Competition

Commission to provide €171.7 million to Poste Italiane

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The European Commission has paid out nearly €172 million in compensation to Italy's Poste Italiane for its distribution of newspapers and publications from book publishers and non-profit organisations at reduced rates. As the country's largest provider of postal...

Amazon faces EU antitrust investigation

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The European Union is launching an antitrust probe into how Amazon uses data from independent retailers who use its marketplace as an intermediate platform. In a statement on Wednesday, the European Commission's top antitrust official, Margrethe...

Despite divisions over corporate tax policy, G7 takes unified stand against cryptocurrencies

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France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has urged the world’s biggest economies to reach a deal over a minimum corporate tax rate as France moves ahead with a unilateral tax dubbed GAFA (Google, Amazon,...

Washington to ease restrictions on Huawei’s US suppliers

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The U.S. is ready to ease restriction on Huawei, allowing US suppliers to continue trading with the Chinese company, Reuters reported on Monday. Since May, US authorities have barred Huawei from the US market, a...

Vestager to be reappointed Commissioner by new Danish PM Frederiksen

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Margrethe Vestager, Denmark’s Competition Commission is set to remain in Brussels for another five-year term, according to the country’s new prime minister, Mette Frederiksen. Vestager may not come from Frederiksen’s party, but the former political...

Aid for electricity production in Italy from renewables gets EU nod

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A scheme to support electricity production from renewable sources in Italy has been approved by the European Commission. Italy intends to introduce a new aid measure to support electricity production from renewable sources, such as...

Banks warn that online payment regulations threaten convenient services

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Europe’s lenders have warned the European Commission that the sector will not be prepared by a 14 September deadline to abide by new online payment regulations – the so-called Second Payment Services Directive – without...

EU’s Vestager blocks Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel merger

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The European Union's powerful antitrust authority blocked the merger of German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp with steel giant Tata in order to "avoid serious harm to European industrial customers and consumers” the European Commissioner for competition, Margrethe...

EU probes support into Lithuanian state energy incumbent

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Concerned that Lithuanian support for Lietuvos Energija may have unduly favoured the company and distorted competition in the EU market, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation to see the government’s decision to provide...

US sanctions may be too late to stop Nord Stream-2 construction

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US sanctions against the controversial Nord Stream-2 pipeline from Russia to Germany are unlikely stop the project’s construction but may prevent Russian gas monopoly Gazprom from using the pipeline at full capacity in the...

Russian oil: There may be gunk

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As Russia is in the process of removing contaminated oil from the Druzhba export pipeline, the real cost of damage to European refiners, time to remove tainted oil and restore exports as well as...

EU Court overturns decision on Real Madrid’s €18.4 million real estate deal

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The General Court of the European Union on 22 May overturned a decision issued in 2016 by the European Commission which ruled that Spanish football giants Real Madrid received €18.4 million in illegal aid from...

Commission slaps major banks with €1.07bn fine for spot FX cartels

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The European Commission has opted to impose a heavy fine on banking giants Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group for their participation in spot FX trading cartels. In...

EU clears acquisition of Dublin Waste-to-energy facility

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The European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of joint control over the Dublin Waste-to-energy facility of Ireland by DIF Infra 5 UK of the Netherlands, Green Investment Group Investments of the UK and Covanta...

Liberty House gets green light to take over ArcelorMittal’s Romania and Czech units

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The European Commission has approved Liberty House Group as a suitable purchaser of several ArcelorMittal steel plants under the EU Merger Regulation. Liberty House Group is a private group that is active in commodities, metals...

Car manufacturers to sue Nokia

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German car manufacturer Daimler, parts maker Continental, the French Valeo, and Bury Technologies are planning to file lawsuits against Nokia’s patent licensing practices. The campaign started by the German auto-manufacturer in March, which took the...

Irish scheme for renewable heat generation gets EU nod

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An Irish scheme to support the generation of heat from biomass and anaerobic digestion was approved by the European Commission on 15 April. The scheme is open to a wide range of heat users, namely...

UK labour market resilient as business confidence drops

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The British economy is increasingly reliant on retail for growth while productivity, manufacturing, and service output are falling. The British Gross Domestic Product grew by 1.4% in 2018 – the weakest in six years –...

EU fines GE €52 mln for providing incorrect info on LM Wind takeover

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US energy giant General Electric was fined €52 million by the European Commission on 8 April for providing incorrect information during the Commission's investigation under the EU Merger Regulation of GE's planned acquisition of...

Plans for Deutsche-Commerzbank merger fades

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The future of a merger between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank is to be decided on 9 April as the latter pushes for a quick decision at a time when the merger seems politically unpalatable and...

Commission says UK tax scheme gave unfair adnvantages to some

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The UK gave certain multinationals a selective advantage by granting them an unjustified exemption from UK anti-tax avoidance rules, which is illegal under EU state aid rules and the UK must now recover the...

Denmark keeps its route options open on Nord Stream-2

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The Danish Energy Agency has requested from the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline an environmental assessment of the alternative southern route further south of Bornholm in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) but not the...

EU imposes €12.5 million fine on Nike for football merchandise sales restrictions

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The European Commission has imposes a fine of €12.5 million on Nike after it prevented the free sale in European of popular football merchandising, said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The illegal practices took place between...

Google receives another €1.49 billion EU fine

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For the third time in two years, tech giant Google was hit with a hefty fine for abusing its market position, European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said as she explained that the company will be fined...

Georgia is an investor’s graveyard masquerading as a business utopia

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For over four years, we, the American investors of Iconia Capital LLC, have had our construction business halted by powerful extra-legal and corrupt influences in the Republic of Georgia. Since starting our first project...

Polish LNG terminal regasification capacity increase cleared by the EU

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Poland can move ahead with plans to support the increase of the regasification capacity from 5 to 7.5 billion cubic metres per year, as well the development of additional functionalities, of the LNG terminal...

E.ON’s proposed acquisition of Innogy raises EU competition concerns

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Under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Innogy by E.ON, the EU’s competition chief said. E.ON and RWE, which controls Innogy, are both...

Italy reaches bad loan deal with the European Commission

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Italy and the European Commission have agreed on the renewal of a state guarantee scheme aimed at facilitating the sales of bad bank loans. The former centrist Italian government had approved a scheme entitled Garanzia...

RWE’s acquisition of E.ON electricity generation assets gets EU nod

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The acquisition by German energy company RWE of E.ON's renewable and nuclear electricity generation assets will raise no competition concerns in the European Economic Area, the European Commission said on February 27. RWE and E.ON...

Spain cleared of providing unfair tax breaks to four football clubs by EU Court

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FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and two other Spanish football clubs will not have to repay tax benefits deemed undue by the European Commission after the cancellation of a decision by the EU General Court...

EU Commission blocks Siemens – Alstom deal amid competition concerns

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The European Commission has blocked Siemens' proposed acquisition of Alstom, a massive deal that had the backing of both the Frenc and German governments, saying the deal violated the EU's Merger Regulation as it...

The future of Georgia’s energy policy

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In 2014, Georgia signed an Association Agreement with the EU to implement the bloc’s policies for sustainable energy development. By signing the Agreement and joining the Energy Community, Georgia took on the obligation to...

Acquisition of Formosa I wind farm project cleared by the EU

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The European Commission said on February 4 that the EC has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of joint control over Formosa I International Investment Co., Ltd. (Formosa I) of Taiwan...

German government considers domestic stimulus package

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Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has called for new measures to be taken to stimulate the German economy after the government revised its 2019 growth forecast to 1%, down from 1.8% that had been previously projected...

Eight banks formed European government bonds cartel EU watchdog finds

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The European Union's antitrust authority said on January 31 that it has found and charged eight banks for operating a cartel while trading Eurozone government bonds between 2007 and 2012. The period in question was, according...

Polish aid to LG Chem’s electric vehicles batteries plant gets EU approval

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Poland’s €36 million investment aid to chemical company LG Chem for a new electric vehicle batteries plant in the Dolnoslaskie region is in line with EU State aid rules, the European Commission said on...

EU Commission hits Mastercard with €570m fine

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The European Commission has imposed a €570 million fine on Mastercard for "artificially increasing the costs of card payments to the detriment of EU consumers and traders". According to the bloc’s competition watchdog, Mastercard had...