EU Competition

Click here for a Speech by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition Policy, In defence of competition policy, Opening remarks at conference “Competition policy, growth and consumer purchasing power”, Brussels, 13th October 2008.

EU – Phase I merger notifications

The European Commission has extended its deadline for the Phase I review of the Galp Energia/ ExxonMobil deal by ten working days in order to access the remedies offered.

EU – State Aid

The European Commission has published a country-by-country overview of national rescue measures and deposit guarantee schemes. Click here for the table.

The European Commission has approved a Danish scheme aimed at restoring confidence in the Danish financial markets. The scheme would provide liquidity facilities for banks operating in Denmark and protect depositors and ordinary creditors in case of insolvency. The Danish authorities notified the measure on 8 October and it was approved within two days by the Commission under a new simplified procedure for emergency rescue measures.

The Irish authorities have submitted to the European Commission a number of clarifications and modifications to the scheme governing the guarantee issued by the Irish Government for deposits and debt issued by credit institutions. Click here for further information.

UK Competition

The OFT is to review undertakings given by Kemira and Terra that regulate the contractual supply of liquid carbon dioxide to Air Liquide UK Limited.

The Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2008 (SI 2008/2645) has been published, adding a new section 582D to the Enterprise Act 2002. “The interest of maintaining stability of the UK financial system” is now specified as a public interest consideration for the purposes of public interest intervention notices and special merger public interest notices.

Competition: Member States

Germany: The Bundeskartellamt has closed the proceedings against six of the 35 regional gas suppliers involved in a pricing investigation. The companies agreed to a customer compensation programme valued at €55m.

France: The Conseil de la Concurrence has confirmed receipt of two complaints from Bouygues Telecom. The complaints challenge an agreement between Apple and mobile operator Orange.

European Courts

Click here for the Court Diary until 15 November.

Financial Services

The European Commission has published a proposal revising the current rules governing the conditions for issuing electronic money in the EU. Electronic money is the electronic alternative to cash, which enables users to store funds on a device (card or phone) or through the Internet and to make payment transactions. Examples include electronic purses, such as Proton in Belgium and Chipknip in the Netherlands, and web-based services such as PayPal. Click here for further information.

Click here for a Speech by Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, European Private Company, Conference on the European Private Company, Paris, 10 October 2008.

Energy

The EU Energy Ministers reached an agreement on the Commission’s 2007 legislative package for the EU electricity and gas market. Click here for further information.

A generator and a trader of renewable energy have filed a complaint with the European Commission against Germany, the UK, Poland and Sweden, according to The European Federation of Energy Traders. The complainants allege restrictions to free trade in goods and services within the EU.