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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-04-09

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

09/04/99


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] La Commission autorise, sous conditions, l'acquisition de Guardian Royal Exchange par AXA
  • [02] Commission authorises acquisition of Mannesmann Handel AG by Thyssen Handelsunion AG
  • [03] Commission refers Rabobank-Beeck/Homann merger to the German Bundeskartellamt
  • [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition d'Ascend Communications par Lucent Technologies
  • [05] Commission approves the concentration SMS / Mannesmann Demag
  • [06] China WTO accession negociations - statement by Sir Leon Brittan
  • [07] Baisse des taux directeurs de la BCE
  • [08] Business and Consumer surveys for March 1999 : uncertainty among consumers concerning the economic outlook
  • [09] La zone euro affiche un excédent de 83,2 milliards d'euros avec le reste du monde en 1998 - 20,3 milliards d'euros pour l'UE15

  • [01] La Commission autorise, sous conditions, l'acquisition de Guardian Royal Exchange par AXA

    La Commission européenne a donné son feu vert à la concentration par laquelle le groupe d'assurances AXA acquiert le contrôle de la compagnie d'assurances Guardian Royal Exchange (GRE). La concentration concerne l'assurance vie et non-vie et n'aura qu'un impact limité sur les principaux marchés concernés (Royaume-Uni, France, Allemagne), excepté au Luxembourg où les liens directs préexistants entre GRE et le premier offreur en matière d'assurance non-vie (Le Foyer Assurances) ont été à l'origine de doutes initiaux, renforcés par les investigations. Afin d'éviter tout risque de création de position dominante, AXA a offert, dès la première phase d'instruction, des engagements résolvant clairement les problèmes de concurrence identifiés.

    [02] Commission authorises acquisition of Mannesmann Handel AG by Thyssen Handelsunion AG

    The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Mannesmann Handel AG, a company engaged in the distribution of, and trading in, steel products Thyssen Handelsunion AG, part of the Thyssen group. This concentration will neither create nor strengthen a dominant position, nor will it allow the parties to evade the ECSC competition rules.

    [03] Commission refers Rabobank-Beeck/Homann merger to the German Bundeskartellamt

    The European Commission has decided to refer the planned acquisition of the German delicatessen producer Fritz Homann Lebensmittelwerke GmbH (Homann) by Beeck Feinkost GmbH & Co KG (Beeck) to the German Bundeskartellamt for further examination. The Bundeskartellamt requested the referral of this case because of a risk of dominant position for Beeck/Homann on the German market for the production and distribution of prepared salads in food retail sales.

    [04] La Commission autorise l'acquisition d'Ascend Communications par Lucent Technologies

    La Commission européenne a autorisé l'acquisition d'Ascend Communications Inc. (Ascend) par Lucent Technologies Inc. (Lucent). Lucent et Ascend sont deux sociétés américaines présentes dans le domaine des équipements pour réseaux de communication. Lucent est principalement active dans les systèmes pour réseaux de télécommunication, et Ascend dans les solutions pour réseaux de données, et particulièrement les réseaux de grande étendue (Wide Area Neworks). La Commission est parvenue à la conclusion que l'opération ne crée ni renforce de position dominante que ce soit pour le produit ou le marché géographique en cause.

    [05] Commission approves the concentration SMS / Mannesmann Demag

    The European Commission has approved the intended acquisition of the control of the project engineering business of Mannesmann Demag (MDM) for the iron and steel industry by the Schloemann-Siemag AG (SMS). The concentration concerns mainly the area of hut and rolling mill technology. The Commission has decided, after careful examination of the potential impacts of this concentration, that this operation does not threaten to create or to strengthen a dominant position, because of the sufficient number of alternative suppliers, the strong buying power of steel producers and the increasing number of potential non-European competitors.

    [06] China WTO accession negociations - statement by Sir Leon Brittan

    "China and the United States (US) have announced that they have achieved significant progress on terms for China's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO). I wholeheartedly welcome this development. This will give powerful impetus to China's accession process. The European Union (EU) believes that China's accession to the WTO will benefit both the Organisation's member countries and China itself. The EU and the US have been pursuing very similar objectives in our negotiations with the Chinese. So the progress made in the negotiations between China and the US is good news. Nonetheless, for accessions to take place negotiations have to be concluded not only with the US but also with the other WTO members, including of course the EU. We will want to examine the details carefully, to look at the commitments that have been put forward by China. We will then need to complete our own negotiations with China, in order to see what extra commitments are required to ensure that the EU's legitimate commercial interests are properly safeguarded. I look forward to doing this in the weeks ahead on behalf of the EU, in particular when I visit China in May. It is the end game now. I am confident that with hard work and real commitment on all sides we can enter the final stretch of this important negotiation and bring it to a rapid and successful conclusion."

    [07] Baisse des taux directeurs de la BCE

    La Commission européenne prend note de la baisse des taux directeurs décidée par le Conseil des Gouverneurs de la Banque Centrale Européenne (BCE). Cette décision traduit une analyse de la situation économique européenne et mondiale en ligne avec celle formulée par les services de la Commission dans leurs dernières prévisions.

    [08] Business and Consumer surveys for March 1999 : uncertainty among consumers concerning the economic outlook

    Consumer confidence fell slightly in March. This was largely due to consumers' less optimistic views on the expected financial situation of households. However, the attitude towards making major purchases at present remains encouraging and improved in March. Managers in industry were also less optimistic in March. The industrial confidence indicator fell slightly in both the European Union and the euro-zone. This was largely due to the worsened assessments regarding the level of order-books. The downward revision of expected financial situation of households among consumers and the subdued outlook in industry contributed to a slight fall in the economic sentiment indicator in March.

    [09] La zone euro affiche un excédent de 83,2 milliards d'euros avec le reste du monde en 1998 - 20,3 milliards d'euros pour l'UE15

    (! embargo 12h !) La zone euro a enregistré un excédent commercial de 7,2 milliards d'euros avec le reste du monde au mois de décembre 1998. Ceci correspond à un excédent total de 83,2 milliards d'euros pour 1998 - en baisse de 5,2 milliards d'euros par rapport à 1997. Les échanges extra- Union européenne (UE15) ont dégagé un surplus de 3,7 milliards d'euros en décembre et un excédent de 20,3 milliards d'euros en 1998, alors que cet excédent était de 48,5 milliards d'euros en 1997. Ces chiffres sont publiés aujourd'hui par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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