EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 30 JULY

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 30 JULY
30 Jul 2018

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 30 JULY

Brussels Daily

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Trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand: Commission releases first negotiating proposals

As part of its ongoing transparency efforts, the Commission has today published reports from the first rounds of trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, as well as a set of EU text proposals covering 12 negotiating areas presented so far in the talks with Australia and 11 areas presented so far to New Zealand. Officials from the EU and Australia met in Brussels from 2 to 6 July 2018 for the first round of trade negotiations. Discussions were held in a very good and constructive atmosphere and demonstrated a shared commitment to negotiate an ambitious and comprehensive agreement. 17 working groups met covering almost all areas of the future trade agreement. The next round of talks is scheduled for November in Australia. The first round of negotiations for a trade agreement between the EU and New Zealand was held from 16 to 20 July 2018, also in Brussels. The discussions confirmed a high degree of coherence in both sides’ views in most of the negotiating areas. The next round will be held in New Zealand in autumn. For more information see the webpages on EU-Australia and EU-New-Zealand talks.

State aid: Commission approves Greek support mechanism for flexible power capacity

The European Commission has found the planned Greek mechanism to remunerate flexible electricity capacity to be in line with EU State aid rules. Under this mechanism, flexible power capacity providers such as gas-fired power plants, flexible hydro plants and, in a second stage, demand response and storage operators can obtain a payment for being available to generate electricity or, in the case of demand response operators, for being ready to reduce their electricity consumption. This flexibility in power capacity will allow the Greek transmission system operator (TSO) to cope with the variability in electricity production and consumption, in particular during evening hours, when decreasing solar energy generation coincides with increasing demand for electricity. To limit costs, the TSO will select the flexible capacity providers through competitive auctions, with a maximum tendered volume of 4,500 megawatts. The measure will apply until the end of 2019. The Commission concluded that the scheme will allow a smooth transition towards a reformed electricity market, which Greece committed to implement as part of the European Stability Mechanism support programme, while limiting distortions of competition in line with EU State aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register, under the case number SA.50152.

 

Mergers: Commission clears creation of joint venture by Reco, Frasers Property and JustGroup

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over JustCo Holdings Pte. Ltd, a newly created joint venture, by Reco Jedi Private Limited (‘Reco’), Frasers Property Ventures II Pte. Ltd.(controlled by Frasers Property Limited) (‘Frasers Property’) and JustGroup Holdings Pte. Ltd. All companies are based in Singapore. JustCo will be active in the development and management of co-working spaces. Reco is controlled by GIC (Realty) Private Limited, which holds real estate assets on behalf of the government of Singapore.  Frasers Property Limited owns, develops and manages a diverse, integrated portfolio of properties. JustGroup develops and manages co-working spaces. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because JustCo has no actual or foreseen activities within the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8996.

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of a number of Telenor companies by PPF Group

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control of Telenor Bulgaria EAD of Bulgaria, Telenor Magyarország Zrt., Telenor Real Estate Hungary Zrt., and Telenor Common Operation Zrt., all three of Hungary, Telenor d.o.o. Podgorica of Montenegro, and Telenor d.o.o. Beograd of Serbia (together, the “Telenor companies”) by PPF Group N.V. of the Netherlands. The Telenor companies are active as mobile operators in their respective countries. PPF group is a large multinational finance and investment group focussing on a number of industries, including the telecommunications sector in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, through its portfolio company O2 Czech Republic a.s.. The Commission found that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns. First, it would not give rise to horizontal overlaps, as the companies’ activities are confined to the different territories in which they hold their respective telecommunication licenses. In addition, the Commission found that the vertical links between the upstream markets for wholesale international roaming and wholesale mobile and fixed call termination services and the downstream markets for retail mobile and fixed telecommunications services arising from the transaction would be unproblematic. Therefore, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8883.

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Freixenet by Henkell

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Freixenet S.A. of Spain by Henkell International GmbH, controlled by Dr. August Oetker KG of Germany. Freixenet and Henkell are producers and suppliers of sparkling wine active across the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as worldwide. The Commission found that the companies’ activities are, to a large extent, geographically complementary, hence, in most EEA countries, the transaction would not affect the market structure. In other countries, where the market shares of both companies are more significant, the Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the presence of several alternative competitors. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8880.

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Casual Dining by KKR

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Casual Dining Bidco Limited of the UK by KKR & Co. Inc. of the US. Casual Dining operates restaurants in the UK and outside the European Economic Area. KKR is a global investment firm which offers a broad range of alternative asset management services to public and private market investors and provides capital markets solutions to the firm, its portfolio companies and its clients. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the very limited impact that the transaction would have on the market. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9009.

 

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