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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 98-07-08

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

08/07/98


CONTENTS / CONTENU

[I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

  • [01] La Commission autorise la fusion entre WorldCom et MCI sous réserve de conditions
  • [02] Commission publishes its conditions for approving the British Airways/American Airlines and the Lufthansa/SAS/United Airlines air alliances
  • [03] La Commission agit pour réduire la pollution de l'atmosphère par les grandes installations de combustion
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [04] Commission clears a joint venture between Maersk Air and Luftfartsverket
  • [05] La Commission autorise la concentration entre Halliburton et Dresser dans le domaine des services aux chantiers de forage
  • [06] Commission authorizes the acquisition of Echlin Inc. by Dana Corp.
  • [07] Mario Monti welcomes London/Frankfurt bourse link as concrete step to market integration
  • [08] EU stands by Russia in times of need

  • [I] Résultats de la Commission de ce jour - Outcome of today's Commission meeting

    [01] La Commission autorise la fusion entre WorldCom et MCI sous réserve de conditions

    La Commission européenne a donné une autorisation conditionnelle au projet de fusion entre WorldCom Inc. et MCI Communications Corporation sous réserve d'un désinvestissement des activités Internet de MCI. WorldCom et MCI sont deux sociétés cotées en bourse qui offrent l'éventail classique de services de télécommunication. Toutes deux proposent également des services liés à l'Internet. L'enquête de la Commission a révélé des recouvrements significatifs d'activité sur le marché de la connectivité Internet de haut niveau ou universelle. WorldCom est actuellement le leader sur le marché, MCI étant l'un de ses concurrents principaux. La fusion aurait donné à l'entité combinée une part de marché d'environ 50% sur le marché pertinent. Les parties se sont engagées à vendre les actifs Internet de MCI, éliminant ainsi tout chevauchement avec les activités Internet de WorldCom.

    [02] Commission publishes its conditions for approving the British Airways/American Airlines and the Lufthansa/SAS/United Airlines air alliances

    The European Commission has adopted its preliminary position on two transatlantic air alliances : the alliance between British Airways and American Airlines and the alliance between Lufthansa, SAS and United Airlines. The Commission intends to approve these two alliances provided certain conditions are fulfilled. The conditions will be published in draft form so as to allow third parties to make comments.

    [03] La Commission agit pour réduire la pollution de l'atmosphère par les grandes installations de combustion

    La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition d'amendement de la Directive 88/609/CEE relative à la limitation des émissions de certains polluants dans l'atmosphère en provenance des grandes installations de combustion (GIC). Cette Directive limite les rejets de trois types de polluants : le dioxyde de soufre (SO2), les oxydes d'azote (NOx) et les poussières. La nouvelle proposition introduit des valeurs deux fois plus strictes que les valeurs actuelles. Ces nouvelles valeurs doivent être appliquées à toute installation neuve mise en service à compter du 1/1/2000. La proposition élargit le champ d'application de la Directive aux turbines à gaz en introduisant des valeurs limites pour les émissions de NOx provenant de ces machines. En outre, la révision encourage le recours à la cogénération dans les nouveaux projets de GIC. La cogénération est une technique qui permet d'utiliser le combustible à plus de 80% de son potentiel énergétique (contre 30 à 50% pour les techniques traditionnelles). La proposition encourage également l'utilisation de la biomasse comme combustible. Ces diverses dispositions s'inscrivent dans un ensemble législatif cohérent visant, sur le long terme, à garantir la préservation des écosystèmes contre l'acidification ainsi que l'amélioration de la santé publique en ce qui concerne les affections liées à la pollution de l'air.

    [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

    [04] Commission clears a joint venture between Maersk Air and Luftfartsverket

    The European Commission has authorised an operation by which Luftfartsverket Holding (LFV) and Maersk Air combine their existing groundhandling activities in a jointly-controlled holding company called Novia. The concentration will not lead to the creation or strengthening of a dominant position in any market or segment. There is no horizontal overlap between the parties' activities, nor any concerns regarding vertical restrictions of competition.

    [05] La Commission autorise la concentration entre Halliburton et Dresser dans le domaine des services aux chantiers de forage

    La Commission européenne a autorisé la concentration entre Halliburton Company, implantée aux Etats-Unis (Halliburton), et Dresser Industries Inc, (Dresser). Ces deux entreprises ont des activités diversifiées dans le secteur de la mécanique et de la construction, dans la fourniture de services et de matériel dans le domaine de l'énergie et des chantiers de forage, ainsi que dans les produits pétroliers. L'opération affecte plusieurs segments du marché des services aux chantiers de forage, à savoir les fluides de forage, les services de forage dirigé, les produits et services de complétion et les services de cimentation. Les doutes qu'elle suscitait quant à la création ou au renforcement d'une position dominante sur les segments des fluides de forage ont été dissipés par les engagements présentés par les parties au Department of Justice (ministère de la Justice américain), qui examine l'opération en parallèle. Les doutes quant à la livraison de ciment aux tours de forage pétrolier en mer du Nord n'ont pas été jugés suffisamment sérieux pour susciter de véritables craintes en matière de concurrence.

    [06] Commission authorizes the acquisition of Echlin Inc. by Dana Corp.

    The European Commission has authorized the acquisition of Echlin Inc. (Echlin), USA, by Dana Corporation (Dana), USA. Both companies are producers of a wide range of automotive components, of which most are of complementary nature. There is only one area of overlap, the manufacture of filters. In addition, Dana produces industrial components and offers financial leasing services. Given the large number of competitors in the automotive sector, the Commission has declared the operation compatible with the Common Market.

    [07] Mario Monti welcomes London/Frankfurt bourse link as concrete step to market integration

    "I warmly welcome the alliance just announced by the London Stock Exchange and Frankfurt's Deutsche Börse as a concrete step towards the greater integration of the European Union's (EU) financial services markets", commented European Commissioner for Financial services Mario Monti. "This process of integration is gaining considerable momentum, partly as a result of EU rules to create a Single Market for financial services. With the advent of the single currency, this momentum should increase further, but in order to optimise the process of integration and its benefits, we need further adjustments to the EU legislative framework for financial services. These adjustments need to take into account not only economic and monetary union, but also the challenges of new technologies (including electronic commerce), globalisation and enlargement of the EU. It is against this background that the Commission has launched an initiative to eliminate remaining barriers to the development of efficient pan-European venture capital market. It is also preparing a 'framework for action' to improve the Single Market in financial services, as requested by the Cardiff European Council's. This 'framework', which we will present in time for the Vienna European Council in December, will in particular examine the effectiveness of implementation and identify weaknesses in the legislative approach. My services are in the process of conducting very extensive consultations with financial service practitioners, users and supervisors with a view to presenting an effective framework for action that will ensure that financial markets adapt successfully to the new single currency environment. This is critical for fostering enterprise-led growth and ensuring that consumers reap the full benefits of the euro."

    [08] EU stands by Russia in times of need

    European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Hans van den Broek will visit Moscow on 9-10 July 1998 to discuss the current economic and financial situation in Russia. He will discuss ways in which European Union (EU) assistance programmes can contribute to the realisation of the government's new anti-crisis programme, especially in areas such as budgetary and economic reform (including enterprise restructuring, promoting investment and the training of young managers in EU enterprises). "A partnership means also standing by Russia in its times of need", commented the Commissioner, "we are there to help develop the policies needed to ensure a sound development of Russia's economy in the medium term". Mr van den Broek will meet, inter alia, the Prime Minister, Mr Sergei Kirienko, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr A. Chubais, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Evgenii Primakov and representatives of the Duma. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation (which entered into force on 1 December 1997) equally foresees a number of actions which can support the realisation of the anti-crisis programme. In his discussions with Foreign Minister Primakov, the Commissioner will also have an exchange of views on the latest developments in Latvia, as well as in Kosovo, particularly in view of the results of the meeting of the Contact Group. Moreover, the Commissioner will give a speech at the Russian State University for the Humanities on the EU/Russian challenges for the 21st century. After his meetings, Mr van den Broek will hold a press conference in the early afternoon of 10 July. The EU delegation in Moscow can be contacted for further information (tel. 00.7.502.2204658).

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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