European Union DG COMP report for FY 2013

The European Commission just published its 2013 competition policy report, commending its own initiatives and their effect on the internal market.

Spoiler alert: according to the horse’s own mouth, the Commission has found that its competition-law accomplishments (cartels/antitrust enforcement, merger control, the EU-specific notion of state aid, etc.) were stellar.  The EU internal market is now — 10 years into the EC’s antitrust regulation no. 1/2002 — a model of competitiveness, according to the Report, available here in PDF.

The Report takes a slightly different tack from prior years, focussing more on IP issues (FRAND, SEPs, yet still no mention of Non-practicing Entities (NPEs)/patent trolls).  It also revels in legislative “milestones,” both historical and current:

2013 saw two important milestones for EU competition policy. Firstly, Regulation 1/2003, when adopted, ushered in a new era in the enforcement of EU antitrust rules and has now, a decade later, led to a stocktaking and reflection for further improvements. Secondly, on 11 June, the Commission adopted a Proposal for a Directive on antitrust damages actions – a long-awaited measure by stakeholders and a policy priority for the current Commission.

Report: Bundeskartellamt releases 2-year antitrust enforcement statistics

The Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office) has released its “Tätigkeitsbericht 2011/2012” (a summary report of its most recent two-year activity).

What stands out to me is that the BKartA/FCO initiated only 28 second-phase reviews of notified mergers in 2011 and 2012 (out of 1108 and 1127, respectively). That’s merely 1.25% of in-depth reviews. 6 proposed deals were prohibited and 2 allowed with “strict conditions imposed.”

On the cartel front, the agency found infringements in 34 cases, yielding fines of 190m and 360m Euros in 2011 and 2012, respectively.  By far the highest fine was doled out in the rail track cartel, amounting to 124.5m Euros thus far (with further investigation in related markets ongoing).

The Bundeskartellamt also investigated 67 abuse-of-dominance cases and initiated several sectoral inquiries, as well as pushing forward its central “gasoline price transparency” project.