November 1998

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Court of Justice states that a decision granting exemption to a selective distribution system cannot be regarded as being of individual concern to an undertaking which has not participated in the administrative procedure (Kruidvat)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Case C-70/97 P Kruidvat BVBA v Commission of the European Communities A decision granting exemption to a selective distribution system cannot be regarded as being of individual concern, within the meaning of the fourth paragraph of Article 173 of the Treaty, to an undertaking in competition (...)

The EU Commission finds that a "beer tie" agreement between a pub landlord and brewer does not fall within article 85(1) (Greene King / Roberts)
CEG Europe (London)
"Greene King / Roberts"* Mr and Mrs Roberts operate a pub owned by Greene King. They complained in May 1997 to the European Commission asking the Commission to conclude that the beer tie (the obligation to buy most beer they sell only from Greene King, their landlord-brewer) in their lease (...)

Unilateral Practices

The EU Court of Justice holds that refusing access to a rival for a newspaper home delivery service does not amount to an abuse of a dominant position (Oscar Bronner)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Case C-7/97 Oscar Bronner GmbH&Co. KG v Mediaprint Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlag GmbH&Co. KG and Others 1. It is for the national courts alone which are seised of the case and are responsible for the judgment to be delivered to determine, in view of the special features of each (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission clears, subject to remedies, a merger between Swedish and Finnish companies creating the largest integrated paper and board group in the world (Enso / Stora)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* In Enso/Stora, the Commission’s initial analysis suggested that oligopoly issues were likely to arise. The merging parties – Enso of Finland and Stora of Sweden, would together make the largest integrated paper and board group in the (...)

The EU Commission clears, subject to remedies, a concentration in the markets for concrete and cement (Skanska / Scancem)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Mergers : Recent Developments and Important Decisions"* In (Skanska/Scancem) the Commission’s investigation focussed on the markets for cement and concrete (both dry and ready-mixed) and concrete products in Sweden, Finland and Norway. The combined market shares produced by the merger were in (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority prohibits a merger in the telecommunications sector (Matav / Jasz-tel)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
"HUNGARY : MATÁV / JÁSZ-TEL"* The Hungarian Telecommunication joint stock company (hereinafter: MATÁV) notified to the Competition Office its intention of acquiring control over JÁSZ-TEL Telecommunications Developing and Servicing joint stock company (hereinafter: JÁSZ-TEL) by buying 95 per cent of (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission issues a report on services of general economic interest in the banking sector
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Report on services of general economic interest in the banking sector"* At its meeting in June 1997 in Amsterdam the European Council adopted a Declaration on «Public credit institutions in Germany« mentioning the possibility that «services of general economic interest« might exist also in the (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court welcomes actions claiming release or reimbursement of a tax financing a State aid in case of absence of notification of the statute setting up the tax (CNIH)
University of Aix-Marseille
Background It is settled case law that the implementation of the system of supervising State aid is a matter for both the Commission and, having regard to the direct effect of the last sentence of article 88 (3) EC, the national courts. The European Court of Justice ruled in two historical (...)

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