Regulation93 lays down a regime specific to the automotive sector aimed at strengthening intra-brand competition.
In order to increase competition in the aftermarket, the Commission on 13 September adopted four commitment Decisions94 under Article 9(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 binding until May 2010 four car manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Fiat) to provide technical information about car repairs to all independent garages in the EU. Thereafter the vehicle emissions Regulation95 will place an obligation upon vehicle manufacturers to provide independent repairers with standardised access to all technical repair information.
After 2005 and 2006, 2007 was another year in which merger activity within the automotive industry to a large extent concerned the automotive supplier segment. One major merger involved the two German companies Continental AG and Siemens VDO Automotive AG. It was cleared by the Commission on 29 November96.
A number of State aids were addressed in 2007 under certain general State aid frameworks, such as the rules on regional and restructuring aid97. The Commission also examined the terms of privatisation of State-owned car manufacturers. In the case of Automobile Craoiva, a Romanian car plant (formerly Daewoo Craoiva), the Commission opened the formal investigation procedure under Article 88(2) EC as the conditions attached to the privatisation appeared liable to confer an advantage on the undertaking undergoing privatisation98.
Competition policy in the transport sector aims to ensure the efficient functioning of markets which have been recently or which are in the process of liberalisation.
In the area of road transport international markets are largely liberalised for both passenger and freight. National road haulage is also liberalised through a Council Regulation on cabotage99 while national passenger markets are still largely protected. In applying State aid rules to this segment the Commission maintained its policy of approving aid in order to favour the uptake of cleaner technology, in particular on old vehicles100. With regard to the application of public procurement and State aid rules to public service contracts and public service concessions, a revised Regulation for
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Commission Regulation (EC) No 1400/2002 of 31 July 2002 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector (OJ L 203/30, 1.8.2002). See e.g. Commission Decision of 13.9.2007 relating to a proceeding pursuant to Article 81 of the EC Treaty (Case COMP/39.140, DaimlerChrysler) (OJ L 317, 5.12.2007, p. 76). Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information (OJ L 171, 29.6.2007, p. 1). Case COMP/M.4878, Continental/Siemens VDO, Commission Decision, 29.11.2007. See 1.4.2. above. Case C 46/2007, Privatisation of Automobile Craoiva, Romania (OJ C 248, 23.10.2007, p. 25). Council Regulation (EEC) No 3118/93 of 25 October 1993 laying down the conditions under which non-resident carriers may operate national road haulage services within a Member State, OJ L 279, 12.11.1993, pp. 1–16. Commission Decision N 649/06, OJ C 139, 23.6.2007, p. 13.