Competition

19
jul

European competition regulators have pushed back a final decision on the proposed merger of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. AAMRQ +1.22% and US Airways Group Inc. LCC -0.16% until next month after the carriers offered concessions to gain approval for the deal. The proposed remedies weren't disclosed and the European Commission isn't viewed by analysts as a significant roadblock for the deal, which would create the world's largest airline. Meanwhile, in the U.S. the carriers have steered clear of discussing possible concessions as the transaction is reviewed by the Justice Department. The European Commission cleared without conditions the last two big U.S. airline mergers—those creating United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL +2.37% and an enlarged Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL +3.21% It has continued to probe the competitive impact of the three big marketing alliances that dominate trans-Atlantic travel, requiring some member carriers to give up takeoff and landing slots at congested airports. AMR and US Airways submitted their proposed concessions to the commission on Tuesday, and the executive branch of the European Union extended its provisional deadline to make a decision on the merger by 10 days to Aug. 6, according to Jean Paul Poitras, a lawyer at Latham & Watkins in Brussels ...

01
feb

The European Commission continued to flex its antitrust muscles on Wednesday, officially blocking U.P.S.’s $6.9 billion bid to buy the Dutch shipping company TNT Express. The decision was widely telegraphed after U.P.S. withdrew its offer this month, citing regulators’ resistance to the deal. On Wednesday, the regulators offered more insight into their reasoning, saying the combination of the two shipping companies would have resulted in a major reduction of choice for European customers. Article Tools FACEBOOK SAVE TWITTER E-MAIL GOOGLE+ PRINT SHARE PERMALINK Related Links Facing Resistance, U.P.S. Drops Bid for TNT Express (Jan. 14, 2013) Businesses based in Europe “would have been directly harmed by the takeover of TNT by U.P.S. because it would have drastically reduced choice between providers and probably led to price increases,” the European Union competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, said at a news conference. “We worked hard with U.P.S. on possible remedies until very late in the procedure, but what they offered was simply not enough to address the serious competition problems we identified.” The deal is the third Mr. Almunia has blocked since he took over the role of the region’s antitrust chief in February 2010. He previously stopped the merger of Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air, the two largest airlines in Greece, in January 2011. A year later, he ...

02
aug

The European Commission (EC) has approved United Technologies Corp.’s (UTC) proposed acquisition of Goodrich, but only if it sells some units, European Union antitrust regulators said Thursday The regulatory clearances require that UTC sell Goodrich's Electric Power Systems business and Goodrich's Connecticut-based Pumps and Engine Controls business, according to an EC statement. UTC will also sell Goodrich's interest in Aero Engine Controls (AEC), a joint venture with Rolls-Royce (RR). It should also offer RR an option to take over a technology research project to reduce fuel consumption in engines, which Goodrich was developing on its behalf, the commission ruled. The AEC aftermarket business, which was also a point of EC’s in-depth investigation, will remain with UTC, but RR will be able to purchase this aftermarket business in the future. Such remedies "ensure that competition and incentives to innovate remain strong in these high-technology markets," said EC, which opened an antitrust investigation on the proposed $16 billion deal in late March The EC concluded the merger would continue to face competition from a number of strong competitors and customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers. source: ATW, July 31, 2012

28
jul

The European Commission (EC) has approved United Technologies Corp.’s (UTC) proposed acquisition of Goodrich, but only if it sells some units, European Union antitrust regulators said Thursday The regulatory clearances require that UTC sell Goodrich's Electric Power Systems business and Goodrich's Connecticut-based Pumps and Engine Controls business, according to an EC statement. UTC will also sell Goodrich's interest in Aero Engine Controls (AEC), a joint venture with Rolls-Royce (RR). It should also offer RR an option to take over a technology research project to reduce fuel consumption in engines, which Goodrich was developing on its behalf, the commission ruled. The AEC aftermarket business, which was also a point of EC’s in-depth investigation, will remain with UTC, but RR will be able to purchase this aftermarket business in the future. Such remedies "ensure that competition and incentives to innovate remain strong in these high-technology markets," said EC, which opened an antitrust investigation on the proposed $16 billion deal in late March . The EC concluded the merger would continue to face competition from a number of strong competitors and customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers. source: ATW July 27, 2012

09
apr

Budget airline faces European commission investigation of its arrangements with Carcassonne airport in southern France The European commission has opened another flank in hostilities with Ryanair by announcing an investigation of the financial arrangements between the budget airline and Carcassonne airport in France. The inquiry follows similar scrutiny of affairs at a number of other European airports dealing with Ryanair and other low-cost airlines. The investigations are looking at whether subsidies given to the airports and marketing agreements with airlines breach EU rules on state aid. Carcassonne airport, owned by the Languedoc-Roussillon region, served just under 400,000 passengers in 2010, virtually all Ryanair’s. The commission says it "has doubts" whether public subsidies of at least €11m (£9.1m) between 2000 and 2010 for infrastructure projects at the airport were necessary and proportionate. Another €8m was given for operational activities. Meanwhile, the commission said, the airport gave Ryanair marketing support and discounts that "could give the airline an undue economic advantage". Ryanair has in the past withdrawn services from a French regional airport, Angoulême, when local authorities refused to continue subsidies. The commission has recently also opened investigations into arrangements between Ryanair and airports in Germany and Austria. In 2004 it ordered Ryanair to repay funds from Belgian ...