State Aid Private Enforcement

State Aid

The French Council of State rules out as non-compensable losses the recovery, however belated, of a State aid unlawfully granted together with the accrued interest (Le Muselet Valentin)
DLA Piper (Paris)
In its confirmatory ruling issued on 7 June 2017, the French administrative supreme court (Conseil d’Etat, 9ème et 10ème chambres réunies, hereafter the “French Council of State”) dismissed the compensation claims brought against the State by the beneficiary of an incompatible State aid on the (...)

The UK High Court gives guidance in relation to State aid which may in fact make reliance upon State aid issues more “infrequent” and onerous than was previously the case (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Of Megabytes and Men: the private use exception under the judicial lens and lessons for state aid claims* On 19 June 2015, the High Court allowed a claim for judicial review against the decision to introduce a narrow ‘private copying’ exception to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court rules that deciding on recovery of unlawful State aid was required by the Commission decision regarding that aid and EU law even though the recipient of the aid was in restructuring proceedings (Osuuskunta Karjaportti)
University of Helsinki
The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court has decided on a complaint concerning the legality of decisions by a Finnish city (the city of Mikkeli) and, later, the Administrative Court of Kuopio . The decisions related to recovery of state aid which had been declared unlawful by the European (...)

The Czech Supreme Court confirms duty of national courts to enforce EU state aid rules (NH Hospital v. Central Bohemian Region)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Prague)
On 25 June 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled preceding decisions by the High Court in Prague (Ref.No. 3 Cmo 289/2011-142 of 29 December 2011) and by the Municipal Court in Prague (Ref.No. 32 Cm 128/2010-131 of 13 June 2011) and remanded the case back for further proceedings before the Municipal (...)

The German Government releases a ministerial draft containing grandfathering clauses and providing for a special equalisation scheme for energy intensive companies
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EEG 2.0: Ministerial Draft on Special Equalisation Scheme for EEG Surcharge Regime for Energy-intensive Companies* A ministerial draft (Referentenentwurf) for the special equalisation scheme for energy intensive companies has been released. The special equalization scheme (besondere (...)

The German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control publishes information regarding the reduction of the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources for energy-intensive companies and rail operators
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
BAFA Publishes Figures on Reduction of EEG Surcharge for Energy Intensive Companies* The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) has published information regarding the reduction of the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources in Germany (“EEG-surcharge”) for energy-intensive (...)

The Irish High Court dismisses claims for the liability of the Irish State for damages regarding an unlawful risk equalisation scheme in the provision of private health insurance by insurers (BUPA, Anor)
Matheson (Dublin)
Background In 2006, the Irish High Court dismissed the claims of BUPA Ireland (“BUPA”) challenging the introduction by the Irish State of a risk equalisation scheme (the “Scheme”) in the provision of private health insurance by insurers in Ireland. The scheme operated based on the concept of (...)

The Dutch Council of State finds that by offering a distance learning Bachelor of Laws programme, a Dutch University is not performing an economic activity and therefore confirms that it is not to be seen as an undertaking (Open Universiteit Nederland)
VVGB
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
NL29 Open Universiteit Nederland 30.01.13 Administrative Jurisdiction Department of the Council of State, State Aid On the 30th of January 2013, the Council of State found that by offering a distance learning Bachelor of Laws programme, the ‘Open Universiteit Nederland’ (open university of the (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court decides that the EU State aid rules are not applicable to a transaction where industrial property was sold
University of Helsinki
The municipal executive board of the municipality of Iitti had accepted a sale of industrial property choosing one of two offers made. The industrial property included a land area and an industrial building. Due to a complaint by a resident of the municipality, a Finnish administrative court (...)

The Dutch Parliament adopts new rules of conduct for the State when carrying out economic activities
European Commission
The Netherlands: New Rules of Conduct for the State when carrying out Economic Activities* On 1 July 2012, new legislation came into force in the Netherlands outlining the rules of conduct for the State (national and local governments) when it engages in economic activities and competes with (...)

The Danish Competition Council decides that State aid granted by a municipality to a supermarket by renting out land on favourable terms restricts competition (Furesø)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
State aid granted by the municipality of Furesø to a supermarket restricts competition* The Danish Competition Council decided on 21st of December 2011 that State aid granted by the municipality of Furesø to a supermarket by renting out land on favourable terms restricts competition. In 1979 a (...)

The Competition Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union finds that Togo infringes regional State aid law by taking actions that favor an undertaking to the detriment of its competitors doing business in the common market (Asky)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
1 Introduction and background This contribution reports on a case related to State Aides decided by the Competition Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The decision, ASKY, raises issues at the cross-road of trade, regional integration and competition law. WAEMU (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds that a municipality had granted unlawful aid to a national football club but it could not order its repayment because the aid was granted before the relevant State aid provisions in the Danish Competition Act came into force (The Farum Park Case)
Lexxion Publisher
On 22 June 2011 the Danish Competition Council issued a decision dealing with the question whether a Danish municipality (municipality of Furesø) had rented a Center for Sport and Culture to a local football club (FC Nordsjaelland) to a price below market price, leading to a grant of unlawful (...)

The Danish Competition Council orders full recovery of unlawful aid according to section 11a in the Competition Act after the case was referred for reconsideration by the Competition Appeals Tribunal (The Kastrup Marina Case)
Lexxion Publisher
By its second decision of 22 June 2011 in the Kastrup Marina Case the Danish Competition Council has for the first time ever ordered full recovery of unlawful and incompatible aid under Section 11a in the Danish Competition Act (corresponding to Article 107 of the EUF Treaty). The first (...)

The Slovak Republic parliament adopts an amendment enabling that an EU Commission’s decision on the recovery of state aid be directly enforceable against the beneficiary
Kinstellar (Prague)
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University of Oxford
An amendment to Act No. 231/1999 Coll. on State Aid, as amended (the “Act on State Aid”) and to Act No. 233/1995 Coll. the Code of Enforcement of Judicial Decisions, as amended (the “Enforcement Code”), was passed on 23 March 2011, enabling that a Commission’s decision on the recovery of state aid (...)

The German High Court rules that companies have standing to sue against illegal State aid to competitors (Lufthansa, Ryanair)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
In a decision of 10 February 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) ruled that companies can bring court action the challenge state aid granted to their competitors. Companies doing business in Germany will in the future have to ensure that all their transactions (...)

The German High Court rules that companies have standing to sue against illegal State aid to competitors (Lufthansa, Ryanair)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
In a decision of 10 February 2011, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) ruled that companies can bring court action the challenge state aid granted to their competitors. Companies doing business in Germany will in the future have to ensure that all their transactions (...)

A French Court of Appeal, upon referral from the Supreme Court, puts an end to the debate on whether the tax on direct sales amounts to State aid on the basis of article 108.1 TFEU (Glaxosmithkline, Boiron, Bristol Myers Squibb)
CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre (Paris)
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CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre (Paris)
In three decisions handed down on 2 September 2010, the Court of Appeal of Versailles ruled that the tax on direct sales failed to comply with the “Altmark test” designed by the European Court of Justice (now the Court of Justice of the European Union, hereinafter “the Court of Justice”) in order (...)

The Finnish Government adjusts its State aid rules in regards to municipal enterprises (Local government operations in a competitive market environment and corporatization of operations)
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The Finnish authorities have been advised by the European Commission’s preliminary view to abolish a range of tax exemptions and unlimited State guarantees granted to municipal enterprises. The Commission, indeed, is taking a strict approach to the distortion of competition regarding municipal (...)

German State aid private enforcement: The problem of access to the Courts
German Ministry for Science, Economics, and Transport (Kiel)
1. General considerations State aid is prohibited - art. 87 EC, now art. 107 TFEU. This is a very apodictic statement. In real life, things are slightly more complicated. State aid, money or adequate advantages granted to private entities by public bodies, is common practice in many forms. (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority recommends that the Regional Government of Madeira notify to the European Commission State aid granted to a newspaper editor (Jornal da Madeira)
University of Lisbon
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Pares Advogados (Lisbon)
On 29 July 2009 the Portuguese Competition Authority issued a recommendation addressed to the Regional Government of the Archipelago of Madeira urging the notification to the European Commission of financial support amounting to € 23,4 million granted until 2007 to Jornal da Madeira, a newspaper (...)

Serbia receives its first law on control of State aids
Faculty of Law - University of Macau
On 8 July 2009 National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia (Народна скупштина Републике Србије) adopted the nation’s first Law on Control of State Aid . The law defines state aid as any public expenditure, which puts the recipient in privileged position in relation to its competitors and thereby distorts free market (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court finds that the transfer of a number of public schools and kindergartens to a private undertaking constitutes illegal aid under national law (Lagergreen)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In 2008 the Municipality Board in Upplands Väsby decided to transfer a number of public schools and kindergartens to a private company, Magnetica Education AB. The transfer price was 2 136 000 SEK which was the estimated value of the inventory and equipment in the schools and (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court finds that a guarantee undertaken by a municipality in favour of a private company that has constructed a building to be leased by the municipality for kindergarten activities does not constitute illegal aid under national law, nor is competition distorted on the relevant market under EC State aid or competition rules (Rydfeldt)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In 2008 the Municipality Board in Kungsbacka decided to undertake a guarantee of 17 million SEK in favour of a private undertaking. The private undertaking had constructed a building to be leased by the municipality for kindergarten activities. A private citizen, resident in (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal finds that the municipality’s decision to privatise the home-help service constitutes illegal aid to an undertaking on the basis of national provision while refusing to consider the EC State aid point of law (Jonas Eklund)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In May 2008, Stockholm municipality decided to transfer the public home-help service in Rågsved and Hagsätra to a private undertaking, Vantörs Hemtjänst AB. Jonas Eklund, a resident in the municipality, initiated court proceedings pursuant to the Local Government Act. He argued (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal states that a municipality’s sale of a high school constitutes illegal State aid on the basis of national provision while declining to rule on the EC State aid point of law (Christer Backstrom)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In May 2007, the municipal council in Täby, north of Stockholm, decided to close down the public activity at the high school “Tibble Gymnasium” and to approve that the school activity be carried on by a private undertaking (“Tibble Friståande Gymnasium AB” - “Tibble Indepedent (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal in Göteborg finds that the decision taken by a municipality board to participate in a subscription of shares in a company owned by the municipality constitutes illegal aid to an undertaking (Ingemar Basth)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In 2007, the municipality board in Ulricehamn decided to participate in a subscription of shares in a company owned by the municipality to a total value of 15 million SEK. A private citizen resident in the municipality brought court proceedings in accordance with the Local (...)

A German Regional Court rules that an EC Commission decision ordering recovery of an illegal aid measure must first be issued before a German court may deal with a request brought by a competitor ("Ryanair 4")
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Coblence Higher Regional Court of appeal rejects the appeal lodged by Lufthansa against LG Bad Kreuznach’s judgment and rules that the appeal lacks a legal basis. A Commission decision (be it provisional or definitive) ordering the recovery of (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal finds investment by the City Council of Stockholm in expansion of broadband to be illegal State aid that should have been notified to the Commission according to Art 88.3 EC (Thomas Svensson)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In 2005, the City Council of Stockholm approved an “action plan” meaning that the four important housing corporations controlled by the City would make considerable investments in broadband infrastructure. Thomas Svensson, being a local resident, appealed the decision claiming (...)

A Swedish Court applies the market economy investor principle in a State aid case (Thomas Svensson / City of Stockholm)
Cederquist (Stockholm)
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Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
Background In November 2005, Thomas Svensson (“Svensson”) appealed a decision by the City Council of Stockholm (the “City”) to the Stockholm County Administrative Court claiming that the decision by the City to give green light to four Stockholm city-controlled companies to invest in broadband (...)

The Belgium Court of Commerce of Brugge rules that the implementation of a State aid measure must be postponed until the EC Commission has finished its investigations (Oostende fish market - AGVO)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The municipality of Oostende has granted several benefits to the fish market of Oostende. This includes the grant of start-up capital by the Autonoom Gemeentelijke Vismijn Oostende (“AGVO”); AGVO then subsequently granted financial assistance to EVO and PO. In addition, the (...)

The Finnish Administrative Court approves the applicant’s claim on alleged State aid and rules that the measures may not be put into effect before the EC Commission has made its final decision on compatibility (Mikkeli City Council)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
Factual Background The City Council of Mikkeli had on 8 December 2008 made a decision, by which it granted deferments to amortizations of a debt to an company operating within food manufacture subject to reorganization proceedings. In addition, the City Council had decided to postpone some (...)

An Italian Court holds that the decision of the EC Commission to open a formal investigation procedure on the same State aid measure at stake before national courts, is not per se sufficient to prove the fumus boni iuris to grant interim relief (AirOne)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The Court, in line with its previous judgment of 9 September 2008 (Case of the Court of first instance of Sassari Alghero, 09 September 2008, on the same issue), rejected the claims made by AirOne asking for a declaration of unlawful State aid granted to Ryanair and for an (...)

The Belgian Constitutional Court finds there was no disguised State aid regarding the underevaluation of costs for operators of nuclear reactors in comparison to the costs borne by other operators (Union professionnelle belge des médecins spécialistes en radiothérapie-oncologie)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual background L’Agence fédérale de controle nucléaire (the Federal Agency of nuclear control) is a public organisation with legal personality in relation to protection of the population and environment against the dangers of ionizing rays. The Agency is also responsible for providing the (...)

The Polish Supreme Court rules that ignorance of law burdens both contracting parties if they are concluding a contract which is contrary to law, in particular with EC State aid law (Fish-processing plant)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen
Factual background: The claimant brought an action against the Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture for payment in relation to the agreement on grant of financial aid for the claimant in respect of a project relating to periodic suspension of activities concerning (...)

The Spanish Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country sets the criteria to consider a regional tax measure as State aid (Companies’ tax (I))
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the region of Castilla and Leon against the fiscal regional Law of Biscay 6/2007 (hereinafter, "Law 6/2007"), which modified three articles of the Companies’ tax regional Law of Biscay in order to grant tax benefits to companies located in the region of Biscay (...)

A Polish Appeals Court rules on the issue of costs reimbursing in the case of undue SAPARD aid (Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture / M. L.)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen
Factual background: The plaintiff brought an action against M.L. to recover unduly received financial aid in relation to SAPARD Programme. According to the agreement between the Agency and the defendant, the Agency undertook to refund part of the costs incurred in order to complete the (...)

The French Council of State orders stay in proceedings regarding the recovery of unlawful aid in the CELF case and refer to the ECJ the question of the extent of the national courts’ obligation in such "exceptional circumstances" (CELF II)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual background CELF is a cooperative society in public limited company form and operates as an export agent. It aims to process orders from abroad and from the French overseas territories and departments for books, brochures and any communication media and, more generally, to perform (...)

The German Administrative court rules that a service contract for the regional rail public transport is not subjected to State aid notification (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Gelsenkirchen Administrative Court holds that a service contract for regional public rail transport is not subject to a notification requirement. A definitive Commission decision stating declaring that Article 87(1) EC has been infringed is (...)

The German government agrees to apply appropriate measures in the financing regime for public service broadcasters in order to comply with EC State aid rules
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission and Germany agree on better control for the use of State aid in the broadcasting sector"* On 18 December 2008, Germany’s 16 Ländersigned a new inter-state treaty on broadcasting, which implements a set of appropriate measures under the terms of a Commission Decision of April 2007. (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court of Austria suspends, until judgment of the CFI, proceedings under the Austrian Unfair Competition Act on the question whether the sale of a bank constituted State Aid and thus violated the Act (SLAV)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
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PETER THYRI Competition Counseling Research
Factual background The privatisation of Bank Burgenland (“BB”) was a condition for the approval of a restructuring aid for Bank Burgenland by the Commission in 2004. In March 2006, following a third and finally successful public tender, Land Burgenland finally sold Bank Burgenland to GRAWE for (...)

The Finnish Administrative Court rejects alleged State aid element in a land sale and revokes previously granted interim measure (Haukivuori Municipal Council)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
Factual Background Haukivuori Municipal Council had decided to sell two pieces of land to a real estate company to be established. The municipality was going to be a major shareholder in the new company. The total purchase price was 7,900 euros and the new real estate company was intended to (...)

The Brussels Court of Appeal rejects State aid pleas in the context of a bank rescue plan (Fortis)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
1. Introduction In order to tackle the financial turmoil of last September, the Belgian State acquired in two steps Fortis Bank. Firstly, on 28 September 2008, the Belgian State (via the “SFPI”, the “Federal Participation and Investment Company”, together with the Luxembourg and the Dutch States (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court in Kalmar rules that a guarantee undertaken by local government in favour of construction of a football arena is in line with the Local Government Act (Christian Bildsten)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background On August 25, 2009, the Municipality of Kalmar decided to support a football arena construction project by subsidising the project and guaranteeing for the loan that Handelsfastigheter i Kalmar 2 AB (a real estate company) had to take out in order to finance the arena (...)

The Belgian Civil Supreme Court applies the ruling of the ECJ in the Van Calster case and holds that the tax on slaughterhouses does not constitutes unlawful State aid as it is part of an aid scheme declared compatible (Slachthuis Swaegers)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background Under the Belgian Animal Health Act 1987 (the “1987 Act”), compulsory charges were levied on slaughterhouses. These charges were subsequently used to finance animal welfare measures that improve the hygiene, health and quality of life of animals. This scheme had, however, (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court annuls a decision of a municipal council to sell a swimming arena but refuses to consider the EC State aid point of view on the basis of possible de minimis exemption (Ingolf Falk)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual background The applicant is a local resident. He appealed the municipal council in Övertorneå’s decision to sell a swimming arena for 1,00 SEK to the Administrative Court. The sale was not preceded by a public bidding procedure, nor by any independent expert evaluation of the property (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court sends a case back to the Administrative Court as it had not ruled on the question whether the arrangement constituted State aid (Atlas-Invest)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
Factual Background The City Council of Kouvola had resolved to approve the purchase offer of 500,000.00 euros on a parcel of land. The purchase offer amounted to the equivalent of the price announced by the City of Kouvola, but after the approval of the offer, two other offers with higher (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court delineates an administrative judge’s jurisdiction over governmental decisions when applying Art. 88.3 EC (Comité national des interprofessions des vins à appellations d’origine)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)
This is the first time that the French Supreme Administrative Court has had to decide on an application for annulment for refusing to report State measures which may qualify as state aid. The case at stake provided the French Supreme Administrative Court with an opportunity to specify the types (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court states that a municipality is not entitled to grant interest-free credits without applying State aid rules (Kedainiai District Municipality Council)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous
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Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
Factual background On 13 October 2000 the municipality council adopted decision No 187 “Concerning the Establishment of a Fund to Support Producers of Agriculture Products”. The decision provided for granting of interest-free credits to natural persons, undertakings, cooperatives, village (...)

The French Council of State deals with alleged State aid claimed by an interprofessional organisation requesting the annulment of a ministerial decision refusing the notification of a provision instituting compulsory contribution (Comité National des Interprofessions des Vins à Appelations)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background Twelve interprofessional organisations lodged a series of actions in annulment against a ministerial decision before the administrative jurisdictions, rejecting their demand for notification to the European Commission of a provision of the French rural code (Code rural) (...)

The UK Lands Tribunal rules there is no evidence that the application of a different valuation method between undertakings to assess the value of telecommunications network has resulted in an advantage likely to confer unlawful State aid (Kingston - British Telecom)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
The situation of BT and the assessment of the valuation of its fibre optic hereditament is not comparable to that of Vtesse and therefore it is impossible to say whether BT has been given any unfair advantage or more favourable treatment contrary to the broad principles of Article 87 EC. (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court rules that a sale of real estate is not made below market price and thus can not be considered as State aid (Per Gillberg)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background On March 31, 2008, the municipal council of Årjänge decided to make a trade-off sale whereby it sold the real estate Årjäng Slätten 7 to Tom Hedefur, and in exchange the municipality bought the real estate Årjäng Åsen 1 from him. Local resident Per Gillberg appealed the decision to (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court rules that a sale of a hotel to former leaseholder was made below market price and annuls the decision but withou considering the EC State aid point of view (Petra Nyström)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background On June 17, 2008, the municipal council of Kristinehamn decided to sell the city hotel in Kristinehamn for 3 million SEK to the leaseholder of the hotel. Petra Nyström, a local resident, appealed the decision to the Administrative Court arguing, inter alia, that the decision (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the authority granting State aid must advise the guarantor of the aid recipient when allocating non notified aid and that, if the granting authority has omitted to do so, the guarantor is entitled to oppose an action for damages against the recovery (Landes Brandenburg)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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Maersk (Copenhagen)
Factual background On 1 December 2000, the applicant granted D. GmbH a subsidy of over € 1 million for the development of business premises in the greater Berlin area. The general collateral clauses in the official letter granting the aid stated in which cases the aid might have to be repaid by (...)

The Italian Supreme Court refers a question for preliminary ruling to the ECJ to ask whether Italian tax relief measures for cooperative societies constitute State aid within Art. 87 EC (Famiglia Coop Agricola Carli Albino)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background Under Italian tax rules, cooperative societies benefit from significant fiscal reliefs. The ability to benefit from the reliefs is dependant upon the not-for-profit nature of the activity performed by the cooperative. Similarly to tax purposes, the not-for-profit nature is (...)

The Dutch Council of State rules that were the execution of a project does not depend upon the financial support of the public authorities, it does not constitute a form of State aid (Cassini)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background On 19 June 2007, Provincial Executive Noord-Holland approved a zoning plan drawn up by the Municipality of Heerhugowaard in which the development of a wind park to generate renewable energy was approved. The construction of this wind park required very substantial (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court finds that an agreement on sale of and decontamination of a piece of land constitutes illegal State aid under national law as well as under the EC law (Egeskans)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background The municipal council in Karlskrona decided to sell a piece of land to the building contractor NCC for 5 million SEK. Moreover, it was agreed that the municipality should pay the costs of NCC decontaminating the land (which was required if the land was to be exploited). The (...)

A Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal finds that costs from the European Regional Development Fund can not be considered as State aid since they favoured an individual undertaking and were hence illegal (Länsstyrelsen I Örebro län)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In 2005 the private undertaking AB Göta Kanalbolag was given a grant from the European Regional Development Fund as regards the project “Göta Kanal fortsättning 2006” (Göta Kanal Continues 2006 - Göta Kanal being a famous channel that crosses Sweden from West to East). The purpose (...)

A Dutch District Court rules that an agreement between a municipality and a company for the use of car parks is not contrary to Art. 87 EC (P1 Holding)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background The Municipality of Maastricht entered into an agreement with Q-Park NV on 27 November 2002 by which Q-Park NV was granted the right to exploit a number of Car Parks for a period of thirty years. The Municipality of Maastricht and Q-Park NV entered into this agreement (...)

A Dutch Court holds that the award of parking management contracts in a cross-border region does not have automatically an effect on intra Community trade (P1 Holding)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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NautaDutilh (Luxembourg)
Case 1. On 22 November 2002, the Municipality of Maastricht has awarded directly, i.e., without any public tender procedure a contract to the undertaking Q-Park for the renovation and operation of several parking lots for a period of 30 years. P1, one of Q-Park’s competitors, challenged the (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court of Justice of the Basque Country clarifies the scope of application of the special tax regime of the Basque Country (Arbegui)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by a company located in Vizcaya (the "Company") against a judgement by the Economic-Administrative Court of Vizcaya dated 18 September 2006 confirming the refusal of the Company’s tax settlement by the Regional Tax Office of Vizcaya ("RTOB") due to an illegal tax (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court declares that an aid scheme may not be suspended if a final decision on the illegality of such aid scheme has not been issued (Regional Administration of Vizcaya)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the Regional Administration of Vizcaya and the Chamber of Trade, Industry and Sailing of Bilbao (the "Appellants") against two writs of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country temporarily suspending the regional Decree of Vizcaya 10/2006 on Companies’ (...)

The Italian Council of State annuls a Ministerial Decree providing for annual contributions in favour of traders of fertilisers on the grounds that it constitutes unlawful State aid, non notified, and for which the EC Commission opened the formal investigation procedure (Federchimica, Confagricoltura, Compag)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background Article 123, paragraph 1, letter a) of Law No. 388/2000 (Italian Budget Law 2001) imposed - inter alia - on all traders of fertilisers the obligation to pay, starting from 2001, an annual contribution equal to 2% of their revenues. Such contribution was intended to finance a (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court in Stockholm rules that the sale of a local care centre to a private company is in line with national State aid legislation (Dag Larsson)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background On December 19, 2007, the Stockholm County Council (”Landstingsstyrelsen”) decided that a transfer of public activities to staff of the municipality (so-called “avknoppningar”), within particular areas, should be allowed. In line with this decision, the County of Stockholm (...)

The Finnish Administrative court holds that alleged State aid measures falls within the "municipal sphere of authority" (Kiinteistö Oy Säästöloma)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
Factual Background A number of companies operating in the hotel and accommodation business had contested the decision of Nurmes City Council, whereby it had decided on various measures in order to promote tourism and employment in that area. The City Council had, amongst other things, (...)

The German Financial Court of Hamburg holds it is seriously doubtful whether the duty for national courts under Community law to recover unlawful State aid shall supersede the national procedural laws on prescription (Mineralölsteuer 2)
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Hamburg Financial Court holds it is seriously doubtful whether the duty for national courts under Community law to recover unlawful State aid shall supersede the national procedural laws on prescription (Mineralölsteuer 2) Parties: The (...)

A German Administrative Court decides that if an aid measure that is found to formally infringe EC law cannot automatically be challenged for recovery then the infringement justifies the suspension of any further payment of that aid to the beneficiary (Betriebsstätte des Tourismusgewerbes)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Potsdam Administrative Court holds that, if an aid measure that is found to formally infringe EC law cannot automatically be challenged for recovery, the infringement justifies the suspension of any further payment of that aid to the (...)

The Slovakian Constitutional Court issues a formal decision by which it rejects a complaint for the review of the Ministry of Economy decision on refusal to grant State aid based on the act on investment incentives (X/Ministry of Economy)
Nedelka Kubáč advokáti (Bratislava)
,
Ružička Csekes
,
Ružička Csekes
Factual background: The applicant in December 2006 submitted to the Ministry of Economy request for the provision of state aid for a financing of the investment project “Construction of the new production plant for the production of specially patented steel-girders for the construction market”. (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal rules that an objective justification under the State aid rules does exist for tax measures that are of a purely technical nature (Ryanair - Maastricht Aachen Airport)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background With effect from 1 July 2008, the Dutch Government introduced a new tax law levying a EUR 45 flight tax for all passengers on board flights departing from the Netherlands for destinations outside the European Union, and EUR 11.50 for destinations within the European Union. (...)

The French Administrative court of Bordeaux rejects the State aid law pleas invoked by an unsuccessful bidder in a public tender won by a regional public body, ruling that Art. 87 EC is not directly effective (Merceron)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background This case is an appeal lodged against a judgment at first instance in which the claimant saw its request dismissed. It claimed the annulment of a local authority (city) decision confirming a concession contract for the dredging of the port of a commune. The contract was (...)

The Spanish Administrative Legal Organ of Alava allows the deferment and break up of a State aid recovery payment (Local Administration of Alava)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues: Appeal before the Administrative Legal Organ of Alava (the "ALOA") by a company against a decision of the Local Administration of Alava ("LAA") refusing the deferment and break up of the recovery of a State aid and requiring the immediate (...)

An Italian Court applies the EC Commission decision declaring a reduction in social security contributions incompatible and ordering their recovery from the beneficiary, although the Commission never denied that the tax benefit would also confer advantages to the transferring company and rejects the argument related to the legitimate expectations principle (Brandt Italia)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background Brandt Italia S.p.A. objected to two different tax bills and summoned INPS-SCCI and the company responsible for the tax collection to the Court of first instance of Brescia. The related proceedings were joined and consequently the Court took a single decision. Brandt Italia, (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms recovery of a State aid granted by way of a central Government subscription in the shares of the beneficiary (Mediterráneo Técnica Textil)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the Central Government against a judgement given by the Regional Audience of Seville (the "Judgement") refusing its right to recover a State aid which had previously been declared illegal and incompatible with the Common Market by the European Commission. The (...)

The French Court of appeal rejects plea of alleged State aid measures from an unsuccessful bidder for a public service concession finding that the contract of public service could include clauses where compensation for the provision of the public service could be actualised or revised (Syndicat mixte de transports en commun de l’agglomération de Bayonne)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The syndicate seeks the annulment of the judgment of the administrative court of Pau (first instance) in which the applicant had obtained the annulment of a decision of the city of Bayonne granting a concession to an undertaking for the operation of public transport. The (...)

The Austrian Constitutional Court rules that the beneficiaries of unlawful aid cannot rely on a legitimat of expectations to resist the recovery (ÖkostromG)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
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PETER THYRI Competition Counseling Research
Factual Background The judgment concerns a review of the constitutionality of the Austrian Ökostromgesetz of 2002 (ÖkostromG) in an appeal over reimbursement of additional cost for CHP electricity production provided for in that law. Reimbursement is subject to a number of criteria under the (...)

The French Civil Court of Appeal of Basse-Terre holds that third parties cannot request a national court to statute on the alleged incompatibility of a State aid measure but confirms national courts’ jurisdiction for claims for damages (Primistères Reynoird)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The society Primistères Reynoird imports goods from the continental part of France and other Member States of the European Union to Guyana and paid the levies in relation to the dock dues and an additional tax for the period between 1 October 1991 and 31 December 1992. In (...)

The Dutch Council of State considers the preferential treatment of a company, which exploits an airport by the construction of the enlargement of the airport, to be illegal State aid in breach of Art. 87-88 EC (Municipality of Haren)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background In 2001 the Minister of Transport and Water Management amended the decree pursuant to which the airport in Eelde was designated an airport. The amendments concern the length of the runway and the maximum noise pollution. As a result of the changes bigger airplanes were (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court rules that a system of official inserts in a newspaper does not violate the Austrian Act Against Unfair Competition since it constitutes existing State aid and thus is not subject to the prohibition of implementation (Die Presse)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
,
PETER THYRI Competition Counseling Research
Factual Background “Die Presse” is a privately held Austrian daily newspaper. “Wiener Zeitung” (WZ), a private company owned by the Austrian Government, is a daily newspaper with an official insert used by the Austrian Government to publish formal announcements such as newly passed laws, civil (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court rules that an advantage that may qualify as an existing State aid under Art. 87 EC may be considered permissible as long as the EC Commission has not declared this advantage as being incompatible (Newspaper cross-financing, Wiener Zeitung II)
Salzburg University
On 10 June, 2008, the Austrian Supreme Court ruled that the view according to which an advantage that may qualify as an existing state aid measure under Article 87 EC may be considered permissible as long as the Commission has not declared this advantage as being incompatible with the Common (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal rules that granting GSM frequencies to two mobile operators for no consideration is not a form of unlawful State aid (Orange Nederland)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background On 1 September 1994, the Dutch Act on Telecommunication Services (Wet op de Telecommunicatievoorzieningen) came into force, implementing Directive 87/372/EEC of 25 June 1987. On the basis of this Directive, all Member States agreed to allocate frequencies to (digital) mobile (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court upholds the earlier decision of the Administrative Court and rules that such a small-scale activity as the one in question does not affect the competition circumstances to the extent that it could be regarded as constituting State aid (Ylä-Savo Board)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
Factual Background The applicants were private entrepreneurs operating a driving school business in Eastern Finland. As a result of an amendment of the Decree on Driving Licenses (Ajokorttiasetus, statute number 433/1996), driving instruction for heavy articulated vehicles and buses required a (...)

The Danish Competition Authority finds that a municipality had not paid a settlement price to the private caterer which was lower than the costs of the competing municipal service provider (Vordingborg Kommunes)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background A private caterer complained to the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) about the municipality of Vordingborg paying too low a price for its services in 2005 and 2006. The complainant also argued that the municipality’s cost calculation methods were not transparent. Summary (...)

A German higher regional court quashes the 2006 ruling of a lower regional court and rejects an air carrier claims on grounds of inadmissibility and on the merits, holding that Art. 87 and 88 EC as the related national provisions cannot be construed as supporting claims of competitors (Ryanair 2)
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Factual background The Higher Regional Court had to deal with the appeal against the “Ryanair 1” decision of the Kiel Regional Court of 27 July 2006 (see Kiel District Court of 27 July 2006, Landgericht Kiel 1 (Kammer für Handelssachen), 14 O Kart. 176/04, “Ryanair 1”). In its appeal the defendant (...)

The Italian Supreme Court annuls a decision of the regional tax Commission which granted tax benefits on the grounds that it constituted unlawful State aid and oders its recovery (Amato Law on public banking system)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background Law No. 218/90 (the so called “Amato Law”) provided for tax benefits in relation to restructuring operations in the public banking system. The defendant claimed that Law No. 218/90 applied to the specific circumstances in which its company was active and subsequently claimed a (...)

A German Administrative Court of appeal rules that a broadcasting tax that is part of an existing aid cannot be challenged before a national court unless the EC Commission demands its modification be suppressed pursuant to Art. 88.2 EC ("Rundfunkgebühr 1")
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Baden-Württemberg administrative court of appeal holds that a tax payer, refusing to pay a radio tax, cannot base its claim upon an alleged infringement of EC State aid rules by the German radio financing system. This broadcasting tax is part (...)

The French Council of State finds that a parafiscal tax imposed in the sector of pork meat production should not have been notified as a State aid as no State resources were transfered (Coopérative Cooperl Hunaudaye and Federation Syndigel)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant is a group of pork producers also active in the field of slaughtering, cutting and pork meat processing. The undertaking, supported by Syndigel, which is a syndicate of wholesalers, seeks the annulment of an administrative decision of the Ministers of economy (...)

The Spanish Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia confirms an aid scheme applicable to an employment project (Department de Treball i Industria)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the Association Taula D’Entitats del Tercer Sector Social de Catalunya (the "Association") against Regional Decree 81/2005 of Catalonia ("Decree 81/2005") on State aids for the creation of employment in new economic sectors. Decree 81/2005 excluded non-profit (...)

The Belgian Council of State ruled that there was no need for the procuring entity of a public tender procedure to inquire about the legality of an underlying State aid received by one of the tenderers
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background This case concerns a public tender procedure in which VZW Merlijn Marketeer (“VZW”) was awarded the assignment to investigate the existing customer relations of the National Bank of Belgium (“Bank”). VWZ’s offer was the most economical, in that it was the lowest price of all the (...)

A Slovakian Regional Court rules that the debt write-off under the “arrangement with creditors” does not constitute State aid within the meaning of the State Aid Act (Frucona)
Nedelka Kubáč advokáti (Bratislava)
,
Ružička Csekes
,
Ružička Csekes
Factual background: The defendant is a company active in production of beverages which was granted a debt write - off based on the concluded “arrangement with creditors” under the Act on Bankruptcy (Act No. 328/1991 Coll. on Bankruptcy and Arrangement with Creditors). “Arrangement with (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court rules that the actions of the Ministry of Agriculture were legal and could not engage its civil liability and rejects the applicant’s claims without examining the issue under State aid rules (Arvi Cukrus UAB)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous
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Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
Factual background Pursuant to the order of the Minister of Agriculture No 412 “Concerning the Export of White Sugar” dated 21 October 2002, sugar manufacturers were subject to mandatory export quotas of white sugar. According to the applicant, the export price of the compulsory quota was (...)

The Italian Constitutional Court holds that a regional tax provision could potentially impose a selective tax burden on non-resident undertakings and therefore constitute unlawful State aid for undertakings domiciled for tax purposes in the region (Region of Sardinia)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The President of the Council of Ministers (“PCM”) sought a declaration of unconstitutionality in respect of certain provisions contained in Law No. 4 of the Region of Sardinia of 11 May 2006, (Miscellaneous provisions on revenue, reclassification of costs, social policy and (...)

The French Court of appeal of Douai rejects the claim of a tax payer contesting a tax adjustment and the reintegration of the sums perceived in the context of the "Borotra plan", on the ground that there was no uncertainty concerning the repayment of the unlawful aid (Blanchisserie industrielle du marais)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant seeks the annulment of the judgment of the administrative tribunal of Amiens dated 16 November 2006 in which the undertaking’s claim for repayment of additional taxes paid on societies and VAT was rejected. The appellant is active in the field of washing, (...)

The French Administrative Court of Nancy annulls a judgement having declared admissible the order for repayment of the tax on advertisement expenses constituting unlawful State aid (Fagnières Distribution; Pierrydis; Chamdis; Sodichamp; Eperdis)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background In this case, the Minister of Economy and Finances seeks the annulment of the administrative tribunal of first instance decision allowing the defendants restitution of the payment of taxes on advertising expenses paid for the year 2002. Between the judgment of the first (...)

The Belgian Constitutional Court dismiss as a State aid claim by economic operators seeking the annulment of a law imposing reusable packages more heavily than "one way" packages on the grounds that the Commission has not assessed the compatibility of the measure yet
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual background The Fédération royale de l’industrie des Eaux et boissons rafraichissantes (the “Federation”) sought the annulment of a law of March 2007. The Federation alleged that the law constituted State aid, even if the measure pursues the legitimate objective of protection of (...)

An Italian tax commission holds, pursuant to an EC Commission decision, that the tax exemption in favour of public utilities with a majority public capital holding constituted unlawful State aid and should be recovered with interest and with no discretionary power on the part of the local administration (Tax Commission of Modena)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
The Tax Commission recalled the Commission Decision 2003/193/EC concerning alleged State aid granted by Italy in the form of tax exemptions and access to subsidised loans to various public utilities. With regard to the national legal background the Commission pointed out that in Italy (...)

The Italian Constitutional Court dismisses State aid claim on the grounds that the provisions of measures to combat tax evasion is not selective and so cannot be qualified as State aid (Regione Toscana, Emilia Romagna, Sicilia, Piemonte, Campania)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background In five separate applications, Tuscany, Sicily, Piedmont, Campania and Emilia-Romagna Regions (“the Regions”) questioned the constitutionality of certain Articles of Law No. 203 of 30 September 2005, converted into law, with amendments, by Law No. 248 of 2 December 2005 (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court annuls the Canary Islands aid scheme for the creation of a public service of maritime cabotage for being discriminative (Garajonay Expres)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues: Appeal before the Supreme Court by the Government of the Canary Islands and an individual (the “Appellants”) against a judgement of the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (the “Court”) declaring the scheme of aids for the creation of a (...)

An Italian lower Court refers to the Constitutional Court a preliminary ruling on the conformity with constitutional law of EC Reg. 695/1999 which sets up a different statute of limitation for the recovery of contributions constituting unlawful aid with respect to internal rules
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The applicant was a company which had benefited from pension contribution breaks with respect to work and formation contracts (i.e. CFL, contratti di formazione e lavoro) between 1995 and 2001. The European Commission, through Decision No. 128/2000 of 11 May 1999, (...)

The Romanian Competition Council approves a regional State aid scheme to support investments made by small and medium-size companies
European Security Transport Association (ESTA)
The Romanian Competition Council has approved, on 1st February 2008, a regional state-aid scheme designed to promote the investments made by small and medium-sized economic actors in certain economic-development related activities. The scheme, which should come into force immediately, will be (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the annulment of a provision which had not been included in the notification of an aid scheme to the European Commission (Eólica Navarra)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the Government of Navarra against the judgement of the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra of 7 February 2005 (the "Appealed Judgment") annulling a provision of the regional Decree of Navarra 91/2003 on aids to investment and employment in projects of use of (...)

The French Council of State judges that the variations in the contribution paid by users of a public service does not constitute a modification of a State aid scheme approved by the Commission (Federation nationale)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant seeks the annulment of a decree relating to the calculation and the rate of a tax on slaughtering. The tax is instituted in application of a provision of the General Tax code (Article 302 bis ZD) is applied to slaughterhouse and is designed to finance the (...)

The Court of First Instance of Rome confirms, pursuant to an EC Commission’s decision, the recovery of an unlawful aid and holds that the statute of limitation set forth by Art. 15 of EC Reg. 695/1999 is also applicable to the recovery sought by national public bodies (Ericsson Telecomunicazioni)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The applicant was a major company in the telecommunications sector, and had benefited from pension contribution breaks with respect to work and formation contracts (i.e. CFL, contratti di formazione e lavoro) between 1995 and 2001. The European Commission, through Decision (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Marseille dismisses the appeal of tax payers claiming the refund of the of the tax on meat purchases judging an absence of hypothecation of the levy to aid measure (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellants seek the annulment of the administrative tribunal of Nice decision rejecting its demand for tax paid on meat purchases. The tribunal had judged that considering that the tax had been integrated in the general budget of the State, it was not obliged to rule on (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State Aid Control authorises a draft aid scheme for the provision of aid to farmers affected by the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, finding that it falls within EC Reg. N°1857/2006 (Aid to livestock farmers)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 15 November 2007 the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment notified to the Cyprus Commissioner for State Aid Control a draft aid measure, entitled “indemnity/aid to livestock farmers due to foot-and-mouth disease”. The (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Marseille dismisses the appeal of tax payers claiming the refund of the of the tax on meat purchases judging an absence of hypothecation of the levy to aid measure (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellants seek the annulment of the judgement of the tribunal of first instance in which the tribunal rejected the repayment of taxes paid on meat purchases for the period 2001 to 2003 and 2001 to 2002. Summary of the Court’s findings The court adopts the same (...)

The Belgian Civil Supreme Court found that alterations to an existing State aid scheme have to amount to a modification of the system itself to constitute a new aid and for the scheme to be notifiable to the EC Commission (Belgacom)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual background In the decision of the Court of Appeal of Brussels of 16 March 2005, it was held that the Belgian State was not wrong to allow Belgacom, the incumbent Belgian telecommunication company to benefit from a tax exemption pursuant to a provision in a law of 1930 and included in (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Paris dismisses the appeal of tax payers claiming the refund of the of the tax on meat purchases judging an absence of hypothecation of the levy to aid measure (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellants seek the annulment of an order of the tribunal of first instance in which the tribunal rejected the repayment of taxes paid on meat purchases, instituted by Article 302 bis ZD of the general tax code, for which it was subject for the period 2001 to 2003 for an (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State Aid Control authorises the amendment of the national legislation concerning aid towards the payment of agricultural insurance premiums, finding that it complies with EC Reg. N°1857/2006 (“Aid towards the payment of insurance premiums”)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background In 1977 Cyprus introduced specific legislation, setting up the legal framework concerning the system of compulsory agricultural insurance and the granting of State aid through the subsidization of the insurance premium. Given that this legislation had been enacted before the (...)

The Portuguese Supreme Administrative Court receives preliminary ruling from the ECJ on State aid case in public transport field (Antrop)
New University of Lisboa - Faculty of Law
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University of Coimbra - Faculty of Law
Brief description of the facts and legal issues Parties: The applicant: Associação Nacional de Transportadores Rodoviários de Pesados de Passageiros (hereinafter referred to as "Antrop") and Others; The defendant: Conselho de Ministros, Companhia Carris de Ferro de Lisboa SA ("Carris"), (...)

The Greek State Council declares inadmissible a submission that the misestimation of the cost of the provision of certain services by the authority who conducted a public tender amounted to State aid to the winning bidder, on the grounds that Article 87 EC does not have direct effect, but is applied on the initiative of the European Commission (Bus Operator)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Parties Applicant: Bus operator Defendant: Greece (Prefectural Administration of Serres) Facts On 21.07.2005, the prefectural committee for education and youth of the prefectural administration of Serres (Serres being a prefecture in the north of Greece and in particular in the geographical (...)

The Romanian Competition Council approves a regional state aid scheme aimed at supporting environmentally friendly investments
European Security Transport Association (ESTA)
The Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) has approved an investment scheme targeted at granting regional state aids for the promotion of clean, environmental friendly, technologies and for the production of energy using renewable resources. The Council has informed the European Commission (...)

The Danish Competition Authority, applying national provisions on State aid, orders municipalities to re-calculate and adjust the settlement prices in relation to municipal services (Fritvalgspriser på ældreområdet)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The Danish Competition Authority (DCA) has received a number of complaints from private companies which provide eldercare services to the Danish municipalities. The complaints concern in particular the fact that the prices paid by the municipalities (the “settlement prices”) (...)

The Dutch District Court holds that the reimbursement of stranded costs - qualified by the European Commission as State aid - is included in the scope of an earlier positive Commission decision (Nederlands Elektriciteit)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background In 1989, four electricity producers decided to collaborate on a demonstration project for coal gasification. The company incorporated to implement the project was named Demkolec and was a subsidiary of N.V. SEP (SEP), which was jointly owned by the collaborating electricity (...)

A French Administrative Court of Appeal rules that a claim calling into question the validity of a decision of the Commission not to raise objection against alleged State aid measures raised serious difficulties requiring a preliminary ruling from the ECJ (Régie Networks)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background Régie Networks, an undertaking selling advertising space for the NRJ Group’s local radio stations, paid EUR 152 524 by way of parafiscal charge levied on advertisements broadcast on radio and television in 2001. It claimed reimbursement of that sum from the local tax (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Versailles rejects the arguments of a tax payer resisting the payment of a tax on certain advertising expenses on the ground that the levy was not hypothecated to any aid measures (Daimler Chrysler)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant seeks the annulment of a judgment of the administrative tribunal of Versailles of 14 March 2006 in favour of the society SA Daimler Chrysler France, which claimed the reimbursement of tax paid in 2002 on certain advertising expenses. Before the tribunal of (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal qualifies guarantees issued by a port as a form of State aid that should have been notified to the European Commission (Resiex Capital)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background In August 2004, it appeared that the former director of the Port of Rotterdam - owned by the Municipality of Rotterdam - had agreed to authorize a number of bank loan guarantees to a total amount of approximately EUR 100 million. The director of the Port of Rotterdam had (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State Aid Control authorises an aid scheme for postgraduate programme, finding that it falls within EC Reg. 68/2001 (Mediterranean Institute of Management)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 19 June 2007 the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA) notified to the Commissioner for State Aid Control a draft aid measure, entitled “aid scheme for the participation in the postgraduate programme of the Mediterranean Institute of Management (MIM)”. The (...)

German Federal Court of Justice clarifies that State aid law supersedes German bankruptcy law (SKL)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Background From 1997 to 2000, BVT Industrie-Beteiligungsgesellschaft Magdeburg mbH(“BVT”), a company ultimately controlled by the German government, granted several loans to SKL Motoren und Systembautechnik GmbH (“SKL”), a company that developed and manufactured engines for ships and the energy (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice holds that the presence of State aid elements in the debtor’s capital does not prevent a creditor from challenging a national insolvency procedure (German insolvency procedure)
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Factual background The applicant is a liquidator in insolvency proceedings concerning L. GmbH (the debtor, later renamed C. GmbH). The defendant is a publicly-owned bank which focuses on encouraging investment in Thuringia. The debtor was a company manufacturing compact discs in Thuringia (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Lyon rules that trade chambers are not undertakings and rejects the claim of a claimant alleging that a tax for the expenses of these chambers amounts to unlawful State aid (Bellerivedis)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The society seeks the annulment the administrative tribunal of Clermont-Ferrand judgment rejecting its claims for reimbursement of a tax on the expenses of the trade chambers (from 1991 to 2002). The disputed tax is instituted by a provision of the general tax code and is (...)

A Slovakian Regional Court rules on the central office on employment failure to issue formal decisions on its refusal to grant de minimis State aid (Emil Krajèík)
Nedelka Kubáč advokáti (Bratislava)
,
Ružička Csekes
,
Ružička Csekes
The Regional Court ruled that the Central Office on Employment as well as regional employment offices breached rules on administrative proceedings by omitting to issue formal decisions on refusal to grant the de minimis state aid and incorrectly assessed criteria for provision of de minimis (...)

The French Civil Supreme court applies the ECJ State aid Boiron case law and rules that national courts have an obligation to take all the necessary measures when national procedural rules are not sufficiently favorable for a claimant wishing to demonstrate the existence of overcompensation for public service obligations (Laboratoires Boiron)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The company Laboratoires Boiron appeals the judgment of the Court of appeal of Lyon in litigation concerning a provision of the French Code de la santé publique (Public Health Code). The appellants which is a pharmaceutical laboratory specialising in homeopathic medicines (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal in Göteborg rules that financial support from local government to a regional film production company infringes national State aid law (Uddevalla kommun )
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In September 2005, the municipality of Uddevalla decided to give financial support of 900 000 SEK to Film i Väst, a regional film production company. Hans Jonasson, a local resident, appealed the decision to the Administrative Court. The Administrative Court considered that (...)

The Regional Administrative Court of Sardigna holds that when the EU Commission declares an aid to be incompatible, the unlawful aid should be recovered notwithstanding the fact that the national law that provided for the measure has not been repealed (Sardegna Lines)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The applicant was a company active in the sector of water transport. On 22 July 1992 Credito Industriale Sardo S.p.A. (C.S.I.), one of the major banks of Sardinia, granted the applicant an subsidised loan under Regional Law no. 20/1951. However, the European Commission, (...)

The Greek administrative Court of appeal rules that interest due in the case of recovery of illegal aid constitutes a distinct category of interest which may not be confused or in any way affected by other types of interest or other provisions of national tax law (Heracles)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background: In 1983, Greece adopted Law 1386/1983 for the organization for the financial reconstitution of undertakings. Law 1386/1983 created an organization operating under the name of Business Reconstruction Organisation, whose purpose was to contribute, inter alia, to the social (...)

The German Administrative court of appeal finds that the existence of ongoing proceedings led by the EC Commission according to Art. 88.2 EC prohibits access to documents covered by the freedom of information act (Pflegen und Wohnen Betriebs)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Hamburg Administrative court of appeal holds that documents on ongoing proceedings do not fall within the scope of the Hamburg Freedom of Information Act setting the law on access to file. The existence of ongoing proceedings before the (...)

The Spanish Superior Court of Justice of Madrid denies tax exemption for a compensation for dismissal which had been paid with a State aid (Central Administration)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by a worker who voluntarily accepted to be paid compensation for dismissal by joining employment regulation proceedings ("ERP"). The funding for the ERP came from state aid. The worker subsequently claimed compensation for unfair dismissal. The appeal was rejected by (...)

A Swedish Court rules on alleged illegal State aid from the City of Stockholm to promote local broadband infrastructure (Thomas Svensson)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
,
Hudson Advisors (London)
Introduction There are no specific rules with regard to state aid in Sweden and the number of cases brought before a Swedish court are few. This, of course, causes a certain amount of unpredictability and uncertainty as regards the application of the EC state aid rules in the national legal (...)

A German regional court holds that Art. 88.3 EC does not confer any specific protection to a competitor and does not entitle the latter to challenge the award of State aid; therefore, the payment of so-called marketing support from an airport operator to an airline company does not constitute an unlawful action to the detriment of a competitor, even if the payment is inadmissible according to EC State aid law (Ryanair 3)
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Factual background The defendant manages the airport of Frankfurt-Hahn. Ryanair is the most important airline flying to and from Frankfurt-Hahn airport, using this airport as its European continental basis. The defendant is 65% owned by a publicly listed company; the Federal States Hesse and (...)

A German regional Court refuses to order recovery of unlawful State aid granted by Frankfurt airport to a low cost carrier (Ryanair / Lufthansa)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Background The low-cost carrier Ryanair and alleged State aid granted to Ryanair continue to keep the European Commission and Member State courts in terms of State aid law busy. The most recent example is a decision by the Landgericht Bad Kreuznach. The facts The defendant operates the (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Douai rejects the claim of individuals based solely on Art. 87 EC judging that the provision has no direct effect (Direction de contrôle fiscal Nord)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The claimants contested the taxation of an indemnity paid to public servants having changed their regime of mutual insurance. This sum was taxed under Article 160-0 A of the General Tax Code. The claimants argued that the tax led to an infringement of article 3 g) EC and (...)

The Greek Administrative Court of Appeal of Athens annuls a decision of the Regulatory Authority for Energy, finding that the alleged misapplication by the latter of national legislation pertaining to the costs to be incurred in connecting to the electricity transmission system amounted to State aid to the new system user (Public Power Corporation)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Parties: Appellant: Public Power Corporation S.A. Defendant: Greece (Minister of Development and Regulatory Authority for Energy) Background information: In 1999 Greece adopted Law 2773/1999 (the so-called Electricity Law), aligning its national legislation with Directive 96/92/EC concerning (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court brings a preliminary question before the ECJ on State aid issue relating to obligatory investments for the financing in advance of European and Spanish cinematographic and TV films (Unión de Televisiones Comerciales Asociadas)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: An appeal before the Supreme Court by the Union of Associated Commercial Televisions ("UACT") against Royal Decree 1652/2004 on obligatory investments for the financing in advance of European and Spanish cinematographic and TV films ("Royal Decree 1652/2004") on the grounds (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorizes several aid schemes for the provision of training aid, having concluded that they fall within EC Reg. No. 68/2001 and No. 800/2008 (Training programmes)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background Decision No. 267: On 27.03.2007 the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus (HRDA) notified a draft aid scheme entitled “multi-company continuing training programmes abroad” to the Commissioner for State Aid Control. The aid measure aims to encourage employers and their (...)

The Spanish National Audience confirms the incompatibility between different types of national regional aid to agriculture (Grupo Kalise Menorquina)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues: A company brought an appeal before the National Audience against a decision of the Ministry of Economy refusing the granting of a State aid for regional incentives. The Ministry of Economy’s refusal was based on the fact that the appellant’s (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court holds that an exclusive operator in the field has not been granted any advantage within the meaning of State aid provisions when operating beyond the boundaries of the secure network and rules that the nature and the purpose of products on devices determines whether a monopoly is lawful (TEO LT - Omnitel - Bite Lietuva)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous
,
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
Factual background Pursuant to the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs No 1V-167 dated 14 May 2004, the public undertaking Infostruktura was authorised to act as the exclusive operator of the secure data transmission network in Lithuania. Consequently, providers of similar electronic (...)

The Italian Supreme Court rules that provisions on tax breaks are of strict interpretation and not subject to be extended to cases different than the one ruled, the extension otherwise constituting State aid within the meaning of Art. 87 EC (TRA.IN)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background Legislative Decree No. 446/1997 introduced a Regional tax on production activities. The provisions regarding the estimate assessment of the Regional taxation regime have been subject to multiple amendments which have created doubts over whether specific requirements would be (...)

A Swedish Court embraces its role as EC state aid law enforcer (Skyways Express / Kristianstad Airport)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
,
SNP Schlawien (Munich)
Introduction This case is interesting as it is one of the few state aid cases that has been brought before a Swedish court. Although, there will be no final judgment on the case it represents a positive development in the application of EC law at national level, in particular, since the (...)

The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy requests recovery of unlawful aid incompatible with the Common Market (Componenta Oyj)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
The Court of First Instance annulled on 18 December 2008 the Commission’s decision finding an implementation of an unlawful State aid in the matter. The case is currently pending before the Administrative Court of Helsinki. Factual Background In December 2003, Componenta Oyj, a producer of (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court applies the ECJ Boiron State aid case law on burden of proof and annuls the judgment of the Versailles Court of Appeal dismissing the application by a pharmaceutical producer (Glaxosmithkline)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background This case is one in a series of cases against pharmaceutical producers and wholesale distributors concerning a provision of the French Code de la santé publique (Public Health Code). The relevant provision obliges pharmaceutical wholesalers to stock enough medical products to (...)

A Dutch Court considers that granting radio frequencies to a public radio broadcasting company for no consideration is not a form of unlawful State aid (Vereniging)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background In January 2003 the Minister of Economic Affairs granted four local public service broadcasting organisations (together named: "G4 Radio/FunX") a license to broadcast on the radio frequency bands 96.1 and 98.4 Mhz. Normally, broadcasting organisations obtain these licenses (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court in Kalmar dismisses an appeal regarding the decision of a municipality to sell real estate under national State aid law (Mörbylånga kommun)
Mercer Sverige (Stockholm)
,
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
,
Öberg & Associés
Factual Background In June 2009, the municipal council in Mörbylånga decided to sell the real estate Fröbygårda 1:1 (a bathing place) to Mattias Johansson. Local resident Margareta Lööf-Johansson and non-local resident Peter Norrby appealed the decision to the Administrative Court in Kalmar. (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorizes an aid scheme, aimed at the collection, transport and processing of animal waste by a private undertaking, finding that it falls within EC Reg. No. 1857/2006 (Sigan Management)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 05.02.2007, the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment veterinary services notified to the Cyprus Commissioner for State Aid Control a draft aid scheme, entitled “scheme for the collection, transport and processing of animal waste by the company Sigan (...)

The Spanish National Audience authorises partial recovery of training aid whose use had not been justified by way of receipts by the beneficiary (Finafor, S.L.)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: The National Institute of Employment ("NIE") granted a State aid to a company (the “Beneficiary”), which committed itself to the implementation of a training plan (the "Training Plan"). The State Aid was paid in advance and following that payment, the NIE found out that the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority finds that the municipality of Gentofte had not paid a settlement price to the private caterer which was lower than the costs of the competing municipal service provider (Fritvalg - Gentofte Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background A private company complained to the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) about the municipality of Gentofte paying too low a price for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care. In particular, the complainant did not understand why the prices had (...)

The Rotterdam District Court declares nul and void public loan guarantees holding that they constitute State aid that should have been notified to the EC (Port of Rotterdam)
Visser, Schaap & Kreijger
In two recent decisions, the Rotterdam District Court held that loan guarantees issued by the Port of Rotterdam (part of the municipality of Rotterdam) were null under the Dutch Civil Code provisions on nullity, as the guarantees were state aid that should have been notified. Background In (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the decision of the lower court that the applicant did not meet the requirement for the ownership of the capital necessary to qualify the measure as State aid (Selos Parkas)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous
,
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
Factual background On 10 June 2004 the Minister of Economy adopted order No 4-222 establishing “Guidelines for applicants to receive financial support from the structural funds of the European Union according to the Lithuanian general programme document for 2004-2006” (the “Guidelines”). The (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal refuses to order the Municipality to suspend an investment which was liable to constitute a State aid, although the Commission has started an Art. 88.2 EC procedure (UPC/Gemeente Amsterdam)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Court of Appeal of Amsterdam (Gerechtshof Amsterdam), 18 January 2007, UPC Nederland B.V. v Gemeente Amsterdam (Municipality of Amsterdam), Decision n° AZ6508, Case 1252/06 KG UPC is an undertaking which provides telecommunications services, such as television, telephony and broadband (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal allows a municipality to continue its investment in a local telecommunications network, despite the European Commission having commenced an Art 88.2 EC procedure (UPC Nederland)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background In April 2004, the Municipality of Amsterdam informed the European Commission of its intention to roll-out a telecommunications network in Amsterdam. For that purpose, a new legal entity was incorporated by the Municipality of Amsterdam. The project was subsequently notified (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative court prohibits the enforcement of a national measure aiming at subsidizing a construction project by an undertaking majority-owned by the national authority granting the aid until the Commission has taken its final decision on the matter (Dalbo Affärsfastigheter Ab)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
Factual Background The applicant is a company operating within the construction, sale and leasing of business premises in the province of Åland. It contested the decision of the Province Government of Åland, by which the government granted a provincial guarantee of 2,587,500 euros for the (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Nantes dismisses the appeal of a tax payer resisting the payment of a tax on certain advertising expenses on the ground that the levy was not hypothecated to any State aid measures (Tax on advertising expenses)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The Minister of Economy and Finance seeks the annulment of the judgment of the administrative tribunal of Caen allowing the request of wholesalers claiming restitution for a tax paid on expenses for advertisement. The tax is set by Article 302 bis MA of the general code on (...)

The French Council of State upholds the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Douai on the existence of an alleged unlawful State aid concerning a tax perceived on publicity expenses and necessarily allocated for the financing of support measures to the press sector (SA Damart Serviposte)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background SA Damart is an undertaking which sells advertising spaces inside free newspapers. The claimant requested the recovery of a tax imposed on certain commercial expenses as set by Article 302 bis of the Tax code. The Minister of Economy and Finances lodged an appeal before the (...)

The French Council of State upholds the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Douai on the existence of an alleged unlawful State aid concerning a tax perceived on publicity expenses allocated for the financing of support measures to the press sector (ATAC)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background Atac is an undertaking selling advertising spaces inside free newspapers. The claimant requested the recovery of a tax imposed on certain commercial expenses as set out by Article 302 bis of the Tax code. At first instance, the administrative tribunal of Lille held that the (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court holds that aids to the daily press financed by a tax levied on advertising expenses affects trade between Member States and consequently amount to State aid (Auchan)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État, 8ème et 3ème sous-sections réunies), 21 December 2006, SA Auchan France, n°288562 Background and facts Article 23 of Law n° 97-1269 of 30 December 1997 () introduced a tax levied on certain advertising expenses (the Tax). The revenue of the Tax is (...)

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court rules that the national public broadcaster has a special constitutional mission and the State has a responsibility to ensure it receives proper financing in accordance with State aid rules (Law on Lithuanian National Radio and Television)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous
,
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
Factual background The petitioner applied to the Constitutional Court requesting an investigation into whether certain provisions of the Law on Lithuanian National Radio and Television conflict with the Constitution of Lithuania (the “Constitution”). The conflicts highlighted were: (i) whether (...)

The Danish Competition Authority finds that a municipality had incorrectly calculated the costs of the municipal service provider and orders the municipality re-calculated the latter’s costs, taking into account the guidance issued by the Competition Authority (Fritvalg - Ølstykke Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background A private company complained to the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) about the municipality of Ølstykke paying too low a price for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care. More importantly, the municipality had failed to adjust its prices in (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorises an aid scheme aimed at incentivising employers/businesses to design, organise and implement training programmes for their employees, finding that it falls within EC Reg. N° 68/2001 (Training programmes)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 16 November 2006 the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus notified to the Commissioner for State Aid Control a draft aid scheme, entitled “single-company continuing training Programmes in Cyprus”. The aid aims at incentivising employers/undertakings to design, (...)

The Danish Competition Authority finds that a municipality had wrongly calculated the costs of the municipal service provider in relation to home case services and orders the municipality to re-calculate the latter’s costs, taking into account its guidance (Praktisk hjælp - Hjørring Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background A private company complained to the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) about the municipality of Hjørring paying too low a price for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care. Summary of the Court’s findings The DCA stressed that under Section 11a (...)

The Spanish Superior Court of Justice of Castilla and Leon states the conditions for a company restructuring plan to fall within the State aids regime (Instituto Nacional de Empleo)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: The National Employment Institute refused to grant unemployment benefits to a worker who had been made redundant within the framework of his company’s restructuring plan. The claimant received compensation for dismissal, which raised his income over the threshold of the (...)

The Irish High Court rules that State aid measures related to private medical insurance to which the EC Commission did not object can not be sued before national courts as it falls under Art. 86.2 EC (Bupa Ireland)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Factual Background This case concerns private medical insurance and its operation in the Irish market. Private medical insurance ("PMI") was formally introduced in Ireland in 1957 with the establishment of the Voluntary Health Insurance Board (the "VHI"), in order to enable persons not (...)

The Austrian Administrative Court refuses to open up the circle of State aid recipients to suppress the selective character of the measure and assumes a total blockage effect of the standstill obligation for past periods (Austrian Energy reimbursments)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
,
PETER THYRI Competition Counseling Research
Factual Background The EAVG (in the applicable version) provided for a reimbursement of taxes levied on the consumption of electricity on two conditions: 1) Eligibility only of undertakings in the goods manufacturing sector; and 2) electricity consumption above a minimum threshold. From 1997 (...)

The Bulgarian NCA cleared a State aid in the form of compensation for public transportation services under national State aid rules (Elena Avtotransport)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
By this Decision of 2 November 2006 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“the Commission”) cleared a State aid in the form of compensation for public transportation services, provided on the territory of Municipality of Elena, North-Eastern Bulgaria, by the transport operator (...)

The Greek Legal Council of State decides that the funding provided to a State institute by the Greek Ministry of National Defence does not constitute illegal State aid, as it merely covers the operating expenses of the Institute, which activities are not economic (Defence Analyses Institute)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background: The District Audit Centre of Athens (Ðåñéöåñåéáêü Åëåãêôéêü ÊÝíôñï Áèçíþí), faced with an authorization of a refund of around €62.000 to the Defence Analyses Institute, which is a legal entity governed by private law, examined the application of the provisions on value added tax (VAT) during the period (...)

An Italian regional administrative Court holds that the decisions of local authorities to confer the management of the service without any invitation to tender do not breach State aid rules if specific conditions are met (Municipality of San Mauro Torinese)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The applicant was a municipality located in the Region of Piedmont. Pursuant to Regional Law No. 24/2002, providing that the waste disposal service shall be managed by means of compulsory consortia managed by Municipalities, the applicant joined the Consorzio di Bacino 16 (...)

The Spanish Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands authorises recovery of a State aid granted and paid to a company for breaching its contract of public services (Servicio regular La Gomera)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the Town Hall of La Gomera against a judgment of the Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife annulling two resolutions which ordered the recovery of a State aid granted and paid in advance to a company rendering public coastal shipping services in La Gomera. The Town Hall (...)

The French Administrative appeal court of Marseilles dismisses the appeal of a tax payer claiming the refund of a judging that the levy was not hypothecated to any aid measures (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The claimants seek the annulment of judgments by the administrative tribunal of Nice rejecting their claim for a refund of the tax on meat purchase, instituted by Article 302 ZD of the general tax code. The tax was initially designed to finance the public service of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority decides on the existence of an unlawful aid in application of s. 11a Competition Act in relation to subsidies granted to an internet portal on the grounds that the commercial and non-commercial parts of the website were not sufficiently distinguished (Portal Fyn.dk)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The internet portal was developed in 2003 with the purpose of promoting the island of Funen as an attractive place to live, work and visit. The portal contains all kinds of information of both commercial and non-commercial nature (ranging from information on education, (...)

The Danish Competition Authority DCA finds that municipalities have wrongly calculated the costs of the municipal service provider in relation to home care services and ordered the re-calculation of those costs, taking into account its guidance (Fritvalg - Sindal Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background A private company complained to the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) about the municipalities of Sindal and Frederikshavn paying too low a price for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care. Summary of the Court’s findings The DCA stresses that (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court rules that an investment aid by a municipal institution had been granted in breach of Art. 88.3 EC (City of Hämeenlinna)
Dittmar & Indrenius (Helsinki)
Factual Background The City of Hämeenlinna had applied for an investment aid in order to establish a new leisure centre in cooperation with two limited liability companies. The aid was intended for a new real estate company, which was to be established for the purposes of the building project (...)

The Dutch District Court rules that a licensing scheme inspired by consumer protection and crime prevention constitutes an objective justification under the existing State aid rules (Stichting Nationale Sporttotalisator - Lotto)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background In 2005, the complainant applied to the Minister of Justice for a licence to act as an intermediary in the marketing and distribution of lottery tickets in the Netherlands. This application was rejected by the Minister on the basis of the Dutch Act on Games of Chance (Wet op (...)

The Spanish Superior Court of Justice of Asturias authorises partial revocation of a subsidy to comply with EU guidelines on national regional aid (La Rasa de Onao)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by a company which had previously benefited from a State aid (the "Beneficiary") against a decision by the Regional Administration of Asturias (the “RAA”) of 16 February 2004 granting only 55% (and not 100%, as initially agreed) on the amount invested in the (...)

A Greek Court rules that a money order issued pursuant to a regulation concerning standard fees paid to farmers participating in an EU Community programme, does not infringe upon Art. 87 EC (Service of Financial Control)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background The Service of Financial Control (Õðçñåóßá Äçìïóéïíïìéêïý ÅëÝã÷ïõ) of the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food issued a money order for the financial year 2006 concerning the prepayment of an amount of about €550.000 to the operators of agricultural holdings participating in the Community (...)

The French Civil court of Appeal of Paris applies an ECJ ruling in order to dismiss the application by a party seeking the restitution of a tax perceived to be in violation of State aid rules (Toys’R’US)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant sought the restitution of a tax for the support of the trade and craft industry ("TACA") paid between 2003 and 2005. Toys’R’US brought a claim before the tribunal for social security of Evry, which dismissed the demand. The TACA is a progressive tax borne (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorises an individual aid measure for the subsidisation of a cattle breeding association finding that it falls within EC Reg. N° 1/2004 (Holstein-Friesian)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 21 August 2006 the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, notified to the Commissioner for State Aid Control a draft individual aid measure, entitled “aid scheme for the Holstein-Friesian cattle breeder Association”. (...)

The German Kiel District Court finds that a low cost airplane company received unlawful State aid (Ryanair)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Background The low-cost carrier Ryanair does not only offer cheap flights, but also keeps the European Commission and Member State courts in terms of State aid law busy. The most recent example is a decision by the Landgericht Kiel. The facts The defendant operates the airport of Lübeck, (...)

The English High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, Administrative Court rules that an element of the charging regime for track access rights was not unlawful State aid, as there was no benefit or advantage which distorted or threatened to distort competition by favouring open access operators as opposed to franchise operators as their situations were very different (Great North Eastern Railway)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
An element of the charging regime for track access rights was not unlawful state aid. There was no benefit or advantage which distorted or threatened to distort competition by favouring open access operators as opposed to franchise operators as their situations were so different. Factual (...)

The French Civil Supreme court applies the ECJ Casino caselaw on State aid to dismiss the action of wolesalers claiming the unlawfulness of the tax to support the trade and craft sectors (Galerie de Lisieux)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant seeks the annulment of the case of the court of appeal of Caen in which the court had rejected its claim for the grant of a refund in relation to a tax for the support of the trade and craft industry ("TACA") paid between 2003 and 2005. The TACA is a (...)

The Greek Supreme Court rules that a provision of national law, limiting the compensation due to those employed in the public sector upon retirement to a certain level, does not constitute aid within the meaning of Art. 87.1 EC ("Olympic Airway employee")
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual background The applicant was employed by the Greek national flag carrier from 1968 to 1999, when he retired. Upon retirement, he was paid 12 million drachmas, pursuant to Mandatory Law 173/1967. In 2000, he brought an action before the court of first instance of Athens, asking for the (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court rules that the provisions of Art. 87 and 88 EC do not aim to protect private property, thus not affecting the validity of an expropriation order (Municipality of the Hague)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
The Supreme Court rules that the provisions of Article 87 and 88 EC Treaty do not aim to protect private property. Therefore, in the event that a construction project - resulting in the expropriation of private property - is incompatible with article 87 and 88 EC Treaty it will not affect the (...)

The Irish High Court refuses an application for a stay in proceedings seeking recovery of State aid as a lowcost air carrier had failed to demonstrate that it would suffer irreparable harm if the stay was not granted (Ryanair)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The High Court refused an application for a stay in proceedings seeking recovery of State aid as Ryanair had failed to demonstrate that it would suffer irreparable harm if the stay was not granted. Parties: The plaintiff: Kingdom of Belgium The (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal finds that failure to notify a State aid measure with the European Commission does not constitute a tortious act of the beneficiary of such aid (Baby Dan)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background Baby Dan A/S (Baby Dan) develops, produces and sells safety equipment for children from the age of 0-5 years. One of the products produced by Baby Dan is a safety stair gate under the name ’Danamic’. Baby Dan’s competitors, De Risse and WeDeKa, produce a similar stair gate (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal refuses to recognise the tortious liability of recipients of State aids that have not been notified to the EC Commission in accordance with Art. 88.3 EC (Baby Dan)
European Commission - DG HR (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Court of Appeal of Amsterdam (Gerechtshof Amsterdam), 29 June 2006, Baby Dan A/S v. De Risse, WeDeKa, Bruca Producten B.V. and De Sluis Groep N.V. , Case 829/05 (LJN: AZ1425) Baby Dan is a company which produces security devices for babies, such as stair gates, i.e. gates impeding babies’ (...)

A German district court holds that the difference of terms between two airlines operator concerning the use of Lübeck airport amounts to unlawful State aid (Ryanair 1)
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Factual background The defendant managed the airport of Lübeck. Until 2005, it was publicly controlled by the city of Lübeck, which was under a contractual duty to fully compensate for the airport’s losses. After 2005 however, it was organised as a private company. The defendant’s tariffs for (...)

The Dutch Council of State rules that the transfer of the building site to a housing corporation for no consideration may constitute a form of State aid that should have been notified to the European Commission (Het Vergeten Dorp)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background On 16 December 2004, the Municipality of The Hague approved a zoning plan in which the development of a large housing complex for, inter alia, 300 student housing units was approved. The construction of this housing complex required very substantial investments from the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority refuses to deal with a price fixing behaviour under State aid provisions of the Danish Competition Act (Virkninger af KMS’ prisfastsættelse)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background Public law provided that the National Survey and Cadastre (in Danish “Kort- og Matrikelstyrelsen” - hereafter “KMS”) could sell a number of different products - for example topographic maps and orthophotos - at prices which in the period 2000-2007, ranged from 44-70% of the (...)

The French Council of State finds that a parafiscal tax imposed in the field of producers of foie gras should not have been notified as State aid as no State resources were involved (Confédération paysanne)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant seeks the annulment of the extension of an interprofessional agreement concluded in the legal framework of the field of foie gras. The decree which is disputed here extended the scope of a provision of the rural Code on the implementation of actions of (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court holds that aids financed by interprofessional contributions levied by a professional organization do not amount to State aid (Confédération paysanne)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
French Supreme Administrative Court (Conseil d’État, 1ère et 6ème sous-sections réunies), 21 June 2006, Confédération paysanne, n° 271450 This case illustrates enforcement by national Courts of EC State aid rules. Pursuant to article 88(3) EC, national courts have jurisdiction to uphold the rights of (...)

The French Council of State applies the ECJ State aid Casino case law to dismiss the action of wolesalers claiming the unlawfulness of the tax to support the trade and craft sectors (TACA)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background A federation of wholesalers, supported by undertakings active in the sector, seeks the annulment (excès de pouvoir) of a decree modifying the implementation of a tax to support the trade and craft sectors (TACA). The TACA is a progressive tax borne directly by retail stores (...)

A French Court of Appeal applies the "Boiron" case law relating to the burden of proof and dismisses a claim by a pharmaceutical producer on the ground that it failed to show the existence of an advantage obtained from the exemption enjoyed by the wholesale distributors as set by the national regulation (Laboratoires Bristol Myers Squibb)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background This case is one of a series of cases against pharmaceutical producers and wholesale distributors concerning a provision of the French Code de la santé publique (Public Health Code). This provision obliges pharmaceutical wholesaler to keep a permanent stock of medicinal (...)

A French Court of Appeal applies the "Casino" case of the ECJ to dismiss the action of wolesalers claiming the unlawfulness of the tax to support the trade and craft sectors (Agence Organic de recouvrement)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellants are exploiting several retail premises and were therefore subject to the tax on the support of the trade and craft industry ("TACA"). The TACA is a progressive tax borne directly by retail stores in France which have a sales area exceeding 400 m2 and an annual (...)

The English High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland rules that the granting of planning permission does not engage Art. 87.1 EC since there is no transfer, relinquishment or depletion of State resources (Bow Street Mall)
British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
An application for judicial review challenging a planning decision made by the Department of the Environment. In relation to the State aid issues raised the Court held that the grant of planning permission did not engage article 87(1) EC since there was no transfer, relinquishment or depletion (...)

The Danish Competition Authority finds that a municipality has incorrectly calculated the costs incurred by a municipal service provider and concludes to the existence of State aid (Fritvalg - Frederikssund Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Danish Competition Authority (DCA) found that a Danish municipality had fixed its prices for home care below the actual cost level. Thereby, the municipal service provider was found to be in receipt of State aid falling under the Danish (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorises a Cypriot-Greek research and development cooperation programme finding that it falls within EC Reg. N° 70/2001 (Joint Cooperation Programme)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 18 April 2006 the Research Promotion Foundation notified to the Commissioner for State aid control a draft aid scheme, entitled “Joint Cooperation Programme between Cyprus and Greece”. The general objective of the Programme is the promotion of cooperation and networking (...)

The Belgian Civil Supreme Court holds that an alteration to an aid system, which was held to be incompatible with the common market, is to be considered as a new aid and be notified pursuant to Art. 88 EC (Health and Animal Protection Funds)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual background The defendant is an undertaking active in the sector of production of food for cattle. It paid contributions to the Health and Animal Protection Funds pursuant to a provision of national law of December 1987 and implementing acts (Royal-Decree). The provision had not been (...)

The Court of Arbitration of Antwerp rules that taxation of insurance contracts is not contrary to Art. 87 EC (NV A.A.)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background For several years, NV A.A. offered its clients a hospital admission insurance policy. This insurance which complementary to the mandatory insurance provided by health insurance funds. In 1999, NV A.A. paid the sum of € 705,883.73 in tax regarding these insurance contracts for (...)

The Dutch Supreme Court finds that an applicant can not rely on the direct effect of Art. 88.3 EC as the contested taxes did not form an integral part of a State aid measure (X B.V.)
Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
Factual Background X B.V. exploits a waste water treatment plant. In 1997, X B.V. was asked to pay retrospective taxes pursuant to the Act introducing taxes for the protection of the environment (Wet belastingen op milieugrondslag - ’Wbm’) over the period 1 January 1995 until 3 July 1995. X (...)

The Belgian Court of arbitration dismisses a claim for the annulment of a national law granting a tax exemption regime to the telecommunication incumbent making a confusion between the competences of the EC Commission and national courts (Belgacom)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual background The tribunal of Gand refered a question for preliminary ruling to the Arbitration court relating to the validity of a provision of the Belgian fiscal code granting a housing tax exemption for property. Belgacom contested the payment of the taxes after it lost the benefit of (...)

The French Council of State refers to the ECJ for preliminary ruling on the extent of the recovery obligation of an unlawful aid later declared compatible by the Commission (CELF I)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual background CELF is a cooperative society in public limited company form and carries on the activity of export agent. Its aims are to process directly orders for abroad and the French overseas territories and departments for books, brochures and any communication media and, more (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court confirms the classification as State aid of the subsidies granted for handling small orders of French-language books but refers to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling concerning the range of the obligation of restitution of an unnotified aid (CELF I)
Schmitt Avocats
By a decision of 5 October 2004, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris classified as a State aid the subsidies granted by the French State to the Centre d’Exportation du Livre Français (“CELF”), entity created at the end of the 70’s to contribute to the diffusion of French-language books (...)

The Danish Competition Authority finds that a municipality has wrongly calculated the costs of the municipal service provider and to remedy the unlawful aid orders to re-calculate the latter’s costs, taking into account its guidance (Fritvalg - Slangerup Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background A private company complained to the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) about the municipality of Slangerup paying too low a price for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care. Summary of the Court’s findings The DCA stressed that under Section (...)

An Italian administrative court does not excludes, prima facie, that a law providing for the reduction of the airport charges in favour of air carriers could infringe Art. 87 EC on the ground that even general measures could be regarded as selective if they confer an advantage only to specific undertakings (Alitalia)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background The Court assessed the applicant’s request for an interim injunction in relation to the annulment of several administrative provisions (Guidance Provision by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation of December 30, 2005 and ENAC Notes 4071 and 4072 of January 20, (...)

An Austrian administrative court rejects the argument that unlawful State aid in the Austrian system of parafiscal agro-marketing charges can affect the collection of the charge (AMA marketing fees)
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
,
PETER THYRI Competition Counseling Research
Factual Background All judgments concern appeals against decisions of the administrative authority Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) responsible for assessing and collecting parafiscal charges levied on the production of certain agricultural products under the provisions of the Bundesgesetz über die (...)

The Spanish National Audience confirms that a company may not be granted two types of European Union funding (Agro Conserveros Extremeños Vegas Bajas)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: An appeal by a company against the Ministry of Economy’s decision to refuse the grant of State aid on the grounds that it had already received aid with which it was incompatible. The Ministry of Economy declared that the European Guidelines on aid in the agricultural sector (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court rejects the arguments based on the unlawfulness of the Aubry Law on the reduction of the working time on the basis of State Aid reasoning, judging that the measure is of general application (Aides Aubry)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The appellant is the legal representative for a society and seeks the annulment of the judgment of the court of appeal of Rennes. On 31 December 1999, the society Tricotages de l’AA concluded a collective agreement for the reduction of working time pursuant to the law of 13 (...)

The French Council of State upholds the annulment of a decision by the Commercial Court of Strasbourg finding that the support measures granted to a lowcost airplane company constituted unlawful State aid in application of the private investor test (Ryanair)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background The claimant, a low cost airline established in Ireland, sought the annulment of the deliberation of the chamber of commerce of Strasbourg and the decisions of its president to sign, in execution of this deliberation, two agreements (principal agreement and supplemental (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court decides that the contracts signed by Ryanair with the Strasbourg airport are State aids subjected to the obligation of prior notification to the EC Commission (Strasbourg Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Ryanair)
Schmitt Avocats
By a decision of 27 February 2006, the Conseil d’Etat, the French Administrative Supreme Court, definitively closed the case concerning the conditions under which a new route between Strasbourg and London was opened and exploited by the low cost airline company Ryanair (hereafter “Ryanair”). The (...)

The Italian Supreme Court holds that a cooperative societies’ tax break should be qualified as a State aid because it involves a lower tax income into the public budget and refers the case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling (Maricoltori Alto Adriatico)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background Under Italian tax rules, cooperative societies benefit from significant tax exemptions. After an inspection of the Italian tax policy, the local tax office of Monfalcone decided that Mr. F.M.’s individual income tax return, for the years 1984, 1985 and 1986, was inaccurate. (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court annuls an aid scheme to shipbuilding in Galicia which had not been notified to the European Commission (Government of Galicia)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
,
Allianz (Brussels)
Factual Background: Appeal by the Central Administration against the regional Decree of Galicia 217/1994 on aids for the shipbuilding sector ("Decree 217/1994"), on the grounds that it represented a State aid scheme that had not been notified to the European Commission before being passed. The (...)

The Court of First Instance of Roma admits State aid claim and grants interim relief prohibiting an undertaking - having received conditional clerance for State aid - to participate to a public tender for acquiring its competitor (AirOne/Alitalia)
EUJUS Law Firm (Rome)
Factual background Alitalia, after having received rescue aid, granted by the Italian Government and authorized by the European Commission, has participated in a public tender to acquire its competitor Volare. AirOne, competitor of Alitalia, brought a claim requesting the Court of First (...)

The Paris Administrative Court condemned the French State for the anticipated implementation of State aid in breach of Art. 88.3 EC (Salmon Arc-en-Ciel)
Schmitt Avocats
By a decision of 23 January 2006, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris condemned the French State for having implemented a measure classified as State aid before the European Commission completes its examination procedure of the compatibility of the measure with the Common Market, in (...)

The French Administrative Court of appeal of Paris rejects a claim for damages brought by the beneficiary of an unlawful State aid (Salmon Arc-en-Ciel)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Factual Background A Law of 12 April 1996 gives the State the ability to conclude framework agreements with professional branches in the textile, clothing, leather and shoe sector in order to maintain or develop employment in these sectors ("Borotra plan"). The agreements enable the (...)

The Greek Hellenic Conseil d’Etat rules that a legislative provision introduced in compliance with a judgment of the ECJ, ordering the recovery of incompatible aid granted in the form of tax exemptions, does not impinge upon the Greek Constitution, which prohibits the retroactive imposition of taxation (Undertaking X)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background: On 15.03.1988 the Greek Minister of Financial Affairs adopted Decision E. 3789/128, ratified by Law 1796/1988, which introduced a special single tax on the total income of certain undertakings in the financial year 1987. However, the proportion of earnings deriving from (...)

A German Higher Regional Court judges that when dealing with the recovery of unlawful State aid, the provisions on maintenance of capital and insolvency should be considered so long as this does not contravene the rationale of Art. 87.1 EC, and that EC State aid rules do not supersede the claim of a liquidator to recover an unlawful capital-substitutive financial aid that was recovered by the granting authority (Insolvency procedure 3)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Thuringia Higher Regional Court judges that when dealing with the recovery of unlawful State aid, the provisions of the German laws on maintenance of capital and insolvency should be considered, so long as this does not contravene the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority orders a municipality to terminate the payment of unlawful State aid in relation to the prices paid by the municipality to private companies in the field of home care and requests the municipality to re-calculate the settlement prices following guidance provided to this effect by the NCA (Fritvalg - Morsø Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background In the present case the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) examined the prices paid by the municipality of Morsø to private companies in the field of home care. Summary of the Court’s findings The DCA stressed that under Section 11a of the Danish Competition Act the DCA can (...)

A German administrative court supports the German government’s attempt to make recovery of unlawful State aid more effective (Kvaerner Warnow Werft)
McDermott Will & Emery (Düsseldorf)
Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg (Oberverwaltungsgericht Berlin-Brandenburg), 7 November 2005, Kvaerner Warnow Werft, Case OVG 8 S 93.05 Background The Member States of the European Union are required to recover unlawful (i.e. non notified) State aid following a negative (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court rules that the local tax administrator adopted a legitimate decision in refusing to grant an exemption to the payment of delay charges without referring to State aid rules (Tieskelis)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous
,
Valiunas Ellex (Vilnius)
Factual background In 2001, in the light of the economic situation, the Lithuanian Parliament approved legislation allowing the grant of State aid to undertakings that had entered into tax loan agreements by releasing them from payment of delay charges. The undertaking Tieskelis AB applied to (...)

A French Court rules that the use of a tax on certain advertising expenses, which finances modernization projects in the sector of the general press, is a State aid and is illegal for lack of notification (Auchan France)
Schmitt Avocats
By decision of 25 October 2005, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Douai ruled that the use of the Tax on certain advertising expenses, which mainly finance the Found for Modernization of the Daily Press for general and political information, is a state aid in the meaning of Article 87 EC (...)

The Danish Competition Authority examines the prices paid by a municipality for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care and judges that it adequately compensated the private service providers (Rødovre Kommune justerer hjemmehjælpsydelser)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The Danish Competition Authority (DCA) found that a Danish municipality had fixed its prices for home care below the actual cost level. Thereby, the municipal service provider was found to be in receipt of State aid falling under the Danish Competition Act. The municipality (...)

The Danish Competition Authority examines the prices paid by a municipality for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care and judges that it adequately compensated the private service providers (Fritvalg - Sundeved Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background In the present case the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) had been informed that the municipality of Sundeved was paying too low a price for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care. Summary of the Court’s findings The DCA stressed that under (...)

The Danish Competition Authority examines the prices paid by a municipality for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care and judges that it adequately compensated the private service providers (Fritvalg - Helle Kommune)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background In the present case the Danish Competition Authority (DCA) examined the prices paid by the municipality of Helle for the services provided by private companies in the field of home care. Summary of the Court’s findings The DCA stresses that under Section 11a of the Danish (...)

The Danish Competition Authority dismisses claim based on State aid rules on the ground that insufficient evidence was brought by the claimants and issues guidelines for the future claims (Storskærmsproduktioner)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background A TV producer complained about a public school ("Århus tekniske Skole") providing big screen productions free of charge in the form of open-air concerts. It claimed that the school was thereby using State subsidies meant for educational activities to finance production in (...)

The Danish Competition Authority dismisses a claim based on State aid rules on the grounds that all transactions between a regional public TV channel and its subsidiary had been carried out on market terms (Rødovre Kommune justerer hjemmehjælpsydelser)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The company BORNnet Marketing, a producer of advertising spots, complained to the Danish Competition Authority ("DCA") that a regional television channel, TV2 Bornholm, had subsidized the company, Mediegruppen Bornholm, by allowing the latter to use its assets and (...)

The Danish Competition Authority rejects a complaint concerning an alleged violation of State aid rules on the grounds that the State aid measure is likely to affect trade between Member States and consequently lacks competence under Section 11a of the Danish Competition Act (Teknologisk Institut)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The Centre of Tribology, which is part of the Technological Institute, is active in the field of tribology (comprising advanced surface treatment of tools and machine parts). It receives public funding from both the European Union and the Danish State. The Danish (...)

A French Court rules that a contract passed between a regional airport and a low cost airline company to develop a new route is invalid for lack of notification to the EC Commission in breach of Art. 88.3 EC (Air Méditerranée/Ryanair)
Schmitt Avocats
By a judgement of 3 May 2005, the Administrative Court of Pau (“Tribunal administratif de Pau”) confirmed that regional airports managers face serious legal difficulties when they plan to create new international routes with the help of low cost airline companies by according them substantial (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorises an aid scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises for the promotion of alternative forms of economic activities in the field of agri-tourism, finding that it falls within EC Reg. N° 70/2001 and 69/2001 ("Small and medium-sized enterprises")
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 29 March 2005, the Department of Town Planning and Housing of the Ministry of Interior notified to the Commissioner for State aid control a draft aid scheme, entitled “aid scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises for the promotion of alternative forms of economic (...)

The French Council of State makes preliminary reference to ECJ to confirm its interpretation of GEMO State aid ruling (Doux)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The claimant requested the Conseil d’Etat to annul an order ("arrêté") of the Ministry of the Economy, which laid down the method of calculation and rates of slaughter tax, allocated to the financing of the elimination of animal waste and (...)

French Administrative Courts apply the ECJ’s preliminary ruling qualifying a tax on meat purchases as a State aid (GEMO, Nevers viandes, Lianoudis, Sobledis, Uni service Distribution, Honfleur, Picard surgelés)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Despite the efforts of public authorities in order to inform citizens about the importance of fruits and vegetables for health, Europeans and especially French, remain attached to the taste and proteins brought by meat. Like every industrial activity, the meat industry produces waste that has (...)

The Belgium Supreme Court recalled that subsequent notification of State aid is insufficient to dispense with obligation to reimburse (Voeder Velghe - De Backer)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Chemicals Agency
Cour de cassation (Belgium), 11 March 2005, Voeder Velghe - De Backer NV v. Belgian State, case n° C.02.0133.N (Reported in Dutch on ) Background The Law of 24 March 1987 on animal health established a system to finance services to combat animal diseases and improve animal hygiene and the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority DCA dismisses the claim of competitors seeking the recovery or the termination of the payment of aid granted from public funds to support certain commercial activities (Transporterhvervets uddannelsesråd)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The Transport business’ Education Council (Transporterhvervets Uddannelsesråd, "TUR") is a sector-specific education committee that according to Danish law on work related training is committed to assessing the needs of relevant training courses, including the preparation of (...)

The Danish Competition Authority dismisses the complaint of a claimant alleging that one of its competitors active on the market received subsidies from a State-owned institute (Statens Serumsinstitut)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The Danish Competition Authority (DCA) received a complaint from an actor on the market of vaccinations according to which the State-owned Serum Institute ("SSI") had subsidized a competing company, Udlandsvaccinationen I/S. The subsidies allegedly consisted in (1) SSI (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorises an aid scheme for the provision of access to research infrastructures abroad, finding that it falls within EC Reg. N° 70/2001 ("Research infrastructures abroad")
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background: On 24 January 2005, the Research Promotion Foundation notified to the Commissioner for State aid Control a draft scheme, entitled “scheme for the provision of access to research infrastructures abroad”. The scheme is based on the acknowledgment of the essential need that the (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State Aid Control authorises an aid scheme aimed mainly at the improvement of working conditions and the reduction of workplace accidents in the construction industry ("Aid scheme for construction companies" )
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 23 December 2004, the Cyprus Productivity Centre notified to the Commissioner for State Aid Control a draft aid scheme, entitled “aid scheme for construction companies concerning the upgrade of their equipment”. The scheme aims at the improvement of working conditions of (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorises an aid scheme for the payment of social security contributions to employers and disabled employees finding that it falls within EC Reg. N° 2204/2002 ("Scheme for the payment of social security contributions")
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual Background On 4 January 2005, the Department of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance notified a draft aid scheme to the Commissioner for State aid control, entitled “scheme for the payment of social security contributions to employers and disabled employees”. The scheme (...)

The Cyprus Commissioner for State aid control authorizes an aid scheme aimed at facilitating the recruitment of unemployed persons with a serious disability in the private sector (Scheme for recruitment of disabled persons)
University of Tilburg - Center for Law and Economics (TILEC)
Factual background On 4 January 2005, the Department of Labour in the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance notified a draft aid scheme to the Commissioner for State aid control, entitled “scheme for the provision of incentives regarding the recruitment of persons with a serious disability in (...)

The French Supreme Court refers to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling concerning (i) the repayment of a mandatory contribution based on the turnover of pharmaceutical laboratories and (ii) national rules of procedure leading to State aid classification (Laboratoires Boiron)
Schmitt Avocats
By decision of 14 December 2004, the French Cour de Cassation referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling concerning the classification as state aid of the contribution instituted by Article L. 245-6-1 of the Social Security Code and the way to obtain its (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court requested a preliminary ruling from the ECJ with regards to the implementation of the Ferring case law : Advocate General Tizzano supports the reimbursement of the tax on direct sales paid by French pharmaceutical laboratories (Boiron/ACOSS)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Background Law n° 97-1164, of 19 December 1997, on social security funding for 1998 set up a special 2.5 % tax payable only by pharmaceutical laboratories on sales of medicines made directly to pharmacies. Proceeds from the tax were aimed at financing the social security system. However, (...)

The French Cour de Cassation refers questions to ECJ relating to social security exemptions for French laboratories (Laboratoires Boiron)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues A laboratory filed an action for the refund of a Sociàl Security contribution arguing that this contribution was unlawful State aid, because certain laboratories were exempt. Referring to the Banks case (Joined Cases C-390/98, Banks & Co v (...)

The French Supreme Court refers to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling concerning the qualification as State aid of the French mutual assistance tax for the benefit of traders and craftsmen (Magasins Galeries Lafayette)
Schmitt Avocats
By decision of 16 November 2004, the French Supreme Court, the Cour de Cassation, referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling, under Article 234 EC, concerning the classification as state aid of the French mutual assistance tax for the benefit of traders and craftsmen (the Tax). This Tax, (...)

The Cour de Cassation seeks preliminary reference on whether tax financing retirement benefits amounted to State aid (Galeries de Lisieux)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues A retail store filed an action for reimbursement of a tax, which it considered to constitute State aid, because the tax was only payable by big retail stores, whereas only small retail stores were eligible to receive the retirement benefits (...)

A French Court orders the Ministry of Culture to recover unnotified State aids having found no relevant public service obligations (CELF I)
Schmitt Avocats
By decision of 5 October 2004, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Paris applied Article 93(3) EC Treaty (today Article 88 EC) and ordered the reimbursement of aids paid without beforehand notification to the European Commission. The French Court also applied the principles and criteria set (...)

The Administrative Court awards compensation for losses caused by nullity of contract resulting from authorities’ failure to consider State aid rules (Fontanille)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues A law of 1996 enabled the French government to sign agreements with undertakings in the clothing, leather, shoe and textile sectors regarding a reduction in working time, in order to avoid redundancies. In return, the French government granted an (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that State aid’s control is of the EC Commission’s exclusive competence and that a plaintif can not rely on Art. 87.1 EC before a national authority since this article has no direct effect (National Forest Office / Germain Environnement)
CRDEI - Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Européennes et Internationales
The equipment and arrangement of French forests is the main activity of the French National Forest Office (Office National des Forêts, ONF), which is an industrial and commercial public establishment managing 85% of the French forests. The Germain environnement LTD which is active in the (...)

The French Council of State entitles recovery of tax payments made under illegal State aid scheme (GEMO)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues Gemo, a medium-sized supermarket, contested the legality of the tax. In 2000, the Administrative Court of Lyon ordered the reimbursement of the tax to Gemo. The Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry appealed this decision and the Conseil (...)

A Belgian Court’s decision to suspend proceedings of recovery of State aid pending CFI judgment is challenged by the EC Commission (Walloon Region / Ter Lembeek International)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
On 25 January 2006, the Commission decided to bring before the European Court of Jutsice (“ECJ”) an action against Belgium for failure to comply with a Commission’s decision declaring a State aid incompatible with the common market (see IP:). On 24 April 2002, the Commission had ruled that the (...)

The French Council of State dismisses syndicate’s claim without considering State aid issues (Syndicat national de l’industrie des viandes)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues Professional associations for the agricultural sector filed a claim, in summary proceedings, for the suspension ("référé-suspension") of a ministerial order ("arrêté") setting out different methods for implementing the tax. They argued, inter alia, (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court considered that a tax exemption for "private use" copyrights did not qualified as State aid (Syndicat des Industries de Matériels Audiovisuels Electroniques)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État), 6 February 2004, Syndicat des Industries de Matériels Audiovisuels Electroniques, Case n° 250560, not published The French Intellectual Property Code (Code de la propriété intellectuelle), provides, inter alia, that intellectual property right (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds CDR liable in damages for its lack of diligence during Commission proceedings (CDR v. FG Marine-Stardust)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues In June 1997, CDR sold its majority holding in Stardust Marine ("Stardust") to FG Marine. In September 1999, the Commission considered that the State aid granted to Stardust was incompatible with the Common Market and ordered reimbursement of the (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court held that the over-compensation paid to health establishements for medical equipment does not constitute State aid (Syndicat National de l’Industrie des Technologies Médicales)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
French Administrative Supreme Cour (Conseil d’État), 16 January 2004, Syndicat National de l’Industrie des Technologies Médicales, Case n° 250540, not published European States have been trying for years to reduce the expenses of their national health system. In that respect, the French Minister (...)

French Courts ruled that contracts passed between the airport of Strasbourg and a low cost airline company is a State aid submitted to notification to the EC Commission (Brit Air/Ryan Air)
Schmitt Avocats
Administrative Court of Strasbourg (Tribunal Administratif de Strasbourg), 24 July 2003, Société Brit Air vs. Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Strasbourg and Société Ryan Air, n°02-046541 Administrative Court of Appeal of Nancy (Cour Administrative d’Appel de Nancy), 18 December 2003, Chambre de (...)

The Romanian State Aid Regime: An overview
European Security Transport Association (ESTA)
Law n° 143/1999 on State Aid, Last consolidated version of December 15th 2003 (Unofficial English translation) Competition Law n° 21/1996, Romanian Official Journal, Part I, n° 88, April 30th, 1996 (Unofficial English translation) The legal basis for the creation of a state aid control regime in (...)

Three French Courts acknowledged State’s liability towards aid recipients for not having granted un-notified State aid (Kélian, Fontanille, Salmon Arc-en-ciel)
University Aix-Marseille
Administrative Court of Grenoble (Tribunal administratif de Grenoble), 15 October 2003, Sté Stéphane Kélian, Case n° 0102341 Administrative Court of Clermont-Ferrand (Tribunal administratif de Clermond-Ferrand), 23 September 2004, SA Fontanille, Case n° 0101282, AJDA, 2005, p. 386 These two cases (...)

The Administrative Court rejects claim for damages for failure to prove the alternative course of action that would have been adopted in the absence of State aid (Kélian)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues A law of 1996 enabled the French government to sign agreements with undertakings in the clothing, leather, shoe and textile sectors regarding a reduction in working time, in order to avoid redundancies. In return, the French government granted an (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court rejected the direct effect of Art. 88.3 EC in the case of future contracts (EDF/SNE)
University Aix-Marseille
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État), 11 June 2003, Electricité de France (“EDF”) - Société Nationale d’Electricité et de Thermique (“SNET”), Cases n° 240512 and 240520, Lebon Tables, pp. 702-703, 780, 794 Facts and proceedings Electricité de France (EDF) and the Société nationale (...)

The German Federal Supreme Court addresses the issue of voidness of civil contracts violating State aid law in Germany
Mainz University Johannes Gutenberg
I. Introduction Article 88 EC engages the European Commission to observe the allowance of state aids in the member states of the European Union. For this reason Article 88 para. 3 sentence 1 EC regulates for all national state aids a procedure of notification to the Commission which makes it (...)

The French administrative supreme Court refused to classify as State aid the financial conditions of the obligation to purchase wind power electricity considering these are not granted through State ressources (UNIDEN)
Schmitt Avocats
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat), 21 March 2003, Union des Industries Utilisatrices d’Energie (UNIDEN), Case n° 237466 On the 10 February 2000, the French Parliament enacted an obligation to purchase electricity produced by installations of renewable energies not exceeding 12 (...)

The French administrative supreme Court ruled that a new tax aimed at replacing an unlawful State aid is not by itself an other unlawful State aid (SNIP)
Schmitt Avocats
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État), 3 December 2001, Syndicat National de l’Industrie Pharmaceutique, Case n° 226514 This French State’s Council case Syndicat National de l’Industrie Pharmaceutique is well known for its contribution to the relationship between EC law and French (...)

The French State’s Council held that only measures affecting trade between member States and contrary to Art. 87 EC have to be notified (Glénat)
CRDEI - Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Européennes et Internationales
Well known for its comics publications, the Glénat publishers extended their reputation in State aid case law literature (Case commented in French, Dr. Adm., note M. Bazex et S. Blazy, February 2002, n° 21, p. 15 et RJF, February 2002, n° 249). The issue raised here is procedural. It concerns (...)

The French Judiciary Supreme Court made a clear difference between examination of the compatibility of a State aid and control of the legality of the aid (Le Guen - Guyomarch)
University Aix-Marseille
The claims for reimboursement of what the French statutes call “compulsory contributions”, a kind of professional taxation financing agricultural organizations, is one among most alive sources of the implementation of the State aid law in France (see also the cases relating CNIH, French (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court ruled that EC competition provisions do not prevent public institutions to act as services providers competing with private undertakings (Guiavarc’h)
University Aix-Marseille
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État), 5 September 2001, G. Guiavarc’h, Case n° 225473, Droit administratif, January 2002, p. 18 Gweltaz Guiavarc’h claimed that the provisions relating to the conditions in which the public universities and the public research agencies can provide (...)

The French Administrative Court of Lille rules that tax payers are entitled to refuse payment of taxes under carcass disposal scheme due to failure to notify scheme to EC Commission as required by State aid provisions (Lianoudis)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The claimant contested the legality of the tax. Summary of the Court’s findings The Administrative Court of Lille stated that stockbreeders were the quasi-exclusive beneficiaries of the services financed by the tax. The Lille Court considered (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court held that a social tax exemption did not qualify as a State aid (URSAFF de la Haute-Garonne)
University Aix-Marseille
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat), 17 November 2000, URSAFF de la Haute-Garonne, Case n° 185772, Lebon, p. 517-520 Facts The Union de recouvrement des cotisations de sécurité sociale et d’allocations familiales (U.R.S.S.A.F., Union of recovery of social security contributions (...)

The French Administrative Court of Orléans denies State aid qualification to carcass disposal scheme on grounds of service of general economic interest - confirming other lower Courts’ rulings (Sobledis)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The claimant contested the legality of the tax, arguing, inter alia, that it was part of an unlawful State aid scheme. Summary of the Court’s findings The Administrative Court of Orléans stated that the scheme financed by this tax did not (...)

The French Council of State ignores State aid based claim and rules that the legality of administrative notices cannot be contested by individuals (Confédération française de la boucherie)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry published an administrative notice ("instruction") merely mentioning the provisions of the law. The legality of this notice was challenged. Summary of the Court’s findings According to (...)

The French Administrative Court of Dijon denies State aid qualification to carcass disposal service tax on basis of Art. 86.2 EC (Nevers Viandes)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The claimant contested the legality of the tax in question, as well as that of another tax financing the processing of bones. It argued that these taxes were incompatible with Articles 90, 87 and 88 EC. Summary of the Court’s findings First, the (...)

A French Tribunal in charge of social security cases applied to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling asking whether a taxation’s exemption can be considered as not constituting State aid but mere compensation of public service costs (Ferring)
CRDEI - Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Européennes et Internationales
The important case law of the ECJ often finds its origin in a preliminary question raised by national judges of first instance (e. g. ECJ, April 30th, 1986, Asjes a. o., Joined Cases 209/84 209/84, 210/84, 211/84, 212/84, 213/84 and 213/84, [1986] ECR 1425, “Nouvelles Frontières”, preliminary (...)

The Paris Commercial Tribunal rules that a recipient of State aid could not be held liable for not having verified whether the aid had been notified (SFEI/La Poste-Chronopost)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
Express delivery is a personalized service for the rapid dispatch of documents and parcels. In France this sector is open to unrestricted competition, unlike the ordinary postal service which is subject to the monopoly of the Post Office. The Société française de messagerie internationale (...)

The French Administrative Court of Caen confirms a lower court’s ruling denying State aid qualification to measures concerning carcass disposal service case (Uniservice Distribution and Honfleur Distribution)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The claimant contested the legality of the tax, arguing inter alia that it was part of an unlawful State aid scheme. Summary of the Court’s findings The Caen Court stated that the scheme financed by this tax was not State aid. The Caen Court (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court considered that a decree reducing the postal aid to the press is only a minor modification to an existing State aid scheme and not a new aid (Syndicat de la presse périodique culturelle et scientifique...)
University Aix-Marseille
French Supreme Administrative Court (Conseil d’État), 29 September 1999, Syndicat de la presse périodique culturelle et scientifique a. o., Cases n° 186227 and 186356, Lebon Tables, p. 680-689-930 French Supreme Administrative Court (Conseil d’État), 29 September 1999, Société d’édition (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court ruled that the mere fact that an undertaking may benefit of a State aid can not interfere with the regularity of a tendering procedure (Bouygues)
University Aix-Marseille
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État), 28 July 1999, Société Bouygues, Case n° 206749, Bulletin Juridique des contrats publics, n° 7, November 1999, p. 620 The French administrative supreme Court had already ruled in the Société Générale case (Conseil d’État, Assemblée), 18 December 1998, (...)

The Cour de Cassation rejects claim that State aid gave Italian competitor an unfair advantage during a call for tenders (Ducros)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues In 1990, the claimant, a building company, submitted a bid for an extension to the Marseille airport, for which an Italian company was finally selected. It sued the Italian company in the commercial courts for damages for unfair competition, (...)

The French Judiciary Supreme Court accepted, in principle, that violation of EC State aid provisions may constitute unfair competition, paving the way to State aid damages proceedings (Ducros/CMF Sud)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
French Commercial Supreme Court (Cour de cassation, chambre commerciale), 15 June 1999, Etablissements J. Richard Ducros v. Société Construzioni Metalliche Finsider Sud, Case n° 97-15684 Facts In 1990, the Etablissements Ducros participated in a tender procedure for a contract concerning the (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court declared void an aid running contrary to EC fishering policy objectives (Languedoc Roussillon/Serres)
University Aix-Marseille
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État), 11 june 1999, Région Languedoc Roussillon, Case N°169740 The Languedoc Roussillon Regional Council granted on the 23 July 1991 to M. Thierry Serres a subvention of 20 360 FF (around 28 000 €) for the replacement of an existing fishing ship by a (...)

The French Administrative Court of Melun rejects a claim that tax on carcass disposal service constitutes unlawful State aid (Picard Surgelés)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Maersk (Copenhagen)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues In 1996, the French government set up a system for the free collection and disposal of animal carcasses and slaughterhouse waste for farmers and slaughterhouses. This system was financed by a tax payable by any person active in the retail sale of (...)

The French Commercial Supreme Court rules that courts must check whether the contested State aid scheme has been notified to the EC Commission or not, notwithstanding a Commission’s note classifying the aid as an existing one (Établissements Friedrich /ANIVIT)
University Aix-Marseille
French Commercial Supreme Court (Cour de cassation, Chambre commerciale), 26 January 1999, Société des Établissements Friedrich vs. Association nationale interprofessionnelle des vins de table (ANIVIT), Case n° 97-11225, Bull. civ., IV, n° 22, p. 18., Decision n° 289 P Court of appeal, Caen, (Cour (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court concluded to absence of State aid in case of an open and non-discriminatory tendering privatisation procedure (CIC/SG-BNP-CCF)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État, Assemblée), 18 December 1998, Société Générale, Banque Nationale de Paris, Crédit Commercial de France v. Ministre de l’économie, des finances et de l’industrie, Case n° 197175 The liberalization of the bank sector in the European Union initiated (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court wellcomed actions claiming release or reimbursement of a tax financing a State aid in case of absence of notification of the statute setting up the tax (CNIH)
University Aix-Marseille
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat), 6 November 1998, Comité National Interprofessionnel de l’Horticulture (CNIH), Case n° 171574, not published French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat), 6 November 1998, Comité National Interprofessionnel de l’Horticulture (CNIH), Case (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court ruled that indemnities for the services performed by undertakings in collecting and/or disposing of waste oils do not constitute State aid (Union des industries chimiques a. o.)
University Aix-Marseille
French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’État), 5 October 1998, Union des industries chimiques a. o., Case n° 162562 The claimants requested the annulment of a decree creating a special tax levied on the production or importation of basic oils in France which aims was to support the (...)

The French Council of State rejects a plea alleging presence of State aid elements in a decree creating a special tax on basic oils (Union des industries chimiques)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Brief description of the facts and legal issues The claimant requested that the Conseil d’Etat annul a decree ("décret") relating to the creation of a special tax on basic oils in favour of the Agency for the Environment and the Management of Energy ("Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise (...)

The French Judiciary Supreme Court ruled that the claimants had not demonstrated that the tax constituted new State aid and failed to submit argument on a possible existing aid (Huttepain Maine Aliments, Guyomarc’h Vertou, Nantes Sanders, Marcel Braud)
University Aix-Marseille
French Commercial Supreme Court (Cour de cassation, Chambre Commerciale), 16 june 1998, Sté Huttepain Maine Aliments, Case 96-19109, not published French Commercial Supreme Court (Cour de cassation, Chambre Commerciale), 20 october 1998, Sté Guyomarc’h Vertou, Case 96-18679, not published French (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court referred a case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on a tax deduction limited to expenditure on research carried out in the State of taxation (Baxter)
University Aix-Marseille
Three pharmaceuticals companies engaged an action for the annulment of a State ordinance which established emergency measures aiming at the re-establishment of the balance of social security consisting in exceptional contributions to be paid by pharmaceuticals companies. One of these (...)

The French Commercial Supreme Court rejected an action against a tax allegedly qualified as a State aid measure ruling that the character of new aid was not established (Guyomarc’h, Sanders Aliments, Rental Languedoc, Ralston Purina France, SNAA)
University Aix-Marseille
French Commercial Supreme Court (Cour de cassation, Chambre commerciale), 26 November 1996, Société Guyomarc’h, Case n° 94-18467, Bull. civ., IV, n°174 p. 165. French Commercial Supreme Court (Cour de cassation, Chambre commerciale), 7 January 1997, Société Sanders Aliments SNC, Case n° 95-10099, (...)

The Paris Administrative Tribunal confirmed the principle of the restitution of an incompatible State aid following a decision of the European Commission (Boussac Saint Frères)
Schmitt Avocats
French Administrative Tribunal of Paris (Tribunal Administratif de Paris), 16 February 1994, Boussac Saint Frères, Cases n° 9008722/3 and 9106936/3 Between June 1982 and August 1984, the French State granted financial support to Boussac Saint Frères, a company active in the textile and clothing (...)

The French judiciary and administrative supreme Courts both consider that a copyright levy is not a State aid (Techni Import Professionnel - Syndicat des Industriels des Matériels Audiovisuels Electroniques)
Schmitt Avocats
French Civil Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation), 4 January 1994, Société Techni Import Professionnel (TIP), Case n° 91-12279 French Administrative Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat), 19 March 1997, Syndicat des Industriels des Matériels Audiovisuels Electroniques et autres, Case n° 81627 Since its (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court implemented the ECJ "Saumon" ruling while limiting the time-period of annulment of the un-notified aid (Saumon)
University Aix-Marseille
The Fédération nationale du commerce extérieur des produits alimentaires and the Syndicat national des négociateurs et transformateurs de saumon brought an action against the interministerial order of 15 april 1985 implementing decree n° 84-1297 of 31 december 1984 imposing parafiscal charges for (...)

The French State Council rejected the direct effect of Art. 87 EC and excluded “automatic” notification to the EC Commission of situations likely to be regarded as State aid (“La vache à lait qui refuse de se laisser traire”)
CRDEI - Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Européennes et Internationales
This judgment is less known for its contribution in State aid law than because of the title of the applicant. None of its solutions is innovative. But for a long time, the absence of direct effect of ex-Article 92 EC (now Article 87 EC) and the office of the national judge on the basis of (...)

French Administrative Courts repeatedly rules that Art. 87.1 EC does not have direct effect and tacitly considered that they do not have to raise by their own motion a potential breach of Art. 88.3 EC (14 cases)
University Aix-Marseille
1. Introduction The present note is a comment on not less than fourteen Courts decisions in which the French administrative Courts repeatedly ruled that parties cannot, on the basis of former article 92 EC (now article 87 EC) alone, challenge the compatibility of an aid with the common market (...)

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