The following has been reported in the newspapers referred to below: 

  • French-based energy company Suez SA has acquired a 33% stake in Spanish water utility Aguas de Valencia SA for €135m (WSJE, October 16, 2007, p. 4) 
  • French car-equipment maker Valeo SA has announced that it will sell its wiring-harness business to German automotive supplier Leoni AG for €255m (WSJE, October 17, 2007, p. 8) 
  • Italy’s largest insurer Generali is in talks with PPF Investments, the Czech-based private equity arm of the Czech financial group PPF Group, to acquire a 49% stake in an investment vehicle that owns a minority holding in Russian-based insurer Ingosstrakh (FT, October 17, 2007, p. 21) 
  • The following concentration has been cleared by the European Commission: 
    • T-Mobile/Orange (Provision of mobile telephony services and operation of mobile telephony network) (OJ C 243, 17 October 2007, p. 1)

State Aid

  • United Kingdom — State aid C 23/07 (ex N 118/07) — Vauxhall Motors Ltd (car manufacturer) — Training aid for Ellesmere Port — Invitation to submit comments pursuant to Article 88(2) of the EC Treaty (OJ C 243, 17 October 2007, p. 4)


  • On October 18, 2007, the European Commission is expected to unveil a communication on the EU’s ports policy. One of the main aims of the communication would be to stress the need for undistorted competition and for clarification for investors and port users (Europolitics, October 17, 2007, p. 1) 
  • The European Commission has issued a decision addressed to French-based bank cards association Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, in which it concludes that the latter has infringed EC Treaty rules prohibiting practices which restrict competition (Article 81). The European Commission concludes that Groupement des Cartes Bancaires adopted price measures hindering the issuing of cards in France at competitive rates by certain member banks of the group, thereby keeping the price of payment cards artificially high to the benefit of major French banks (RAPID, October 17, 2007) 
  • On October 17, 2007, the European Commission decided to take legal action against Spain for failure to respect European legislation on road charging when applying excessively high discounts on motorway tolls. Spain has introduced discounts of up to 50% for those heavy goods vehicles that frequently use its motorways. The European Commission believes that these excessive discounts for road usage favor mainly domestic haulers, violate the principle of non-discrimination and distort competition (RAPID, October 17, 2007)