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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-06-04

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-Parole 04/06/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Proposal to extend safeguard measures in relation to dioxin contamination
  • [02] Commission opens full investigation into Airtours/First Choice (both UK) travel trade merger
  • [03] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Lexel par Schneider S.A.
  • [04] La Commission autorise la prise de contrôle en commun de RWA AG par BayWa AG et RWA Genossenschaft
  • [05] Business and Consumer surveys for May 1999 : improved industrial confidence offset by less optimism among consumers
  • [06] La production industrielle se stabilise en Europe

  • [01] Proposal to extend safeguard measures in relation to dioxin contamination

    A draft European Commission decision has been prepared by Agriculture and Consumer Protection Commissioners, Franz Fischler and Emma Bonino, to introduce appropriate safeguard measures, to include all products which may have been contaminated. In view of the urgency of the matter it is intended to use the legal possibilities available to take the decision on the basis of the urgent safeguard provisions. This action has been prompted by the fact that the Belgian authorities suspect that the dioxin contaminated feedingstuff may have been fed to livestock other than domestic fowl. The same requirements will apply as in the earlier decision i.e. no placing on the market of products from restricted farms, tracing of products already on the market, the provision of information to other member states, certification for export, etc. The restrictions will therefore be extended to cover products from the pork and bovine farms which are placed under control by the Belgian authorities ; and will apply to products coming from these farms since January 15th.

    [02] Commission opens full investigation into Airtours/First Choice (both UK) travel trade merger

    The European Commission has decided to open a full investigation into the proposed acquisition by Airtours plc of First Choice Holidays plc. The focus of the Commission's investigation is likely to be on 'oligopoly' aspects - that is, the possibility that as a result of the merger, the market structure would become concentrated in such a way that the major players could collectively have a dominant position, with consequent adverse effects on prices and/or other key competition matters. By the most commonly-used industry measures Airtours currently ranks second (after Thomson) and First Choice fourth in the supply of foreign package holidays in the UK. The four major firms (the other one being Thomas Cook) are also vertically integrated, with substantial interests in charter airline operation and travel agency. The rest of the sector is made up of a large number of firms each with a very small share. The merger also raises similar issues with respect to the package holiday sector in Ireland. The Commission must now reach a final decision within four months.

    [03] La Commission autorise l'acquisition de Lexel par Schneider S.A.

    La Commission européenne a autorisé une opération par laquelle la compagnie française de matériel électrique Schneider S.A. acquiert le contrôle unique de la société danoise de matériel électrique Lexel. Compte tenu de la position des sociétés sur le marché, l'opération n'aura pas un impact concurrentiel significatif.

    [04] La Commission autorise la prise de contrôle en commun de RWA AG par BayWa AG et RWA Genossenschaft

    La Commission européenne a autorisé la prise de contrôle en commun, par BayWa AG (Allemagne) et RWA Genossenschaft (RWA Gen) (Autriche) de RWA AG (Autriche), qui était auparavant entièrement détenue par RWA Gen. Le projet de concentration ne soulève pas de doute sérieux sous l'angle de la concurrence sur les marchés en cause.

    [05] Business and Consumer surveys for May 1999 : improved industrial confidence offset by less optimism among consumers

    (! embargo 12 am !) The latest results from the business and consumer surveys conducted by the European Commission's Directorate General for economic and financial affairs are published today. The industrial confidence indicator for the European Union (EU) as a whole rose further in May and reached its highest point since the beginning of this year. In the euro-zone an increase was also recorded. Managers in European industry were again more optimistic regarding their production expectations as well as the level of both order books and stocks compared to last month. On the other hand, consumer confidence deteriorated. Consumers revised downwards their expectations of their future financial situation, which together with the unfavourable assessments concerning the general economic situation led to a decline of the consumer confidence indicator in the euro-zone and for the EU as a whole. In the construction sector results varied considerably between member countries. While the construction confidence for the EU as a whole was encouraging, it declined in the euro-zone, as a result of poor figures for Spain and Italy in particular. The increase in industrial confidence tempered the subdued outlook among consumers sufficiently to lead to a slight increase of the economic sentiment indicator for the EU as a whole. However, in the euro-zone the economic sentiment indicator fell back slightly compared to last month.

    [06] La production industrielle se stabilise en Europe

    (! embargo 12h !) La tendance de la production industrielle de la zone euro ainsi que celle de l'Union européenne (UE15) a diminué de -0,2% au cours du premier trimestre 99 par rapport au dernier trimestre 98. Cependant, les données mensuelles pour les quatre derniers mois suggèrent que l'index de la tendance est pratiquement stable. Ces estimations sont publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. Les taux de croissance pour la zone euro et l'UE15 pour la période décembre 98 - février 99 ont été révisés à la hausse avec -0,4%. Alors que la Finlande (1,3%), l'Espagne et la Grèce (0,8% chacun) affichent des hausses remarquables, une baisse importante a été enregistrée en Allemagne (-1,0%). Avec -0,5%, l'Italie a enregistré un meilleur résultat par rapport à celui enregistré pour la période de décembre - février (-0, 8%).

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


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


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