since 1 November 2014
The portfolio has responsibility for such matters as commercial competition, company mergers, cartels, state aid, and anti-trust law. The position became the sole merger authority for the European Economic Area in September 1990.
The Competition Commissioner is one of the most powerful positions in the Commission and is notable in affecting global companies. For example, notably preventing the merge of two US companies, General Electric and Honeywell, in 2001. In 2007, Neelie Kroes (then-Competition Commissioner) was the only Commissioner to make Forbes Magazine's List of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women; she held position 59.
Mario Monti is particularly notable for his ruling during the GE-Honeywell merger attempt in 2001. General Electric, a US company, sought to acquire another US company, Honeywell. This merger had been approved by US authorities, however Monti, with the backing of the rest of the Commission, rejected the merger;
Rather than be blocked from the European market, the merger was abandoned. This was the first time that a merger between two US companies had been blocked solely by European authorities, only the second time it had blocked just two US companies and only the 15th merger it had blocked ever since it started work. On 1 May 2004 Monti oversaw a radical change in the Competition powers of the Commission concerning anti-trust regulation, merger controls, licensing agreements and air transport.
During Neelie Kroes' hearing at the European Parliament, MEPs expressed concern about whether Ms Kroes had a sufficiently detailed grasp of certain specific subjects, but was approved as part of the Commission in 2004.
Since then she states that she promotes a fair and free business environment, achieving sustainable economic growth and higher employment. The Commission has been involved in a number of high-profile cases fighting anticompetitive behaviour; such as the case against the merger of Sony – BMG, against Apple Inc. regarding iTunes and the ongoing case against Microsoft.
The latter has been an ongoing dispute on a number of issues, in April 2007 Microsoft became the first company to refuse to comply with the Commissions rulings, in response Commissioner Kroes is looking at more harsher methods to gain the co-operation of companies; "We have never, ever before encountered a company that has refused to comply with commission decisions ... We learned we may have to look for a more effective remedy." In September 2007, the Court of First Instance (EU's second highest court) upheld the Commission's decision to fine Microsoft 497 million euro and its order for to Microsoft for it to share its information setting what the Commission described as an "important precedent". Kroes stated that "Today's court ruling…shows that the Commission was right to take its decision, and right to take firm action to enforce that decision". Either party may appeal to the European Court of Justice. In response to the ruling the US Justice Departments top antitrust official, Thomas Barnett, criticised the ruling which sparked a response from Kroes stating that "It is totally unacceptable that a representative of the US administration criticises an independent court of law outside its jurisdiction ... It is absolutely not on. The European Commission does not pass judgement on rulings by US courts and we expect the same degree of respect from US authorities for rulings by EU courts."
Kroes holds a strong belief in free market principles and was tough with offenders. By the time her term as Competition Commissioner ended, she had completed most major cases.
Joaquín Almunia, previously the Finance Commissioner, took on the competition portfolio under the second Barroso Commission in 2010 and was expected to have a tenure similar to Kroes' stringent run. His appointment was welcomed by competition lawyers as someone well qualified and experienced. He also impressed Parliament at his hearing and early on in his work has had to deal with whether or not to pursue action against Google. He has also come out in favour of the idea of a European Monetary Fund to deal with defaulting member states.
|1||Hans von der Groeben||West Germany||1958–1967||Hallstein Commission|
|2||Maan Sassen||Netherlands||1967–1971||Rey Commission|
|4||Raymond Vouel||Luxembourg||1976–1981||Jenkins Commission|
|5||Frans Andriessen||Netherlands||1981–1985||Thorn Commission|
|6||Peter Sutherland||Ireland||1985–1989||Delors Commission I|
|7||Leon Brittan||United Kingdom||1989–1993||Delors Commission II|
|8||Karel Van Miert||Belgium||1993–1994
|Delors Commission III|
|9||Mario Monti||Italy||1999–2004||Prodi Commission|
|10||Neelie Kroes||Netherlands||2004–2010||Barroso Commission I|
|11||Joaquín Almunia||Spain||2010–2014||Barroso Commission II|
|12||Margrethe Vestager||Denmark||2014–present||Juncker Commission|
The following lists events that happened during 1976 in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. v. Intel Corp.
AMD v. Intel was a private antitrust lawsuit, filed in the United States by Advanced Micro Devices ("AMD") against Intel Corporation in June 2005.Almunia
Almunia is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Joaquín Almunia, Spanish politician and current European Commissioner for Competition
Manuel Almunia, Spanish footballerAlmunia is also the name of an Italian electronic music duo.Directorate-General
Within the European Union, a directorate-general is a branch of an administration dedicated to a specific field of expertise.
The European Commission: Commission Directorates-General are each headed by a director-general, who reports to the European Commissioner in charge of (i.e. politically responsible for) the corresponding policy area;
The European Patent Office: EPO Directorates-General;
The Secretariat of the European Parliament: Parliament Directorates-General.
The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union: Council Directorates-general.European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship
The Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship is a Vice-President of the European Commission. The current commissioner is Jyrki Katainen.
The post was enlarged from the Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society portfolio in the Prodi Commission to include Industry.Fluxys
Fluxys is a Belgium-based company, mainly acting as a natural gas transmission system operator. In 2004, it employed around 850 people and its infrastructure comprised about 3,700 km of pipelines and a terminal in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The company is listed on Euronext Brussels market.Frans Andriessen
Franciscus Henricus Johannes Joseph "Frans" Andriessen (born 2 April 1929) is a retired Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).
In 1967 he was first elected to the House of Representatives for the Katholieke Volkspartij (KVP). From 1971 to 1977 he was leader of the KVP. In 1977, the KVP merged with two protestant parties to form the Christen-Democratisch Appel (CDA). For the CDA, he served as Minister of Finance (1977–1980) and European Commissioner for Competition (1981-1985), Agriculture (1985-1989), and External Relations and Trade (1989–1993). He is one of few politicians to serve three consecutive terms as an EU Commissioner.Google Shopping
Google Shopping, formerly Google Product Search, Google Products and Froogle, is a Google service invented by Craig Nevill-Manning which allows users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors.
Originally, the service listed prices submitted by merchants, and was monetized through AdWords advertising like other Google services. However, in May 2012, Google announced that the service (which was also immediately renamed Google Shopping) would shift in late-2012 to a paid model where merchants would have to pay the company in order to list their products on the service.In June 2017, Google Shopping was fined a record €2.4 billion by the EU Commission for giving its own online shopping services top priority in search results.Jacobs Douwe Egberts
Jacobs Douwe Egberts is a Dutch privately owned company that owns numerous beverage brands (coffee, cola, tea and hot chocolate). It was formed in 2012 following the merger of the coffee division of Khabdi International with Douwe Egberts.Joaquín Almunia
Joaquín Almunia Amann (born 17 June 1948) is a Spanish politician and formerly, prominent member of the European Commission. During his tenure in the two Barroso Commissions, he was European commissioner responsible for economic and monetary affairs (2004-2009) and, subsequently, vice-president and the European Commissioner for Competition (2009-2014). Previously, he had been Spanish Minister for Employment (1982-1986) and Public Administrations (1986-1991). From 1997 to 2000, he was the leader of the opposition as secretary general of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, standing in and losing the 2000 Spanish general election against the then incumbent Spanish prime minister, José María Aznar.Karel Van Miert
Karel Antonius Lucia Maria van Miert (Dutch: [ˈkaː.rəl vɐn ˈmiːrt]; 17 January 1942 – 22 June 2009) was a Flemish politician of the Different Socialist Party and official of the European Commission.Leon Brittan
Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, (25 September 1939 – 21 January 2015) was a British politician, Conservative Member of Parliament, and barrister, as well as a member of the European Commission. He served several ministerial roles in Margaret Thatcher's government, including Home Secretary.Maan Sassen
Emmanuel Marie Joseph Antony "Maan" Sassen (11 September 1911 – 20 December 1995) was a Dutch politician, who served as European Commissioner for Competition in the Rey Commission from 1967 to 1971.Margrethe Vestager
Margrethe Vestager (Danish pronunciation: [mɑgʁæːˀdə ˈvɛsdæːˀɐ]; born 13 April 1968) is a Danish politician serving as the European Commissioner for Competition since 2014. She previously served as a member of the Folketing from 20 November 2001 until 2 September 2014, representing the Danish Social Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre). She was the political leader of her party from 2007 to 2014, and served as Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior from 2011 to 2014. She has been described as "the rich world’s most powerful trustbuster."Neelie Kroes
Neelie Kroes (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈneːli ˈkrus]; born 19 July 1941) is a retired Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).Kroes a businesswoman by occupation, was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives on 3 August 1971 after the election of 1971. After the election of 1977 a coalition agreement with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Van Agt-Wiegel with Kroes asked to become State Secretary for Transport and Water Management taking office on 28 December 1977. After the election of 1981 she returned as a Member of the House of Representatives on 25 August 1981. After the election of 1982 a coalition agreement with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Lubbers I with Kroes asked to become Minister of Transport and Water Management taking office on 4 November 1982. Kroes remained Minister of Transport and Water Management in the Cabinet Lubbers II following the election of 1986. Kroes semi-retired from active politics and became Chancellor of the Nyenrode Business University serving from 1 June 1991 until 1 September 2000. In 2004 Kroes was selected as European Commissioner for Competition in the First Barroso Commission taking office on 22 November 2004. On 9 February 2010 she became European Commissioner for Digital Agenda and a Vice President in the Second Barroso Commission serving until 1 November 2014.At age 73, Kroes retired from active politics. Following the end of her active political career, Kroes occupied numerous seats on supervisory boards in the business and industry world and several international non-governmental organizations (Merrill Lynch, McDonald's, Lucent, Nedlloyd, Ballast Nedam, Salesforce.com, Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Nederlandse Spoorwegen and the Rembrandt House Museum).Kroes is known for her abilities as a team leader and negotiator. Kroes also has been active as an advocate and lobbyist in promoting startup companies.Peter Sutherland
Peter Denis Sutherland (25 April 1946 – 7 January 2018) was an Irish businessman, barrister and politician who served as UN Special Representative for International Migration from 2006 to 2017, Chairman of Goldman Sachs from 1995 to 2015, Director-General of the World Trade Organization from 1993 to 1995, European Commissioner for Competition from 1985 to 1989 and Attorney General of Ireland from 1981 to 1982 and 1982 to 1994.
He was a barrister by profession and was a Senior Counsel of the Irish Bar. He was known for serving in a variety of international organisations, political and business roles.
Sutherland was the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration until March 2017. Appointed in January 2006, he was responsible for the creation of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). He served as President of the International Catholic Migration Commission, as well as member of the Migration Advisory Board of the International Organisation for Migration.
Sutherland previously served as Attorney General of Ireland (1981–84), European Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy (1985–89); Founding Director-General of The World Trade Organization, formerly GATT (1993–95), and former Chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995–2015). He received numerous awards including European Person of the Year Award (1988).Raymond Vouel
Raymond Vouel (8 April 1923 – 12 February 1987) was a Luxembourg politician. Vouel was Deputy Prime Minister in the Thorn-Vouel cabinet, a coalition between Vouel's Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party and Gaston Thorn's Democratic Party. On 21 July 1976, Vouel left the government to join the European Commission as Commissioner for Competition.Tele Atlas
Tele Atlas is a Netherlands-based company founded in 1984 which delivers digital maps and other dynamic content for navigation and location-based services, including personal and in-car navigation systems, and provides data used in a wide range of mobile and Internet map applications. Since July 30, 2008, the company has been a wholly owned subsidiary of automotive navigation system manufacturer TomTom.University of Deusto
The University of Deusto (Spanish: Universidad de Deusto; Basque: Deustuko Unibertsitatea) is a Spanish private university owned by the Society of Jesus, with campuses in Bilbao and San Sebastián, and the Deusto Business School branch in Madrid. The University of Deusto is the oldest private university in Spain.