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COMMISSION LENIENT OVER FINES FOR LATE NOTIFICATION OF MERGERS.

The European Commission has fined the Danish offshore energy and shipping company A.P. Miller Euro 219,000 for failing to notify and for putting into effect three previous merger deals. The Commission, which has now concluded its investigation, confirmed in a statement on February 10, that A.P. Miller had clearly breached its obligation to notify the deals in due time as well as its obligation not to implement them without the Commission's clearance. Despite all three transactions in question having been previously been cleared by the Commission in accordance with the 1989 EU Merger Regulation, the EU executive found that they "had been concluded and put into effect several months before they were notified and that it would therefore have to consider a possible application of Article 14 of the Merger Regulation".

In its decision, the Commission has taken into account in particular the fact that both infringements lasted for a significant period, and that A.P. Miller should have known of its legal duty to notify the Commission, under the EU Merger Regulation. This is the second time that the Commission has imposed a fine under the Merger Regulation since it was implemented in 1990, the other case being Samsung. The low fine, it noted, was because A.P. Miller recognised the breach and did no damage to competition. Furthermore, it voluntarily informed the Commission of its failure to notify and infringed its obligations at a time when the Commission had not yet adopted its first decision imposing fines under the Merger Regulation.

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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 13, 1999
Words:256
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