The European Court of Justice has dismissed an appeal by Nexans against a EU Commission fine for a cartel, thereby clarifying that the Commission’s powers to conduct dawn raids are not to be interpreted narrowly. In other news, the Swedish government has proposed legislation to prohibit foreign takeovers and the SCA has voiced its support of another government proposal to reform competition among medical providers, a published study has found that innovation and growth-targeted grants are inefficient, and two online hotel booking agencies will continue their voluntary commitments on contract terms.
The EU Commission has approved Mastercard’s acquisition of Nets’ account-to-account core infrastructure services after Mastercard committed to license the payment solution technology to a third party. In other news, the EU Commission has launched an in-depth investigation of if Poland’s state aid to LG Chem meets criteria in the regional aid guidelines. Copenhagen Economics has published a report suggesting more sector-specific regulation of postal services isn’t needed. The Swedish Competition Authority has decided to not investigate two companies allegedly abusing dominant positions.
The EU Commission has approved the proposed merger of leading train providers Alstom and Bombardier Transportation, subject to commitments including divestment of three train platforms. In other news, the Commission has opened an in-depth investigation of Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit due to numerous vertical concerns, the Commission is asking for feedback on revised regional aid guidelines and the SCA provided an update on its ongoing market study of digital platforms.
The General Court of the EU annuls the 2016 Commission decision that Ireland should claw back unpaid taxes from Apple, as the court finds that the Commission had failed to show that Apple had been granted a selective economic advantage. In other news, the EU Commission has fined a cartel of ethylene purchasers, approved the PKN Orlen – Lotos merger subject to a large package of commitments, and is seeking feedback on Aspen’s offer to reduce prices 73% on off-patent cancer medicines.
The Swedish Competition Authority has fined two retailers of design furniture for unlawfully coordinating their sales prices on bent furniture from the brand TON. In other news, the SCA has accepted a commitment on exclusive contracts by fitness aggregator Bruce. The EU Commission has cleared the AMS-OSRAM merger and has prolonged COVID-related State aid rules. An administrative court in Sweden has annulled a sanction fee for breaking cabotage rules.
The EU Commission has adopted a White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies, in order to put forward tools for addressing possible distortions in the internal market caused by foreign subsidies. The Commission has also opened two formal antitrust investigations of Apple and an in-depth-investigation of the proposed PSA-FCA-merger. In Sweden, SVOA will publish separate accounts to fulfill transparency and PTS has removed some conditions on Telia Company.
Ryanair has challenged the Swedish COVID-19-related State-Aid to airline SAS by suing the EU Commission at the Court of Justice of the European Union for its decision to approve a package of loan guarantees. In other news, the EU Commission has approved the Aurubis-Metallo merger, is asking for feedback on antitrust commitments by Broadcom, and is looking to take equity stakes in systemic companies. The Swedish Competition Authority argues no internal organization changes are necessary for it to be empowered to fine undertakings which break competition law.
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority has issued an invitation to the 5G-auctions in Sweden to be held later this year, and the auctions are designed to result in a market with at least 4 competitive actors. In other news, the EU Commission has approved the Upjohn-Mylan merger subject to conditions, and the Commission has approved Swedish State aid for SAS. The SCA has filed a court case against Sundsvall municipality for illegal procurement and will investigate the building materials sector in Sweden.
The EU Commission has approved Gategroup’s acquisition oftheEuropean business of Lufthansa Service Group subject to commitments to divest overlapping in-flight catering services. In other news, the SCA has decided to not investigate Tesla’s exclusive after-market services and PTS has suggested that municipality-owned entities should be allowed to provide broadband services in nearby areas. The Commission and the SCA have published further guidelines on issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The SCA has approved Gasum’s acquisition of some of Linde AG’s assets after a commitment to 3rd party access to the LNG-terminal in Nynäshamn, in what hasbeen described as a “phase-one-and-a-half-investigation”. The SCA has also approved the Easypark-‘SMS park’-merger on market entry possibilities and has filed a report evaluating 10 years of legislation against anti-competitive activities by public entities, PTS is ordering a railway construction to coordinate with Skanova, and the Commission has adopted a Temporary Framework for COVID-19 state aid.