EU Mergers

Phase I Mergers

  • M.7801 WABTEC / FAIVELEY TRANSPORT (4 October 2016)
  • M.7930 ABP GROUP / FANE VALLEY GROUP / SLANEY FOODS (7 October 2016)
  • M.8099 NISSAN / MITSUBISHI (5 October 2016)
  • M.8131 TELE2 SVERIGE / TDC SVERIGE (7 October 2016)
  • M.8153 WILMAR / BUNGE / BUNGE INDO-CHINA HOLDINGS (3 October 2016)
  • M.8156 CLAYTON DUBILIER & RICE / WM HOLDING / BUT (3 October 2016) 
  • M.8165 ENECO / ELICIO / NORTHER JV (5 October 2016)
  • M.8166 THOM / STROILI ORO (3 October 2016)
  • M.8170 CHEMCHINA / ADAMA (3 October 2016)
  • M.8183 AVNET / PREMIER FARNELL (7 October 2016)
  • M.8186 BC PARTNERS / KETER and JARDIN (3 October 2016)
  • M.8205 SEGRO / PSPIB / SELP / GLIWICE 5 LOGISTICS ASSET (3 October 2016)
  • M.8209 GLM / MULTICO / TORAY GROUP / TTC / JV (4 October 2016)

Phase II Mergers

  • M.7801 WABTEC / FAIVELEY TRANSPORT. On 4 October 2016, Wabtec Corporation’s commitment to divest the Faiveley Transport Gennevillier sintered brake business eased the European Commission’s (Commission) initial concerns of this merger. The Commission found their proposed divestments sufficiently mitigated their concerns about the reduction in competition in the braking and pantograph markets (where there are high technical and regulatory barriers to entry).


EU imposes provisional dumping duties on Chinese steel.

On 7 October 2016 the Commission made full use of the measures available in anti-dumping legislation (here and here), by imposing provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of 13.2% - 22.6% on hot-rolled flat steel and 65.1% - 73.7% on heavy plates of steel from China. The Commission’s findings confirmed that the Chinese steel was sold in Europe at heavily dumped prices, and these provisional duties will allow EU companies to return to profitability and reduce the damage caused. The Commission has six months to consider whether they will retroactively collect duties on the Chinese steel imported from August – October 2016, and whether they will continue to impose such duties for future imports of Chinese steel.

State Aid

Commission authorises Croatian bank resolution scheme.

On 5 October 2016, the Commission announced that the Croatian bank resolution scheme, which allows aid for small banks with assets below EUR 1.5 billion, is authorised under State aid rules. The scheme enables small banks to receive aid only if the national authorities believe the bank to be in distress, and such aid is to be the limited amount necessary to reach an orderly resolution for the bank. The Commission found the scheme to be in line with State aid rules on banking, noting in particular that the scheme would use the tools available within the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, as implemented under Croatian law.

UK Competition

High Court allows Servier to introduce defences to damages claim.

On 4 October 2016, the High Court handed down its judgment on an application to amend a defence brought by French pharmaceutical company Les Laboratoires Servier SAS (Servier), guarding against the action for damages being sought by the National Health Services of England, Wales and Scotland (NHS) from Servier pursuant to the Commission’s finding that Servier had abused its dominant position in the market by entering into patent settlement agreements with competitors. Servier argued that the NHS failed to mitigate their losses caused by Servier’s inflated pricing of the drug, Perindopril, and should have encouraged switching prescriptions to cheaper, generic forms of the medicine. Servier argues that this, in turn, amounts to contributory negligence thus breaking the chain of causation and therefore the damages claimed by the NHS are too remote. The High Court found that Servier’s defence was arguable as the NHS had not shown that Servier’s arguments had no realistic chance of success at trial.

UK Court hears not-for-profit rail-training accreditation body is an “undertaking” subject to EU competition rules.

On 6 October 2016 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) heard arguments by UKRS Training Limited (UKRS) that NSAR Limited (NSAR), a not-for-profit National Skills Academy for Rail which formally recognises companies providing training accreditation for rail-workers, should be considered an “undertaking” and, therefore, be bound by EU antitrust rules. The CAT is currently hearing a preliminary point to the claim which has been filed in the High Court by UKRS alleging that NSAR abused its dominant position when it suspended UKRS from providing training accreditation for national rail workers. UKRS is arguing that NSAR is an undertaking (a natural or legal person engaged in economic activity), and if the judge rules NSAR is indeed an “undertaking” (and, therefore, bound by EU antitrust rules) the case can proceed at the High Court. UKRS claim that the accreditation services provided by NSAR, that NSAR is remunerated for, “could in principle be provided by a profit-making company and historically have been”. They further argue NSAR is engaged in economic activity as NSAR “isn’t exercising powers given to it by the state”; it is exercising powers that have been “outsourced” by National Rail. NSAR however believe that as a not-for-profit organization currently operating at a loss and being supported by a government loan, they are not engaged in any economic activity. The court heard NSAR doesn’t take any “financial risks” and acts for the public benefit; NSAR argue that although UKRS’ suspension had an “economic effect” on the market, it does not automatically qualify as a competition case and should be fought instead in the “ordinary civil courts”.