Competition

Click here for a Speech by Neelie Kroes European Commissioner for Competition Policy at a Meeting with the European Economic and Social Committee, Internal Market Section Brussels, 9 September 2009. She highlighted recent competition developments.

State Aid

The Commission has again published an overview of national measures adopted as a response to the financial/economic crisis. Click here for further information.

UK Competition

UK merger fees is increasing from £15,000 to £30,000 for mergers where the business acquired has turnover of less than £20 million, from £30,000 to £60,000 where the turnover is between £20 million and£70 million, and from£45,000 to £90,000 for larger acquisitions. The OFT has cleared the completed acquisition by Otis Limited of Advance Lifts (Holdings) Limited.

The Competition Commission formally cancelled its inquiry concerning the anticipated acquisition by RMIG Limited of Ash & Lacy Perforators Limited. The CC has received assurances from RMIG Limited that the proposed acquisition has been abandoned.

Financial Services

The European Court of First Instance dismissed an action by Clearstream against a Commission decision of June 2004. The Commission found that Clearstream Banking and its parent company abused their dominant position by refusing to supply certain clearing and settlement services to one of its customers (Euroclear Bank SA), and by applying discriminatory prices to that same customer. The Court of First Instance upheld the Commission’s decision in its entirety, both as regards the finding of a dominant position and the finding of a violation of Article 82. This judgement is important because it confirms the special responsibilities of dominant service providers for not impairing the provision of efficient and cheaper services in a market where the costs of cross-border securities transactions continue to be higher than for national ones within the Single Market.

Communications/IT/Media

The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control by Bertelsmann AG of Germany and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LLP of the US over a newly created music publishing and rights management venture, which would in turn acquire music publishing assets from Crosstown Songs America LLC of the US.

Energy

Click here for a Speech by Andris Piebalgs Energy Commissioner, Energy policy: at the heart of climate change action, Speech at the conference “Nordic Climate Change Solutions” Copenhagen, 9 September 2009.