Commission is to modernise, simplify and make more user-friendly the procedures under which competition cases are (...)

The Maltese Commission for Fair Trading decided that a complainant can not raise matters that were not included within the original complaint before the Office of Fair Competition (M. Vending / Austria Tabak)
King’s College (London)
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Superior Courts of Malta
In the present case the Maltese Office of Fair Competition had received a complaint in June 1996 concerning the sale of cigarettes through automatic vending machines. The Office investigated the complaint, and concluded that there was no infringement of the 1994 Act with the result that the (...)

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