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C 250/4 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 8.9.

2001

Notice published pursuant to Article 19(3) of Council Regulation No 17

Case COMP.F.1/37.893 — CECED Water Heaters


(2001/C 250/03)

(Text with EEA relevance)

1. INTRODUCTION argues that although the geographic dimension of the


DESWH market seems, therefore, predominantly national,
1. On 20 June 2000, the Conseil europØen de la construction the question needs not to be settled definitively in this case.
d’appareils domestiques (CECED), notified an agreement Whatever the geographic definition, EC-wide or national
(‘the agreement’) dated 19 November 1999 committing markets, the parties’ market shares and the volume of
some of its members to improve the energy efficiency of production concerned are important enough to warrant
water heaters. CECED is applying for an exemption under that the agreements have, at least, appreciable effects in
Article 81(3) of the EC Treaty and Article 53(3) of the EEA the market(s) concerned, according to CECED.
Agreement.

5. According to CECED, DESWH are relatively unsophis-


2. THE PARTIES ticated products and sales volumes are stagnating or
declining in most national markets, which are allegedly
2. CECED is an association based in Brussels comprising rather concentrated. The parties to the agreement are
manufacturers of domestic appliances and trade allegedly among the market leaders in their Member
associations. CECED members and other participants who State of incorporation. CECED states that the parties’
have signed the agreement include Atlantic Group, Baxi combined market shares in most Member States are
SpA, Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, Electrolux higher than 60 % and that, for the EC as a whole, their
Productline Home Comfort/AEG Hausgeräte GmbH/, sales account for approximately 65 % of the total.
Fagor ElectrodomØsticos S.Coop. Heatrae Sadia Heating
Ltd, Lorenzi Vasco SpA, Merloni Termosanitary SpA,
Siemens Heiztechnik, SociØtØ Thermique de Valence,
Stiebel Eltron Gmbh & Co. KG, Technoterm GmbH and
Joh. Vaillant GmbH & Co. All of them manufacture and 4. THE AGREEMENT
sell various domestic appliances in several Member States.
6. The agreement basically covers three sets of objectives
concerning: (i) production and imports of DESWH; (ii)
monitoring and reporting; and (iii) promotion of tech-
3. RELEVANT MARKET AND POSITION OF THE PARTIES nological development as well as consumer awareness.
The agreement will last until 31 December 2003.
3. The agreement concerns domestic electric storage water
heaters (hereinafter ‘DESWH’) used for the purposes of
supplying hot water for use in private homes. Besides
DESWH, different appliances or systems are generally 7. The parties have mainly agreed the following:
used in the EU, such as instantaneous gas-fuelled heaters
(either natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas), storage gas
heaters, gas or diesel-fuelled ‘combi boilers’ and central or
district heating systems. CECED argues that price and
Production and imports: following an undertaking to
installation costs for each of these products vary
provide public declarations stating the standing losses of
considerably, so that they may not be easily substitutable
their DESWH:
with each other. On the supply side, manufacturers are,
according to CECED, not active throughout the full range
of these appliances. The predominance of a particular alter-
native in a given Member State allegedly relies very heavily
on the availability of the various primary sources of energy — after 31 December 2000 — each party stops producing
for domestic use, policies in this respect and national or for and importing into the community DESWH, the
even regional patterns of housing. On this basis, CECED standing losses of which, expressed in kWh per 24
argues that the various appliances and systems which hours, exceed the maximum allowable values set
supply hot water for use in private homes, including forth in the agreement. Such values vary for small
DESWH, cannot be deemed to constitute a single (volume of 25 to 45 litres), vertical (45 to 220
product market. litres), horizontal (45 to 220 litres) DESWH (1);

(1) The maximum allowable values are as follows: (a) small unvented:
0,1474 + 0,0719 × Volume 2/3, small vented: 0,1561 + 0,0802 ×
4. According to CECED, virtually no EU manufacturer of Volume 2/3; (b) vertical unvented: 0,224 + 0,0663 × Volume 2/3,
DESWH is active throughout the EU; sales in other vertical vented: 0,236 + 0,074 × Volume 2/3; and (c) horizontal
Member States are allegedly minor and, if at all, far unvented: 0,939 + 0,0104 × Volume, horizontal vented: 1,034 +
lower than in the manufacturer’s own country. CECED 0,0116 × Volume.
8.9.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 250/5

— by 1 January 2002 — each party undertakes to reduce year in the long run compared with a business-as-usual
the weighted average standing losses of its production scenario. According to CECED, as individual purchasers,
to certain thresholds for each of the above categories of consumers will obtain savings through reduced electricity
DESWH, except vented DESWH in the UK, where these bills, which allow for recouping higher purchase costs.
thresholds should be attained by the end of 2002 (1).

Monitoring and reporting: CECED will set up and 9. CECED stresses that the agreement leaves manufacturers
maintain a database containing an analysis of all models free to use whatever methods they choose in order to
of DESWH placed on the community market by all meet their obligations and that the various provisions in
participants. It will be available to the European the agreement are necessary to obtain the benefits high-
Commission and national authorities. The fulfilment of lighted above. According to CECED, various technical alter-
the objectives of the agreement will be monitored by a natives are readily available to the manufacturers
notary who will report annually to CECED and the concerned. The agreement will allegedly not directly
Commission. CECED itself will submit an annual report restrict the parties as to other competitive factors such as
to the Commission including aggregated data as to the price, brand image and technical performance, which have
fulfilment of these objectives. Individual data will not be more weight in purchase decisions than energy efficiency,
disclosed to other parties, including CECED members. according to CECED.

Consumer awareness and technological advancement:


the participants have agreed to enhance consumer and
installer awareness about energy savings and to develop
6. INTENTION OF THE COMMISSION
insulation and other methods to further reduce standing
losses. 10. Pursuant to its ‘Guidelines on the applicability of Article 81
of the EC Treaty to horizontal cooperation agreements’ (2),
the Commission intends to take a favourable view towards
5. ARGUMENTS FROM CECED the notified agreement. Before doing so, it invites all
interested third parties to submit their observations
8. According to CECED, even though the agreement may
within 30 days of the publication of this notice, quoting
restrict competition within the meaning of Article 81(1),
reference COMP.F.1/37.893 — CECED Water Heaters, to:
the agreement will contribute to technological progress,
since more efficient DESWH, which provide the same
service with less energy consumption, are likely to
replace those no longer allowed. According to CECED, European Commission
the agreement will improve the efficiency of DESWH Directorate-General for Competition
sold in the EC by 29,1 %, when fully implemented. Directorate F — Consumer goods and capital goods
Reduced stand-by losses of DESWH in the EC as a result industries
of the full implementation of the agreement will, in turn, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200
allegedly diminish electricity consumption by 9,8 TWh per B-1049 Brussels.

(1) The thresholds are as follows: (a) small: 0,13 + 0,0553 × Volume
2/ ; (b) vertical 0,2 + 0,051 × Volume 2/ ; and (c) horizontal: 0,75 + (2) OJ C 3, 6.1.2001, p. 3, in particular, chapter 7 ‘Environmental
3 3
0,008 × Volume. agreements’, points 180, 186, 189-90 and 194 to 197.