CARTELS

European Commission sends Statement of Objections to suspected participants in smart card chips cartel. On 22 April 2013, the European Commission (Commission) announced that a statement of objections (SO) has been formally issued to a number of smart card chip suppliers (IP/13/346). The SO sets out the Commission’s preliminary view that the suppliers have agreed or coordinated their behaviour in order to maintain prices contrary to Article 101 TFEU. Initial settlement discussions with the suppliers were discontinued due to lack of progress according to the Commission (Case Number 39574).

UK ANTITRUST

Animal Feed Phosphates damages claim stay extended by CAT. The Competition Appeal Tribunal has extended the stay of a follow-on damages claim brought by Moy Park Limited and others against Tessenderlo Chemie N.V. for damages related to the Animal Feed Phosphates cartel (COMP/38866) (Case No: 1202/5/7/12, Moy Park Limited & Others v Tessenderlo Chemie NV) (see Volume 1, Edition 22).

EU MERGERS

Commission opens Phase II investigation into proposed acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines. On 23 April 2013, the Commission opened an in-depth (Phase II) investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into the proposed acquisition of Olympic Air by Aegean Airlines (M.6796). The Commission has concerns that the proposed transaction, which involves the two main Greek airlines offering passenger air transport services, may lead to price increases on certain domestic Greek routes out of Athens. Commitments proposed by Aegean during Phase I were considered insufficient to address the Commission’s concerns. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 3 September 2013, to take a decision on whether the proposed transaction would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA (IP/13/361).

Phase I Clearance

  • M.6892Bridgepoint and Orlando / Bergamotto / Vima Due (19.04.2013) (simplified procedure).
  • M.6871Mohawk Industries / Spano Invest (23.04.2013)
  • M.6893Carl Zeiss / Carl Zeiss Vision (24.03.2013) (simplified procedure).

New Phase II Investigation

  • M.6796Aegean / Olympic II.

PUBLICATIONS/SPEECHES

Speech by the Vice President of DG COMP, Joaquín Almunia. The evolutionary pressure of globalisation on competition control (SPEECH/13/360, 24/04/2013).

UK Competition Commission publishes 2013/14 business plan (Press Release).

Libya

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 364/2013 (OJ L 111/25, 23.04.2013) amending Regulation (EU) No 204/2011 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Libya. The Implementing Regulation removes one person from Annex III.

Syria

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 363/2013 (OJ L111/1, 23.04.2013) amending Regulation (EU) No 36/2012 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Syria. The Implementing Regulation removes one person from Annex II.