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Please note that, due to the closure of the Commission and other European Institutions over the summer period, the next Brussels Brief will be sent on
Competition: Commission Sends Statement of Objections Over Banana Cartel
The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections (SO) to six companies alleging their participation in a cartel for the sale of bananas. The Commission suspects that market leaders such as
Competition: British Airways Fined For Price Fixing by UK and US Competition Authorities
Unprecedented parallel antitrust investigations by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have left British Airways with fines totalling £270 million (£121.5 million from the OFT and US$300 million from the DOJ). In the first case of its kind, the two competition authorities simultaneously brought action against British Airways for fixing fuel surcharges with Virgin Atlantic. The
Competition: Commission Investigates E.ON and Gaz de France for Suspected Market Sharing
The European Commission has initiated proceedings against the German energy group E.ON and the French gas company Gaz de France in relation to suspected market sharing. In particular, the allegations concern supplies of natural gas transported over the MEGAL pipeline which is jointly owned by E.ON and Gaz de France. The initiation of proceedings against E.ON and Gaz de France arises from information obtained during the inspection carried out by the Commission in May 2006. The alleged infringements, which are thought to have been an attempt by the companies’ to protect their home markets, will be investigated in depth in the course of the proceedings.
Competition: Proceedings Against Electricity Suppliers for Suspected Foreclosure
The European Commission has initiated proceedings against both Electrabel, the incumbent Belgian electricity company belonging to the French SUEZ group and EDF, the French electricity supplier, for allegedly abusing their dominant position on the market. The Commission believes that Electrabel and EDF introduced long term exclusive purchase obligations for industrial consumers, making it difficult for new entrant electricity suppliers to acquire these consumers. As a result, the development of a more competitive electricity market in
Environment: Commission Applies for Injunction to Stop Polish Road Construction in Protected Valley
Contact Philip Bentley
The European Commission has applied for an injunction before the European Court of Justice to prevent the construction of a road in the
State Aid: New Commission Regulation on State Aid for Fisheries Sector
On 24 July 2007, the European Commission adopted a Regulation increasing the de minimis ceiling for aid to the fisheries sector. The ceiling will be set at EUR 30,000 per three year period, per beneficiary, on the condition that the total amount of such aid represents less than 2.5 per cent of the annual national fisheries output. The previous level of aid, set at EUR 3,000 in 2004, was deemed to be very low and a higher level could be permitted without distorting competition. The trawling sector is likely to be the main recipient of de minimis aid. This new Regulation will apply until 31 December 2013.
NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS
Monday 6 August – Friday 10 August 2007
No Council meetings scheduled for next week.
COURT OF JUSTICE
Judicial vacation of the Court of Justice from
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
Judicial vacation of the Court of First Instance from