Commission seeks feedbacks to take them into account in its analysis of Google's commitment proposals

Google has made proposals to try to address the European Commission's four competition concerns. The Commission has concerns that Google may be abusing its dominant position in the markets for web search, online search advertising and online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA). Therefore, the Commission is seeking feedbacks on commitments offered by Google to address these competition concerns.

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Public consultation launched on how to make EU merger control even more business-friendly

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the proposal for simplifying procedures under the EU Merger Regulation. The proposed initiative is a technical reform within the existing framework of EU merger control as defined by the Merger Regulation. In particular, the Commission proposes to update the Notice on a simplified procedure for treatment of certain mergers.

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€561 million fine on Microsoft from the Commission for failing to comply with browser choice commitments

The European Commission has imposed a €561 million fine on Microsoft for failing to comply with its commitments to offer users a browser choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser. In particular, Microsoft failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012, according to the Commission.

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The Commission proposed new measures to keep Europe's space industry competitive

The European Commission proposed a new industrial policy for the European space sector, and to set up a European satellite collision avoidance system. With these measures, it intends to face the increasing competition from emerging industrial actors in countries such as China and India - competition posing a challenge to the further development of the EU's industry.

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The proposed takeover of the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus by Ryanair has been prohibited by the Commission

The European Commission announced the prohibition, on the basis of the EU Merger Regulation, of the proposed takeover of the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus by the low-cost airline Ryanair. The Commission concluded that the merger would have harmed consumers by creating a monopoly or a dominant position on 46 routes where, currently, Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete vigorously against each other.

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WTO found illegal China's anti-dumping duties on X-ray security scanners from the EU

A World Trade Organization panel report shows that China's anti-dumping duties on imports of X-ray security scanners from the EU were in breach of WTO anti-dumping rules. Thus, China will be expected to remove its anti-dumping duties on EU imports of X-ray security scanners, if the report is not appealed within 60 days.

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New LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy to increase the competitiveness of European maritime technology

The European Commission presented a strategy aimed at increasing the competitiveness of European maritime technology. The LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy's recommendations range from the wider use of EU instruments to foster new skills, competence and qualifications, to Public Private Partnerships for new maritime research, EIB funding opportunities and smart specialisation strategies in regional policy.

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Commission gathers opinions on the new competition rules for the assessment of technology transfer agreements

The European Commission launched a public consultation on its proposal for revised competition regime for technology transfer agreements. The Commission highlights that the proposal aims to update the current regime in order to strengthen incentives for research and innovation, facilitate the diffusion of intellectual property and stimulate competition. Replies to the consultations can be submitted until 17 May 2013.

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First step given for establishing a Unified Patent Court in the EU

The international agreement for establishing a Unified Patent Court (UPC) was signed on the 19th of February. According to the Council, the new court will avoid the occurrence of multiple court cases with regard to the same patent in different member states. Bulgaria is expected to sign in the coming days once internal procedures have been completed. Poland and Spain did not sign the agreement.

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Commission publishes a guide on how the EU rules apply in the fields of state aid, procurement and the internal market to …

The European Commission published an updated guide to explain how EU rules in the fields of state aid, public procurement and the internal market apply to services of general economic interest (SGEI). For instance, under the new rules, a public service compensation of an amount below €500,000 per undertaking over three years is deemed free of state aid.

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The Commission blocks the acquisition of TNT Express by UPS

UPS which is a US-based global provider of specialised transportation and logistics services proposed to acquire TNT Express, a Dutch company also active in the global logistics sector. Now, the European Commission prohibited the proposed acquisition because the take-over would have restricted competition in 15 Member States when it comes to the express delivery of small packages to another European country.

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MEPs voted for more freedom to choose utility services

The Internal Market Committee in the European Parliament voted to allow authorities to accept not just the lowest bid, but the "most economically advantageous tender" with regard to the "utility" services. The Committee highlighted that the new rules on utility service contracts should also aim to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to bid for them and to encourage innovation.

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