December 1998

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Commission fines a price fixing cartel implemented by ferry operators (Greek Ferries)
Hellenic Competition Commission (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 EU Commission approves, subject to divestiture, an acquisition in the engineering sector (ABB / Elsag Bailey Process Automation)
European Commission - 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 EU Commission addresses the issue of spillover effects of a merger in a case concerning the creation of a joint venture in the broadcasting sector (Canal+ / CDPQ / BankAmerica)
European Commission - 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)
European Commission - 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)
European Commission - 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 finds no State aid in case of an open and non-discriminatory tendering privatisation procedure (CIC / SG-BNP-CCF)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The liberalization of the bank sector in the European Union initiated various market restructuring, mergers and privatizations. In the case at hands, the French State decided to transfer to the private sector its majority participation in the bank “Compagnie Financière de C.I.C. et de l’Union (...)

The EU 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
European Commission - 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 EU Commission considers aid compensating for damage caused by extreme heavy rain in the Netherlands compatible with the common market
European Commission - 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 notification of transport cases
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - 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 EU Commission adopts a regulation on the hearing of parties in certain proceedings under Art. 85 and 86 of the EC Treaty
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - 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 EU Court of Justice applies the reasonable time rule and reduces fine imposed by the Commission on producers of welded steel mesh for anticompetitive agreements (Baustahlgewebe)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
THE COURT OF JUSTICE APPLIES "REASONABLE TIME" RULE AND REDUCES FINE IMPOSED ON COMPANY The Court of Justice considered that a reduction by ECU 50 000 of a fine of ECU 3 million imposed on an undertaking for breach of the competition rules constituted a "fair satisfaction" for the excessive (...)

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 (Valletta)
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 (...)

Regulatory

The EU Commission exempts manufacturing agreements and sale agreements of seeds protected by plant breeders’ rights in France (Sicasov)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission exempts from standard agreements the production and sale of seeds protected by plant breeders’ rights in France*. 1. On December 14, 1998, the Commission adopted a decision which exempts, under Article 85(3) of the EC Treaty of the EC Treaty from the standard agreements for the (...)

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