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C 311/2 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 10.10.

98

STATE AID
C 36/96 (ex NØ963/F/95)
Netherlands

(98/C 311/02)
(Text with EEA relevance)

(Articles 92 to 94 of the Treaty establishing the European Community)

Commission communication pursuant to Article 93(2) of the EC Treaty addressed to the other
Member States and other interested parties concerning the proposal to award aid to Philips
Electronics NV for the development of semiconductor systems for multimedia

The Commission has sent the Dutch Government the costs are ECU 11 million for 1995, with proposed aid of
following letter, informing it that it has decided to ECU 4 million (aid intensity of 36Ø%) in the form of a
terminate proceedings. grant. Although aid has only been notified for 1995, the
project duration is four years (1995 to 1998) and the
Dutch Government stated its intention to notify further
‘On 30 July 1996, the Commission initiated the public financing for the so-called SSM project.
procedure provide for in Article 93(2) of the EC Treaty
in respect of the Dutch Government’s proposal to grant
research and development aid to Philips Electronics NV
for the development of semiconductor systems for The stated aim of the research programme is to address
multimedia. the most important issues required to build semicon-
ductor integrated-circuits and system solutions that
enable personal digital assistants (PDAs) or personal
In opening the procedure, the Commission expressed its intelligent communicators (PICs) in their various forms
doubts regarding the precompetitive development nature to become truly mass-market products.
of the work proposed and the ‘‘incentive’’ effect of the
aid (see Community framework for State aid for research
and development)Ø(Î).
Philips Semiconductors views the market for PDAs/PICs
— hand-held devices combining the various features of
In accordance with that procedure, the Commission by personal computers, the telephone and organisers — as a
letter dated 12 August 1996 invited the Dutch potential mass market consumer product. Such devices
Government to submit its observations. By letter are said to exist but are high cost with poor wireline/
registered 4 November 1996, the Dutch authorities wireless communication, user-interfaces based on poor
provided further comments and information in response handwriting recognition, high power consumption, poor
to the opening of the procedure. On 31 December 1996, processing power, and large size.
and by publication in the Official Journal of the European
Communities (Ï), the other Member States and third
parties were informed of the Commission’s decision to
initiate proceedings and were invited to submit obser- The work programme is divided into:
vations. Three companies responded by providing
comments as competitors, and Philips provided
comments as the potential beneficiary.
(a)Ùdigital-signal processing (DSP), Reduced Instruction
Set Computing (RISC), RF (Radio Frequency)
By letter dated 12 March 1997, a non-confidential communications, and touch-screen solutions;
version of third parties comments was sent to the Dutch
authorities for comment, and a response received by
letter registered 7 April 1997.
(b) basic (semiconductor) components for devices and
base stations in the area of Digital Signal Processing
The proposed aid is an ad hoc case and does not fall (DSP), Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC),
under an approved scheme. The claimed eligible project RF (Radio Frequency) communications for GSM,
DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony) and
(Î) Community framework for State aid for research and devel- paging, and touch-screen solutions. The focus is on
opment (OJ C 45, 17.2.1996, p. 5/16. RF (Radio Frequency) semiconductor components
(Ï)ÙOJ C 393, 31.12.1996, p. 6/8. for use in portable transmitters and receivers that
10.10.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 311/3

operate at lower voltages and higher frequencies, By letter registered 23 March 1998, your authorities have
whilst being more efficient and of small dimensions; withdrawn the notification and communicated to the
Commission that State aid for the so-called SSM project
(c) systems architectures for wireline/wireless personal will not be paid.
digital assistants (PDAs), personal intelligent
communicators (PICs) and screenphone/fax. Accordingly, the Commission closes the Article 93(2)
proceedings in respect of the proposal of the
The Dutch authorities claim that the research is eligible Netherlands to award aid to Philips Electronics NV for
for public funding as about 80Ø% industrial research and the development of semiconductor systems for
20Ø% precompetitive development activity. multimedia.’

Notification of agreements
(Case No IV/37.207/F3 — SearleØ+ØPfizer)

(98/C 311/03)

(Text with EEA relevance)

1.ÚÙOn 12 August 1998 the Commission received notification of agreements pursuant to


Article 4 of Council Regulation No 17Ø(Î) by which the Monsanto group (through G.ØD.
SearleØ@ØCo) and the Pfizer group will cooperate, in the European Union and elsewhere, on
the commercialisation of certain new pharmaceuticals (based on the Cox-2 mechanism) for the
treatment of arthritis and pain.

2.ÚÙOn preliminary examination, the Commission finds that the notified agreements could fall
within the scope of Regulation No 17.

3.ÚÙThe Commission invites interested third parties to submit their possible observations on
the proposed operation.

4.ÚÙObservations must reach the Commission not later than 30 days following the date of this
publication. Observations can be sent by fax (No (32-2)Ø296Ø98Ø02) or by post under reference
IV/37.207/F3, to the following address:

European Commission,
Directorate-General for Competition (DG IV),
Directorate F,
Office 1/163,
Avenue de Cortenberg/Kortenberglaan 150,
B-1040 Brussels.

(Î)ÙOJ 13, 21.2.1962, p. 204/62.