ahead, while allowing Distrigas as much flexibility as possible in managing its portfolio of contracts.
In June the Commission closed an infringement procedure under Article 226 EC against the Czech Republic which had limited the power of the Czech Competition Authority (Czech NCA) to apply Articles 81 and 82 EC to anti-competitive behaviour in the electronic communications sector9. Following a reasoned opinion in March10, the contested provision of the Czech Competition Act was repealed and EU competition rules can now be fully applied by the Czech NCA.
The acquisition of joint control of Endesa by Enel and Acciona was notified to the Commission on 31 May and cleared unconditionally on 5 July. However, when Enel and Acciona requested the approval of the Spanish Energy Regulator (CNE) for their acquisition, the CNE approved the transaction subject to several obligations. On 5 December, the Commission adopted a Decision based on Article 21 of the EC Merger Regulation11 declaring that the CNE decision, as partially modified, breached the said provision.
Shaping the rules and policy
To provide better guidance on jurisdictional questions in merger control, the Commission on 10 July adopted the Commission Consolidated Jurisdictional Notice under the Merger Regulation (the “Jurisdictional Notice” or the “Notice”)12. The Jurisdictional Notice replaces the four previous Notices from 199813 dealing with jurisdictional issues from 1998 under the previous Merger Regulation 4064/89. With the exception of referrals, the new Notice therefore covers, in one document, all issues of jurisdiction which are relevant for establishing the Commission’s competence under the Merger Regulation.
On 28 November, the Commission adopted Guidelines on the assessment of non- horizontal mergers under the Merger Regulation. Non-horizontal mergers include vertical mergers, such as the acquisition of a supplier by a customer (for example, a car manufacturer acquiring a gearbox supplier), and conglomerate mergers, which concern companies whose activities are complementary or otherwise related (for instance, a company producing razors buying a company producing shaving foam). The non-horizontal Merger Guidelines complement the existing Guidelines on
9 10 11 12
See Press Release IP/07/956, 28.6.2007. See Press Release IP/07/400, 23.3.2007. See IP/07/1858, 5.12.2007 and IP/08/164, 31.1.2008. Commission Consolidated Jurisdictional Notice under Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings. Currently, the Jurisdictional Notice can be found in
http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/mergers/legislation/draft_jn.html These are (i) the Notice on the concept of concentration (OJ C 66, 2.3.1998, p. 5); (ii) the Notice on the concept of full-function joint ventures (OJ C 66, 2.3.1998, p. 1); (iii) the Notice on the concept of undertakings concerned (OJ C 66, 2.3.1998, p. 14); and (iv) the Notice on calculation of turnover (OJ C 66, 2.3.1998, p. 25).