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 reimbursements)

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 onward, several applications of two undertakings from the services sector (a pipeline-builder and a cable car operator) for the energy tax reimbursement were turned down by the tax authorities, because the reimbursement was limited to goods manufacturers. In the first round of appeals, the applicants lodged a complaint before the Austrian constitutional court (VfGH). The VfGH was unsure about the state aid character of the energy tax reimbursement and requested a preliminary ruling from the ECJ.

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Authors

  • Universit├Ąt Wien
  • Peter Thyri Competition Counseling Research (Vienna)

Quotation

Thomas Jaeger, Peter Thyri, 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 reimbursements), 20 November 2006, e-Competitions November 2006, Art. N° 27218

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