Latest Special issue: State aid judicial review

State Aid

The EU General Court rules that the Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme and that the unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries (Spanish Tax Lease System)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme* The unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries In 2006, the European Commission received a number of complaints concerning the (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the actions for annulment in the "Spanish tax lease" saga (Spanish tax lease system)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 23 September 2020, the General Court delivered another judgment in the “Spanish tax lease saga”, concerning certain aid measures granted through tax provisions applicable to agreements put in place for the financing and acquisition of vessels in Spain. This judgment follows the annulment and (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the Commission’s approval of State aid for a nuclear energy plant (Hinkley Point C)
Greenberg Traurig (Berlin)
Hinkley Point C: ECJ Confirms Commission’s Approval of Aid to Nuclear Energy Plant* Months before the prospective final Brexit, the ECJ laid what is in all likelihood the last State aid milestone on the UK’s path out of the European Union – at the same time, the ECJ’s judgment in the „Hinkley (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the Commission decision approving UK aid for a nuclear power station (Hinkley Point C)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice confirms the Commission decision approving United Kingdom aid for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station* By decision of 8 October 2014, the European Commission approved aid which the United Kingdom is planning for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, located in Somerset, (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies some aspects of State aid related to social security contributions (Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation / Compagnie de pêche de Saint-Malo)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 September 2020, the Court of Justice (the “ECJ” or “Court”) answered several questions raised by a request for a preliminary ruling from the French Conseil d’État, with regard to the interpretation of Commission Decision 2005/239/EC (the “Decision at issue”). This Decision concerned certain aid (...)

The EU Court of Justice declares invalid a Commission decision penalizing France for State aid (Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation / Compagnie des pêches de Saint-Malo)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Seized with an interpretation request concerning the arrangements for implementing a Commission decision penalising France for State Aid declared incompatible with the common market, the Court of Justice rules that the decision is invalid* The Commission erred in law in considering that the (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision regarding the Irish tax rulings in favour of a Big Tech firm (Apple)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court of the European Union annuls the decision taken by the Commission regarding the Irish tax rulings in favour of Apple* The General Court annuls the contested decision because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage (...)

The EU General Court strikes down the Commission’s decision ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion from a big tech company for illegal State aid (Apple)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On July 15, 2020, the European Union’s second- highest court, the General Court (the “Court”), annulled the 2016 decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion (€14.3 billion with interest) in back-taxes from Apple which the Commission considered to be (...)

The EU General Court quashes a €13 billion tax ruling fine on a multinational technology company (Apple)
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
€13 billion Apple tax recovery decision quashed On 15 July 2020, the EU General Court ("GC") handed down its much awaited judgment in the Apple case. It overturned the European Commission’s ("Commission") decision ordering Ireland to recover EUR 13 billion (plus interests) in illegal State aid (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision concerning the tax rulings in favor of a Big Tech company (Apple)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 July 2020, the General Court (the “GC”) annulled the European Commission’s (the “Commission”) decision of 30 August 2016 concerning tax rulings adopted by the Irish authorities in relation to two companies forming part of the Apple Group (the “Contested Decision”). The Contested Decision found (...)

The EU Court of Justice reverses the General Court’s ruling and upholds the Commission’s decision according to which health insurance bodies operating under Slovak State supervision do not fall within the rules of EU law on State aid
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice upholds the decision of the Commission according to which health insurance bodies operating under Slovak State supervision do not fall within the rules of EU law on State aid* The General Court’s judgment upholding an action brought against that decision is set aside By its (...)

The EU Court of Justice narrows down the concept of “undertaking” with regard to health insurance bodies (Dôvera zdravotná poistʼovňa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The Court of Justice of the European Union’s (the “Court of Justice”) judgment of 11 June 2020, Commission v. Dôvera zdravotná poistʼovňa is another brick in the case law concerning the concept of “undertaking” with regard to health insurance bodies. The background of the case is a Slovak compulsory (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the conditions governing the legality of an injunction issued at the same time as a decision to open a formal State aid investigation (Hungary / Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 June 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “Court of Justice”) delivered an important judgment clarifying the conditions under which the European Commission (the “Commission”) can issue an injunction on the basis of Article 11 of the former State aid procedural Regulation No (...)

The EU General Court reaffirms the Commission’s decision declaring illegal the aid from Italy to several airlines serving Sardinia (Volotea / Germanwings / easyJet)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court dismisses the actions against the Commission decision declaring illegal the aid from Italy to several airlines serving Sardinia* The operators of the Sardinian airports were not the beneficiaries of the aid but merely intermediaries between the Autonomous Region and the (...)

The EU General Court provides guidance on the notion of State aid under EU law following action for annulment brought by airline companies against a decision of the Commission finding an Italian aid to be illegal and incompatible with the internal market (Volotea / Germanwings / EasyJet)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 May 2020, the General Court delivered three judgments in Cases T-607/17,T-716/17,T-8/18, concerning Volotea, Germanwings and easyJet, respectively (the “Applicants”). These judgments follow actions for annulment brought by the Applicants against a decision of the Commission finding that (...)

The EU Court of Justice further narrows the scope for exceptions to the recovery of interest on illegal State aid following a company receiving a credit line for the recovery of agricultural and breeding livestock activities from the Portuguese authorities (Nelson Antunes da Cunha)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 April 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “Court of Justice”) delivered another important judgment concerning the complex relationship between State aid and national procedural rules (Case C-627/18, Nelson Antunes da Cunha). The judgment was delivered in response to a (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls the General Court’s decision which ruled that the Greek authorities should have known about the State aid public loan when there was no proof that they were aware of it (Larko)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Advantage Must be Proven, Not Assumed* Introduction When a company gets into financial trouble, public subsidies may provide a temporary respite but hardly ever a permanent solution if the company does not undertake painful restructuring. More than 10 years ago, Larko, a Greek mining (...)

The EU Court of Justice partially annuls a State aid granted by Greece in the context of the privatisation of a large nickel producer (Larko)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 March 2020, the Court of Justice partially annulled the judgment of the General Court concerning State aid granted by Greece in the context of the privatisation of Larko, a large nickel producer. The Court of Justice found that the ruling at first instance had wrongly applied the Private (...)

The EU Commission decides that Italy granted unlawful State aid in favour of the hotel industry that should be recovered (Italy / Commission)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
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Bird & Bird (Brussels)
In 2008, the European Commission decided that Italy had granted unlawful State aid in favour of the hotel industry in Sardinia. Consequently, Italy was required to recover that unlawful aid, totalling at about EUR 13.7 million. On 29 March 2012, the Court of justice upheld the arguments of the (...)

The EU Court of Justice orders to pay a penalty of €80,000 per day for failing to fully recover incompatible State aid (Commission / Italy)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Non-recovery of Incompatible State aid Is Costly* Introduction The 2020 Temporary Framework for State aid to combat covid-19 has a much wider scope in comparison to other State aid regulations and guidelines. Normally, State aid regulations and guidelines exclude, for example, undertakings in (...)

The EU General Court annuls the EU Commission’s decision that a football club received over €20m in unlawful State aid (Valencia Club)
Oxera (Brussels)
The General Court has annulled the European Commission’s decision that Valencia Club de Fútbol (Valencia CF) received over €20m in unlawful state aid. Oxera undertook the financial analysis that supported Valencia CF’s appeal to the General Court, and which underpinned the annulment of the European (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the appeal of financial services companies which wanted to annul a State aid (BPC Lux 2)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Bail-in Is the Responsibility of Member States* Introduction Investors in banks who lost their money have sought compensation both at EU and national level. So far, claims for damages at EU level have been unsuccessful. In some instances, the cases before EU and national courts have been (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses an appeal by the beneficiary of an aid concluding that the preferential electricity tariff constituted incompatible State aid (Mytilinaios)
College of Europe (Bruges)
A PREFERENTIAL ELECTRICITY TARIFF SELECTIVE, CONFERS AND ADVANTAGE AND DISTORTS COMPETITION* Introduction On 11 December 2019, in case C‑332/18 P, Mytilinaios Anonymos Etairia — Omilos Epicheiriseon v European Commission, the Court of Justice probably wrote the last chapter in a long-running (...)

The EU Court of Justice leaves intact the Commission’s finding that e-procurement is a service of general interest which can be commercially exploited insofar as the State does not offer the service itself (TenderNed)
University of Bristol - Law School
In its Judgment of 7 November 2019 in Aanbestedingskalender and Others v Commission, C-687/17 P, EU:C:2019:932 (the ‘TenderNed’ case), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rejected the appeal against the earlier Judgment of the General Court (GC) of 28 September 2017 (T-138/15, (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission ruling on the calculation of the amount of compensation resulting from contractual obligations in the motorways sector (Autostrada Wielkopolska)
College of Europe (Bruges)
COMPENSATION TO A TOLL ROAD OPERATOR* Introduction When is a company entitled to compensation by the state? The easy answer is “when the state is liable for damage”. However, it may be possible for a company to claim compensation from the state when the state has assumed contractual (...)

The EU General Court rules on an appeal against the recovery of aid from the owner of an aid recipient in the chemical sector (Fortischem)
College of Europe (Bruges)
ECONOMIC CONTINUITY IN RECOVERY OF INCOMPATIBLE STATE AID* Introduction Companies rarely escape from the obligation to repay incompatible State aid. Over the past decade or so, very few companies have successfully argued that they legitimately expected that the aid they received was (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgements clarifying how State aid rules apply to national tax rulings and determines whether a transfer pricing ruling in respect of intra-group transactions confers a selective advantage under the State aid rules (Fiat / Starbucks)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
On 24 September 2019, the General Court (the ‘Court’) upheld the European Commission’s (the ‘Commission’) ruling ordering Luxembourg to recover EUR 23.1 million from Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe (‘FFT’) and annulled the Commission’s ruling ordering the Netherlands to recover EUR 25.7 million from (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (Fiat / Starbucks)
Arendt & Medernach (London)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
THE GENERAL COURT’S JUDGEMENT IN FFT: A CRITIQUE* In its judgments on 24 September in the FFT and Starbucks cases, the EU General Court gave its first view on the European Commission’s tax ruling decisions. These decisions were novel and complex in that they sought to assess whether the tax (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s assessment that the Czech renewable energy support scheme involved State resources (FVE Holýšov I)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
In a judgment of 20 September 2019, the EU General Court (the “General Court”) upheld a 2016 decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) finding that a EUR 31 billion Czech support scheme in favour of renewable energy sources (“RES”) should be classified as State aid. The judgment (...)

The EU General Court rejects an action for annulment against a decision authorising State aid in favour of a competitor in the air transport sector (Air France / Marseille Airport)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 11 July 2019, the General Court (“GC”) rejected an action for annulment brought by Air France against the European Commission (“Commission”) decision concerning State aid in favour of Marseille Provence Airport as inadmissible (Case T-894/16, Société Air France v. Commission). The judgment offers (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s State aid decision on the basis that it lacked jurisdiction to implement EU law in situation where all relevant facts have taken place before Romania’s accession to the EU (Micula)
DG ENERGY (Luxembourg)
The Micula case has been used by the opponents of investment treaty arbitration to argue that such arbitration circumvents and breaches EU State aid law. The Micula case was initially about the judicial review of the withdrawal of individual incentives granted to the investor and withdrawn by (...)

The EU General Court annuls a State aid decision of the Commission concerning the food production sector in Romania (Micula)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 June 2019, the General Court of the European Union (the “General Court”) handed down its long-awaited judgment in the Micula case (Cases T-624/15, T-694/15 and T-704/15, European Food and Others v Commission, EU:T:2019:423). The case finds its origins in the investment made by the Miculas, (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision for lack of jurisdiction of the Commission on the State aid matter (Micula)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION, INVESTMENT PROTECTION AND EU STATE AID RULES: THE GENERAL COURT OF THE EU ANNULS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S STATE AID DECISION IN THE MICULA CASE In a long-awaited ruling of June 18, 2019, the General Court of the European Union (“GCEU”) annulled the European (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision ordering Spain to recover €18 million of incompatible State aid (Real Madrid)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 22 May 2019, the General Court rendered its judgment on the action for annulment filed by Real Madrid against the Commission Decision of 4 July 2018 that (i) declared that the football club had been granted incompatible State aid worth EUR 18 million; and (ii) ordered Spain to recover this (...)

The EU General Court holds that the Commission was wrong to classify as State aid a progressive tax on the retail sector involving a high starting threshold (Polish tax on the retail sector)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The EU’s General Court has rejected the EU Commission’s classification of a Polish tax on the retail sector as State aid: Poland v Commission (Joined Cases T-836/16 and T-624/17). The fact that the tax was progressive in nature with a high threshold was not sufficient to meet the requirement that (...)

The French State Council concludes that three taxes assigned to an undertaking in the audiovisual and multimedia sector cannot be regarded as an integral part of an aid scheme on the basis that they represent a growing share of revenue which is not considered as having directly influenced the amount of aid granted (National Center for Cinema & Moving Image)
France Télévisions (Paris)
The junction between the financing of cinema and audiovisual media and State aid law is at the origin of a case which, initially supposed to revolve around the notion of "alteration to existing aid", has come, after a contentious detour, to clarify what constitutes a tax measure hypothecated to (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that funds generated by the EGG surcharges do not constitute State resources (EEG surcharge)
White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
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White & Case (London)
On Thursday, 28 March, the European Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) annulled the General Court’s ruling and the European Commission’s decision on the EEG 2012 on the grounds that it was wrong to conclude that the funds generated by the EEG surcharge constituted State resources. In (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s State aid decision concerning a Spanish tax regime (Athletic Club)
Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gomez Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
In 2016, the Commission adopted a decision declaring that four Spanish professional football clubs (i.e., Fútbol Club Barcelona, Club Atlético Osasuna, Athletic Club and Real Madrid Club de Fútbol) had received incompatible state aid in the form of corporate tax privileges. As a consequence, Spain (...)

The EU Court of Justice and the General Court render two judgments on State aid showing how the Courts approach a judicial review of complex economic assessments when the burden of proof is on the Commission (Frucona Kosice / Fútbol Club Barcelona)
Garrigues (Brussels)
EU Judicial Review: Major Antitrust Implications of Recent State Aid Cases* We competition lawyers often wrongly approach our discipline in isolation from the wider context in which it is applied. This is also true when it comes to judicial review. We tend to forget that antitrust is only a (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission decision that the Belgian excess profit tax exemption constitutes State aid (Magnetrol International)
University of Oxford
THE BELGIAN EXCESS PROFITS CASE – A STATE AID ANTICLIMAX* Lawyers across Europe holding their breath while awaiting the General Court’s ruling on the Belgian Excess Profits case were doubtlessly disappointed. On Valentine’s Day, the General Court reminded the European Commission that “tough love” (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s finding that Belgium granted unlawful State aid through advance tax rulings (Magnetrol International)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Many Tax Rulings Do Not Make a Single Aid Scheme* The autonomy that Member States enjoy in the field of direct taxation must be exercised in compliance with EU State aid law. A State aid measure is considered to be a “scheme” when (a) no further implementing acts are necessary, (b) the granting (...)

The EU General Court points out the methodological weakness of the Commission analysis in a State aid case (Magnetrol International)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
Apart from the first plea alleging infringement of the exclusive competence of Member States in the field of direct taxation, which would preclude the Commission’s control of State aid, and which was dismissed by the General Court (“GC”), the object of the judgment delivered was technical. It (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission decision which classified Belgium’s "excess profit" tax scheme as State aid (Magnetrol International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 February 2019, the General Court (“GC”) issued a judgment annulling the decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) concerning the Belgian “excess profit” tax rulings (Joined Cases T-131/16 and T-263/16, Belgium and Magnetrol International v. Commission). Under Belgian law, Belgian (...)

The EU General Court delivers its first judgment on State aid through tax rulings by annulling the Commission’s decision on the Belgian excess profit ruling system (Magnetrol International)
Clifford Chance (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 14 February 2019, the EU General Court annulled the European Commission’s State aid decision relating to the Belgian excess profit ruling system. The General (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s State aid decision on Belgian express profit rulings (Magnetrol International)
Bird & Bird (Brussels)
On 14 February 2019, the EU General Court annulled the European Commission’s ("EC") State aid decision of 11 January 2016 on Belgian excess profit rulings ("EPR"). Unlike most State tax aid cases, the Belgian EPR case is not about individual aid but about an aid scheme as defined in Article (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s State aid decision regarding excess Belgium profits tax ruling system (Magnetrol International)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
In a Decision of 11 January 2016, the European Commission declared the Belgian excess profit scheme, pursuant to which Belgium granted advance tax rulings authorising Belgian entities which were part of multinational groups to exempt part of their profits from corporate income taxation, (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission decision which found that Slovakia did not grant incompatible state aid to a chemical company (AlzChem)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Pari Passu Is not Static* When comparing the behaviour of public and private creditors, it is necessary to ensure that their situations and interests do not diverge over time. Introduction When an undertaking owes money to a public authority the latter must use all available legal means to (...)

The EU General Court holds that public funds managed by private airports operators can be classified as state resources (Ryanair)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Private Investor Principle in Air Transport - Part I* The Private Investor Principle in Air Transport - Part II* Public funds managed by private airport operators can be classified as state resources. Prices charged by airport operators can be used as a benchmark for market prices only if (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission decision holding that public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and therefore does not constitute State aid (Scandlines Danmark) (Stena Line)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Infrastructure Projects, State Guarantees and Distortion of Competition* State guarantees must be limited in duration and amount and the conditions for their mobilization must be defined in advance. Public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and, therefore, does not (...)

The EU Court of Justice puts an end to proceedings concerning a measure of support for the development of digital television in a region of Spain (Cellnex)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
By judgment on April 26, 2018, the Court of Justice put an end to proceedings concerning a measure of support for the development of digital television in a region of Spain with a low level of urbanisation. As a result of this judgment, the development in question cannot be considered a SGEI (...)

The EU Court of Justice reminds that the Commission must establish the condition of selectivity of the advantage which is assessed legally and factually in State aids litigation (Comunidad Autónoma de Galicia / Retegal)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
The case concern a series of measures implemented by the Spanish authorities in relation to the switch-over from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting throughout Spain. The Spanish authorities divided the Spanish territory into three separate areas: “Area I”, “Area II” and “Area III”. Area (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls a Commission decision due to the lack of motivation in the assessment of the selectivity criteria in the determination of the compatibility of an aid (Comunidad Autónoma de Galicia and Retagal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
* Article published on StateAidHub.eu Blog (click here), republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author(s). The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Court of Justice annuls three General Court Judgments regarding State aid for a television broadcaster (TV2 / Danmark)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 November 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “ECJ”) issued its judgments on appeal in three cases: Case C-656/15 P, European Commission v TV2/Danmark, Case C-657/15 P, Viasat Broadcasting UK v TV2/Danmark and Case 649/15 P, TV2/Danmark v European Commission. All three (...)

The EU General Court confirms that public funding of an e-platform for procurement purposes does not constitute a State aid (Aanbestedingskalender)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Activities linked to State prerogatives Economic activities which cannot be separated from the exercise of public powers cease to be economic in nature. Introduction The dividing line between economic and non-economic activities is in a permanent state of flux. Although it is now clear that (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms the General Court judgment annulling the Commission’s decision considering that public support statements and credit line offer constituted incompatible State aids by applying the test of the prudent private investor (Orange)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 November 2016, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued its second judgment in the case concerning public statements made by the French authorities in support of France Télécom (“FT” – now Orange) and the offering of a shareholder loan to FT. In 2002, FT, a public limited company, was (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision finding that aid measures targeting consumers with particular needs not adequately provided by the market do not unduly distort competition (Hamr / Sport)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Sport Facilities, the Balancing Test and Distortion of Competition* Aid measures that target persons with particular needs and who are not adequately provided by the market are not likely to be found to distort competition contrary to the common interest, even if there is some substitutability (...)

The EU General Court hands down a judgment in a case regarding a German law on renewable energy and clarifies the notion of State resources (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 May 2016, the General Court of the European Union (“Court”) handed down a judgment in a case concerning the German law on renewable energy of 2012 (the Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz 2012 - “EEG 2012”) (case T-47/15, Germany vs. Commission). The EEG 2012, which was replaced by a new law in (...)

The EU General Court overturns a Commission finding that a Spanish tax lease system is illegal State aid (Spanish tax lease system)
College of Europe (Bruges)
An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease* An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the Spanish tax lease system to constitute illegal State aid (Spanish Tax Lease)
Linklaters (Madrid)
1. Introduction On July 2011 the Commission launched an investigation into a Spanish scheme for the purchase of ships involving leasing and financing through tax relief. The complex scheme granted company income tax discounts to investors that invested in an Economic Interest Grouping (“EIG”) (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission’s decision finding a Spanish tax illegal (Spanish Tax Lease System)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 December 2015, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment in joined cases T-515/13, Spain v Commission and T-719/13, Lico Leasing SA and Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión SA v Commission annulling a 2013 European Commission decision which had found that the (...)

The EU General Court annuls Commission’s decision finding Spain’s tax lease system to constitute illegal State aid (Spanish Tax Lease)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Spanish tax lease case: Identifying the beneficiary under the selectivity test in Fiscal aid schemes*In its judgment of 17 December 2015, Spain a.o./Commission the General Court once again annulled a Commission decision dealing with a fiscal State aid scheme on the grounds that the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the temporal scope of secondary instruments applied to assess the compatibility of a State aid (Jørgen Andersen)
Maastricht University
Case C-303/13 P European Commission v Jørgen Andersen* In this post I will analyse a particular aspect of State aid law: the temporal scope of secondary instruments applied to assess the aid’s compatibility. The case at hand deals in particular with Regulation (EEC) 1191/69, which originally (...)

The EU General Court rules again on whether public pronouncements confer an advantage to undertakings (France Télécom)
College of Europe (Bruges)
When Do Public Pronouncements Confer an Advantage to Undertakings?* Public pronouncements can confer an advantage if they are sufficiently precise and clearly commit a public authority to support an undertaking. Introduction Politicians often claim that they would never allow important (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission State aid decision relating to public statements and shareholder loan to a telecommunications company (France Télécom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgement handed down on 2 July 2015, the General Court (“GC”) annulled for the second time the EU Commission’s state aid decision relating to public statements made by the French authorities in support of France Télécom (“FT”) and to the offering of a shareholder loan to FT. The alleged state (...)

The EU General Court reminds Member States that individual awards of de minimis aid must remain below the relevant threshold as well as the sum of all individual awards in any three-year period (Italy)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Use and Abuse of De Minimis Aid & State Resources* Individual awards of de minimis aid must remain below the relevant threshold as well as the sum of all individual awards in any three-year period. Introduction This article reviews a case that, among other things, deal with the use (...)

The UK High Court rules whether statutory licence granted to the tech industry could be aid through state resources (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 EU Court of Justice implicitly rejects the General Court’s views on subjective assessment of two-part State aid measures under Art 107(1) TFEU (MOL Magyar Olaj)
University of Bristol - Law School
CJEU implicitly rejects GC’s views on subjective assessment of two-part State aid measures under Art 107(1) TFEU (C-15/14)* In its Judgment in Commission v MOL, C-15/14, EU:C:2015:362, the CJEU upheld the previous Judgment of the GC where the selectivity of two-part State aid measures was (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that levying charges to maintain equal treatment is not necessarily selective (MOL Magyar Olaj)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Levying of Charges to Maintain Equal Treatment Is Not Necessarily Selective* The standard of proof of whether a measure is selective depends on whether that measure is a scheme or a grant of individual aid. Measures providing for exemption are by definition selective. Measures that impose (...)

The EU Court of Justice and General Court explain how to determine whether state guarantees constitute State aid and how much aid is involved (Banco Privado Português)
College of Europe (Bruges)
State Guarantees* The amount of State aid in a guarantee that makes possible the granting of a loan to a well-collateralised firm in difficulty is not the difference in premium but the difference in interest rates. Beneficiaries of guarantees not notified to the Commission do not have any (...)

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court rules that the obligation of the Finnish authorities to order recovery of unlawful aid was not affected by the court-confirmed restructuring programme (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 EU General Court confirms the Commission decision holding that the Greek scheme of exclusive rights for lottery did not contain State Aid (Club Hotel Loutraki)
European University Institute (Florence)
In Brief: Case T-58/13, Club Hotel Loutraki AE and Others v Commission (judgment of 08.01.2015)* On Thursday the 8th January the GC dismissed all four pleas in the action for annulment of the Commission Decision finding that the exclusive rights granted to operate 35 000 Video Lottery (...)

The Czech Supreme Court confirms the duty of national courts to enforce EU State aid rules (NH Hospital / Central Bohemian Region)
Skils (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 (...)

The EU General Court dismisses an action for annulment brought by a competitor against a Commission decision finding no state aid in relation to licensing of software terms offered by a university (Scheepsbouwkundig Advies / en Rekencentrum)
University of Bristol - Law School
State aid and (university) software licensing: who’s interested? (T-488/11)* In its Judgment of 12 June 2014 in case Sarc v Commission, T-488/11, EU:T:2014:441, the General Court of the EU (GC) has assessed an interesting case concerned with the licensing of software developed at a Dutch (...)

State aid and judicial review: An overview of EU and national case law
Siemens (Brussels)
1. Introduction The EU courts have rendered a number of important judgments during the past two years, many of which have been controversially discussed. This Special Issue is a compilation of case annotations published by Concurrences which will certainly be a useful tool for practitioners, (...)

The EU General Court rules that the context in which an administrative decision is adopted may reduce the burden of motivation imposed on an institution (ABN Amro)
University of Bristol - Law School
GC hints at a reduction of the burden of motivation of administrative decisions under EU law (T-319/11)* In its Judgment of 8 April 2014 in case T-319/11 ABN Amro Group v Commission, the General Court has indicated that the context in which an administrative decision is adopted may reduce the (...)

The EU General Court confirms that the Commission has a large margin of discretion in determining the compatibility of restructuring aid (ABN Amro)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on Lexxion State Aid Blog (click here), republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Wathelet finds that the effectiveness of state aid rules would be significantly impaired if Member States could use the protection of brand image as an economic rationality argument (SNCM)
University of Bristol - Law School
"National brands" and State aid: AG Wathelet on investing in "State branding" (C-533 & 536/12)* In his Opinion of 15 January 2014 in joined cases C-533/12 P and C-536/12 P SNCM v Corsica Ferries France, Advocate General Wathelet has addressed an interesting (and creative) argument (...)

The EU Court of Justice reinforces the Plaumann test and re-emphasizes the role attributed to the national courts within the framework of the preliminary ruling procedure to ensure judicial review of the legality of EU acts (Telefónica)
University of Bristol - Law School
What’s left of the ’new limb’ of Art 263(4) TFEU after Inuit and Telefonica? (C-274/12 P)* In its Judgment of 19 December in case C-274/12 P Telefonica v Commission, the CJEU has continued to define (and minimise) the scope of Article 263(4) TFEU and, particularly, the ’new’ third limb introduced (...)

The EU Court of Justice examines the concept of state attributability in relation to a fiscal exemption previously approved by the Council (Eurallumina)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Possibly Conflicting Roles of EU Institutions on State Aid* Introduction On 10 December 2013, the Court of Justice, in C‑272/12 P, wrote another chapter in the long-running case of the exemption from excise taxes for alumina producers in France, Ireland and Italy. This is not the last (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on the matter of non-notified State aid subject to a formal examination procedure initiated by the Commission and the measures to be adopted by the national courts hearing an application for cessation or recovery (Deutsche Lufthansa / Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Non-notified State Aid and the Role of National Courts [C 284/12, Deutsche Lufthansa v Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn]* Introduction What prevents a Member State from granting State aid without first notifying it to the European Commission? Cynics would answer “nothing, in fact”. Indeed, nothing can (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that national courts must assume that a measure qualifies as State aid if the Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into that measure (Lufthansa / Flughafen Frankfurt Hahn)
McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
EU NATIONAL COURTS MAY HAVE TO ORDER RECOVERY OF STATE AID BEFORE EUROPEAN COMMISSION MAKES FINALE DECISION* The European Court of Justice decided on 21 November 2013 that EU national courts must assume that a measure qualifies as State aid, if the European Commission has opened an in-depth (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms prior State aid cannot be taken into account by a public authority to justify further subsidies as market behaviour (Land Burgenland)
Siemens (Brussels)
,
Jones Day (Brussels)
In its recent judgment in Land Burgenland (Joined Cases C-214/12 P, C-215/12 P and C-223/12 P) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed that compatible State aid granted to an undertaking in the past must not be taken into account in the context of the Market Economy (...)

The EU Court of Justice recalls that except in the case of ‘absolute impossibility’, the provider State of illegal State aid is obliged to obtain recovery thereof, despite the potentially major economic consequences for the recipient of the aid (Alcoa)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
,
French Competition Authority (Paris)
By a judgment dated October 17, 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) recalls that except in the case of ‘absolute impossibility’, the provider State of an illegal State aid is obliged to obtain recovery thereof, despite the potentially major economic consequences for (...)

The EU General Court rejects an appeal against a budgetary grant in favour of the French state-owned television company, without providing any further explanation on the matter of inefficient undertakings assigned with public service obligations (Télévision française 1)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Tax Hypothecation and Economic Efficiency under Altmark: T-275/11, French Television 1 v Commission* Background France Télévisions is a limited company wholly owned by the French State. As France abolished advertising on public television, it also decided to provide financial compensation to (...)

The EU General Court clarifies the nature of services of general economic importance and affirms that it is necessary to identify the presence of market failures justifying the grant of compensation (Colt Télécommunications France)
College of Europe (Bruges)
New Case Law on Incentive Effect, “Private Borrower”, Advantage, Compensation, SGEI and Market Failure* Introduction The posting reviews three recent rulings of the General Court. They are significant because they introduce substantial nuances in the case law concerning the concepts of (...)

The EU General Court rules that a measure designed to offset a structural disadvantage is still State aid (BT Pension Scheme)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Offsetting of a Structural Disadvantage Is still State Aid* Introduction Normally it is conceptually and technically fairly easy to determine whether an undertaking benefits from a public measure. However, this task becomes considerably more difficult in two situations: i) when a public (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission decision on the incompatibility of a State aid granted for the acquisition of a power plant (Fri-El Acerra)
College of Europe (Bruges)
New Case Law on Incentive Effect, “Private Borrower”, Advantage, Compensation, SGEI and Market Failure* Introduction The posting reviews three recent rulings of the General Court. They are significant because they introduce substantial nuances in the case law concerning the concepts of (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission State aid decision, rejecting the accuracy of the calculations concerning the rate of interest that a hypothetical private investor would have paid in a similar situation (Poste Italiane)
College of Europe (Bruges)
New Case Law on Incentive Effect, “Private Borrower”, Advantage, Compensation, SGEI and Market Failure* Introduction The posting reviews three recent rulings of the General Court. They are significant because they introduce substantial nuances in the case law concerning the concepts of (...)

The EU General Court finds that organisations for environmental protection that directly offer goods and services in competitive markets must be regarded as undertakings (Germany / Commission)
Max Findlay (London)
Not playing nicely* Recently, there have been two striking cases of organisations behaving badly in a way that the outside world would think was well out of order. In the first example – the Roma Medical Aids case – it isn’t just about somebody breaking the rules. It’s about a company acting in a (...)

The EU General Court reinforces the doctrine of inseparability in relation to compensation for public service obligations assigned to environmental organisations (Germany / Commission)
College of Europe (Bruges)
The Emerging Doctrine of Inseparability and Compensation for Public Service Obligations [T-347/09, Germany v Commission]* Introduction In the landmark judgment in Leipzig Halle, the General Court stated that infrastructure which is inseparable from economic activity is itself economic and its (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Mengozzi clarifies the role of national courts in case of simultaneous state aid investigation by the Commission (Lufthansa / Frankfurt airport / Ryanair)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
AbbVie (Chicago)
On 27 June 2013, Advocate General Mengozzi rendered an opinion clarifying the role of national courts in case of simultaneous state aid investigation by the European Commission (the “Commission”). The case stems from a dispute between Lufthansa and the Frankfurt airport regarding the (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeal of the Commission in relation to the failure to act as regards a state aid measure allegedly granted to Italian airlines (Ryanair)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Exceptional Circumstances, Natural Disasters, Commercial Risk and Rights of Complainants* Rights of Complainants Concerning Unlawful Aid: Case C-615/11 P, European Commission v Ryanair, 16 May 2013 The European Commission appealed against the judgment of the General Court in case T-442/07 (...)

The EU Court of Justice decides that Flemish tax incentives and subsidy mechanisms are liable to be classified as State aid (Eric Libert)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that the Commission did not correctly apply the hypothetical private creditor test when holding that Poland had granted aid to steel producer (Technologie Buczek)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment delivered on 21 March 2013, the ECJ has followed the GC that the European Commission did not correctly apply the hypothetical private creditor test when holding that Poland had granted aid to the Technologie Buczek Group (“TB”). The ECJ confirmed that a comparative analysis (...)

The EU Court of Justice establishes that the General Court erred in law, both in its review of the Commission’s finding on public resources conferring state aid and in the assessment of the links between the established advantage and the commitment of public resources (Bouygues)
Mircea (Bucharest)
I. Introduction This state aid judgment of the CJEU refers to credit guarantees under the form of a non-implemented shareholder loan agreement and the relation between the advantages conferred on the beneficiary and the allocation of state resources. The General Court judgment adopted an (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that seemingly separate interventions may constitute a single measure if they are inseparable by way of timing, purpose and the condition of the beneficiary undertaking (Bouygues)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Where is the Money? The Link between Advantage and Transfer of State Resources* On 19 March 2013, the Court of Justice delivered an important judgment in case C-399/10 P, Bouygues v European Commission concerning aid that was granted by France to France Telecom. The case was an appeal to an (...)

The Irish High Court dismisses claims for the liability of the State for damages regarding an unlawful risk equalisation scheme in the provision of private health insurance by insurers (BUPA)
Ryanair (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 Finnish Supreme Administrative Court decides that the EU State aid rules do not apply to a transaction where industrial property was sold (KHO)
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 EU Court of Justice provides further guidance as to whether restructuring aid granted pre-accession represents “existing aid” in the meaning of Article 1 of Regulation 659/1999 (Kremikovtzi)
Kinstellar (Sofia)
The European Court of Justice (the "ECJ") ruled that restructuring measures implemented prior to a Member State’s accession to the European Union may not be considered to constitute "existing aid" in the meaning of Article 1(b) of Regulation 659/1999 since they were not applicable after (...)

The EU General Court rules that an unlimited State guarantee granted to the postal services company constitutes incompatible State aid (La Poste)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Two Judgments: a) Unlimited State Guarantees and b) The Discretion of the Commission in Restructuring Measures* Main points Unlimited state guarantees are never compatible with the internal market. The existence of an unlimited guarantee and its benefits can be inferred from the relevant (...)

The EU General Court confirms illegal implicit state guarantee granted to French postal incumbent (La Poste)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 September 2012, the General Court dismissed an action for annulment brought by France concerning an unlimited implicit guarantee granted to La Poste. La Poste enjoyed a peculiar legal status in France, as it was deemed equivalent to an establishment of an industrial and commercial (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision by which it approved all of the measures adopted by France in favour of Corsica ferries (Corsica Ferries France)
Mircea (Bucharest)
A. Essential factual and legal aspects The shipping company, Corsica Ferries France SAS, applicant in the present dispute, offers regular ferry services to Corsica departing from continental France (Marseille, Toulon and Nice) and Italy. The shipping company and beneficiary of the aid measure (...)

The EU General Court annuls Commission decision for interpreting thresholds in guidelines on national regional aid as a de minimis rule (Smurfit Kappa)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 10 July 2012, the General Court disagreed with the European Commission which had held that the formal investigation procedure provided for in Article 108 (2) TFEU should not be initiated when the thresholds relating to market shares and to the increase in production (...)

State aid and judicial review: An overview of EU and national case law
Squire Patton Boggs (Brussels)
1. INTRODUCTION We live in a world where certain words or phrases trigger immediate assumptions. Such assumptions vary depending on the audience - "State aid" being a perfect example. Writing this foreword in Spring 2012, it would be safe to say that for the majority of the European population (...)

The EU General Court partly annuls a Commission decision on restructuring aid granted to a bank on account of the financial crisis (ING)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 March 2012, the General Court (“GC”) has partly upheld ING’s appeal against a Commission decision of 2009 regarding various forms of aid granted by the Dutch State to the banking group ING in the context of the latter’s restructuring plan during the financial crisis. The ING group had (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission’s decision ruling that the Province of Burgenland had granted State aid which was not compatible with the common market (Land Burgenland)
Trummer & Thomas (Vienna)
,
Trummer & Thomas (Vienna)
,
Borealis (Vienna)
I. Introduction On 28 February 2012 the General Court confirmed the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision of 30 April 2008 and ruled that the Province of Burgenland had granted State aid to Grazer Wechselseitige Versicherung AG (“GRAWE”) which was not compatible with the common market. (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms Commission and General Court’s views on illegality of special tax regime applied to French telecom operator (France Télécom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment of 8 December 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) agreed with the Commission and the General Court that France Télécom had benefited illegally from state aid in the form of tax subsidies between 1994 and 2002. The Commission had investigated the tax (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies that the Dutch Court must cancel an illegal guarantee covering a loan when such measure is the least onerous (Residex)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a preliminary ruling handed down on 8 December 2011, the ECJ interpreted the state aid obligations imposed on national courts as including the obligation to cancel a guarantee by virtue of which unlawful aid was implemented and order the recovery of the aid, provided that there are no (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that Italy failed to comply with the Commission’s State aid decision addressing the issue of the status of protocol on internal market and competition (Commission / Italy)
University of Leiden - Europa Institute
“Thanks Nicolas Sarkozy, but no thanks.” CJEU rules on status of Protocol on Internal Market and Competition* When the EU leaders agreed on the final version of the Lisbon Treaty, one particular amendment caused turmoil in the European competition law community. The Lisbon Treaty repealed the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that the General Court has erred in annulling the Commission decision qualifying a proposed tax reform as a state aid scheme (Government of Gibraltar)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 November 2011, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) ruled that the General Court had erred in annulling the Commission decision qualifying Gibraltar’s proposed tax reform as a state aid scheme. The new corporate tax regime that the Government of Gibraltar intended to adopt was (...)

The EU General Court orders the Commission to pay damages to a third party in State aid proceedings, for disclosing its name and detrimental information relating to it (Idromacchine)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
The General Court has ordered the European Commission to pay damages to Idromacchine Srl (“Idromacchine”), a third party in state aid proceedings, for disclosing its name and detrimental information relating to it in a Commission decision that was published in the Official Journal. In (...)

The EU Court of Justice sides with Germany on Commission’s injunctions requesting information in State aid investigations being inadmissible (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In its judgment handed down on 13 October 2011, the Court of Justice overturned the General Court’s ruling that appeals by Germany and Deutsche Post AG (“Deutsche Post”) relating to a Commission injunction requesting information in state aid investigations were inadmissible. At issue was (...)

The EU General Court rules that the Commission failed its duty to act following a complaint by low cost airline against alleged State aid to Italian airlines (Ryanair)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 29 September 2011, the General Court handed down its judgment concerning complaints by Ryanair concerning alleged state aid to Italian airlines. The General Court found that the Commission had failed in its duty to act on the complaints. The case stems from letters sent by the low (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the General Court’s decision addressing the issue of the admissibility of action in state aid cases under the Plaumann test (Comitato Venezia vuole vivere)
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
Death in Venice: The end of a Commission’s locus standi theory in State aid cases?* Following my previous post, I would like to briefly refer to another interesting battlefield within the State aid area: the locus standi of the beneficiaries of aid schemes (think, for instance, of tax (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms admissibility of action for annulment brought by rival in a purchasing market (Kronoply / Kronotex)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a Grand Chamber judgment of 24 May 2011, the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) sided with the General Court (“GC”) and confirmed the admissibility of a challenge brought against a Commission decision not to open a formal investigation into a state aid case. At the origin of the case were a number of (...)

The EU General Court annuls Commission decision finding illegal state granted by Poland and its failure to recover public debts from an ailing company (Buczek Automotive)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 May 2011, the General Court (“GC”) ruled against a Commission decision dated 23 October 2007 ordering Poland to recover state aid granted to the Polish steel producer Technologie Buczek(“TB”) from TB‘s subsidiary Buczek Automotive sp. z o.o. (“BA”). Confronted with financial difficulties, TB (...)

The EU Commission decides that the level of fee charged by the French government for spectrum assignment to the 4th mobile operator did not entail any State aid in the meaning of Art. 107(1) TFEU (France - 4th UMTS license)
University of Namur
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"The Assignment of Spectrum and the EU State Aid Rules: the case of the 4th 3g license assignment in France"* 1. The French 4th mobile communications licence On 5 May 2011, the Commission decided that the level of the fee charged by the French government in 2009 for spectrum assignment to (...)

The EU Commission rejects complaints filed by mobile phone operators already active in the French market, as it finds that the procedure for awarding fourth 3G mobile phone licence does not involve any State aid (France – 4th UMTS licence)
CDC Cartel Damage Claims (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 May and 31  August 2011"* On 10 May 2011 the Commission rejected complaints filed by three mobile phone operators already active in the French market, as it found that the procedure for awarding France’s fourth 3G mobile phone licence in 2009 did not (...)

The EU Commission re-assesses a State aid case and decides that the purchase price paid by a Finnish municipality to a real estate company does not constitute a State aid and complies with the market investor principle (Componenta / Finnish municipality Karkkila)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* Following the Court annulment of a Commission decision of 2005, on 20 April the Commission adopted a decision stating that the purchase price paid by the Finnish municipality Karkkila to Componenta does not constitute state aid (...)

The EU Commission decides that investment aid for two German interlinked plants constitutes State aid that was compatible with the internal market under Article 107(3) TFEU (Glunz / OSB Deutschland)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2011* On 23 March, the Commission decided that investment aid for Glunz and OSB Deutschland, two interlinked plants, constituted state aid that was compatible with the internal market under Article 107(3) TFEU. The measure was (...)

The German High Court rules that companies have standing to sue against illegal State aid to competitors (Lufthansa / Ryanair)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
,
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
,
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 EU General Court confirms illegality of Italian State aid in the shipbuilding sector and rules on temporary application of substantive rules governing State aid (Cantiere navale De Poli)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two judgments of 3 February 2011, the General Court upheld the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 million in addition to the notified amount (of € 10 million), was incompatible with the common market. The original State (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of €10 million in addition to the notified amount, was incompatible with the common market (Italy / Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In two judgments of 3 February 2011, the General Court upheld the Commission’s view that a State aid measure, notified by Italy and implemented by allocating an amount of € 10 million in addition to the notified amount (of € 10 million), was incompatible with the common market. The original State (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that Italy failed to recover unlawful aid and rebukes domestic courts for suspending such recovery (Commission / Italy)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 December 2010, the Court of Justice ruled that Italy had failed to recover State aid which had been declared unlawful by the Commission. In its Decision 2006/261, the Commission declared incompatible with the common market the State aid scheme set up by Italy in the form of tax (...)

The EU Court of Justice endorses the “single economic unit” reasoning of the Commission in a decision concerning State aid intended to grant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (AceaElectrabel)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 16 December 2010, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) dismissed an appeal brought by AceaElectrabel Produzione SpA (“AEP”) against a judgment of the General Court upholding a Commission decision concerning State aid that Italy intended to grant for the reduction of greenhouse gas (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds General Court’s and Commission’s views on illegality of German aid granted to an ailing privately-owned company (Kahla Thüringen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2010, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) rejected an appeal lodged by Kahla Thüringen Porzellan GmbH (“Kahla Thüringen”) against a judgment of the General Court which upheld a Commission decision ordering the recovery of illegal State aid granted to Kahla Thüringen. Between 1994 (...)

The EU Court of Justice once again refers to a casino case back to General Court (Athinaïki Techniki)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2010, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) set aside for the second time an inadmissibility order from the General Court in the Casino Mont Parnès case. In 2001, a public contract disposing 49% of the capital of the Casino Mont Parnès was awarded by the Greek authorities to the (...)

The EU Commission refers Spain to the Court of Justice for failure to respect Court ruling to recover illegal aid (Magefesa group / Basque Provinces of Alava / Guipúzcoa / Vizcaya)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
State Aid: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 30 September 2010 and on 24 November 2010 the Commission decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice for failing to implement a previous Court ruling which confirmed certain Commission decisions finding that (...)

The EU Commission refers Italy to the Court of Justice for failure to implement a previous Court’s decision ordering the recovery of illegal and incompatible state aid from utilities with a majority public capital holding
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
State Aid: Main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2010* On 28 October 2010 the Commission decided to refer Italy to the Court of Justice for failing to implement a previous Court ruling decision ordering the recovery of illegal and incompatible State aid from utilities with a (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds General Court’s judgment and dismisses an action for damages regarding State aid scheme for investment in the less-favoured regions of Italy (Nuova Agricast / Cofra)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 October 2010, the Court of Justice sided with the General Court and dismissed an action for damages brought by two Italian companies, Nuova Agricast and Cofra (the “Appellants”), against the Commission. In 1998, following an invitation published by the Italian authorities, the Appellants (...)

The EU General Court upholds Commission’s decision ordering recovery of state aid granted through warranties relating to the operation of a leading express transportation’s hub (DHL)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 October 2010, the General Court rejected DHL’s application for partial annulment of a decision adopted by the Commission on 23 July 2008 with regard to an agreement concluded between DHL and FLH, the company operating Leipzig-Halle Airport. Under the terms of that agreement, FLH was to (...)

The EU General Court partly annuls Commission decision in the privatization of an airline case (Olympic Airways)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 September 2010, the General Court partly annulled a decision in which the Commission found that the privatization of Olympic Airways had given rise to the award of illegal State aid to the benefit of Olympic Airways and of a company called Olympic Airlines, which took up the flight (...)

The EU Court of Justice confirms General Court’s annulment of the Commission decision in a State aid case (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 September 2010, the Court of Justice handed down its judgment in the Deutsche Post State aid case. It rejected the Commission’s appeal, thereby confirming the annulment of the Commission decision in question. Deutsche Post operates both in the mail delivery sector, in which it enjoys a (...)

The EU Court of Justice quashes General Court’s judgment and finds no manifest error in the Commission’s assessment of State aid (Scott)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 September 2010, the Court of Justice quashed a ruling of the General Court which partly annulled a Commission decision finding illegal State aid in the sale of a parcel of land by the French authorities to Scott S.A. (“Scott”). According to the Commission, Scott unduly benefited from a (...)

The Versailles Court of Appeal 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)
,
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 EU General Court finds that public statements of support by the French Government did not constitute State aid in favour of the incumbent telecom operator (France Télécom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment handed down on 21 May 2010, the General Court (hereinafter the “GC”) held that statements by the French authorities aimed at assuring France Télécom (hereinafter “FT”) of their support in the context of a major financial crisis experienced by FT did not constitute State aid. According (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Jääskinen agrees with the General Court’s ruling in a State aid recovery case in the postal sector (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In an opinion issued on 24 March 2010, Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen agrees with the judgment given by the General Court (hereinafter the “GC”) in 2008 by which the GC overturned a Commission decision ordering Deutsche Post to repay € 572 million of state aid. According to the AG, the Commission (...)

The EU Commission refers Italy to the Court of Justice for failing to comply with a decision concerning the recovery of unlawful State aid for certain investment projects in the hotel industry (Hotel industry in Sardinia)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010"* The Commission has decided to refer Italy to the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with a Commission decision of July 2008. On 12 November 1998, the Commission approved an aid measure in favour of the hotel (...)

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 EU Court of Justice upholds Commission’s appeal against annulment of State aid decision on excise duty exemptions for alumina production (Commission / Ireland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 2 December 2009, the Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) set aside the judgment of the Court of First Instance (now the General Court (the “GC”)) that had annulled a Commission’s decision declaring exemptions from the excise duty on mineral oils used as fuel for alumina production in France, Ireland and (...)

The EU General Court dismisses an appeal in a State aid case in the telecommunications sector (France Télécom)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 November 2009, the Court of First Instance (now the General Court (the “GC”)) issued a judgment dismissing the appeal lodged by France Télécom and France against the decision of the Commission which found that France Télécom had received unlawful State aid in the form of a special tax regime (...)

The EU General Court dismisses an appeal lodged by Germany against the Commission’s decision ordering Germany to provide information about a State aid scheme that fell within the scope of Regulation 70/2001, which provides an exemption from notification for certain aid for SMEs (Germany /Commission)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 November 2009, the Court of First Instance (now the General Court (the “GC”)) dismissed an appeal lodged by Germany against the decision of the European Commission ordering Germany to provide information about a State aid scheme that fell within the scope of Regulation 70/2001, which (...)

The EU Court of Justice imposes a two-fold penalty on Greece under an Article 228 EC procedure for non-recovery of illegal State aid granted to airline company (Olympic Airways)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 July 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) imposed a two-fold penalty on Greece under an Article 228 EC procedure for non-recovery of illegal State aid granted to Olympic Airways. The case dates back to 2002 when the Commission found certain aid granted to Olympic Airways incompatible (...)

The Stockholm Administrative Court finds that the transfer of a number of public schools and kindergartens to a private undertaking constitutes illegal State aid under national law (Lagergreen)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés (Stockholm)
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 (...)

The Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal states that a municipality’s sale of a high school constitutes illegal State aid based on national provision while declining to rule on the EC State aid point of law (Christer Backstrom)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés (Stockholm)
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 finds that the privatisation of home-help services decided by the municipality 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)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés (Stockholm)
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 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)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés (Stockholm)
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 (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Sharpston issues opinion on the standing of a trade union in State aid appeals (3F)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 5 March 2009, Advocate General Sharpston gave her opinion on an appeal brought by a trade union, 3F, against an order of the Court of First Instance (“CFI”), which found that the trade union did not have standing to appeal a Commission decision not to open an in-depth investigation under (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Trstenjak issues his opinion on the burden of proof in relation to recovery illegal State aid decisions (MTU Friedrichshafen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In an opinion handed down on 19 February 2009, Advocate General Trstenjak proposes that the Commission’s appeal against a judgment of the Court of First Instance (CFI) which annulled a Commission decision ordering the recovery of illegal aid should be dismissed. The Advocate General considers, (...)

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)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés (Stockholm)
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 (...)

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 (Warsaw)
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 Krakow Court of Appeal rules on the issue of costs reimbursing in the case of undue aid (Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture / M. L.)
Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak (Warsaw)
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PKN Orlen (Warsaw)
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 Spanish Superior Court of Justice for 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 (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission decision on State aid granted to a low cost airline (Ryanair)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 December 2008, the Court of First Instance (hereinafter the ‘CFI’) annulled the Commission decision in which the Commission had found that the advantages granted by the Walloon Region and Brussels South Charleroi Airport (‘BSCA’) to Ryanair constituted illegal State aid. The CFI found, in (...)

The Austrian Supreme Court suspends proceedings under the Austrian competition act concerning whether the sale of a bank constituted State Aid (SLAV)
Universität Wien
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Peter Thyri Competition Counseling Research (Vienna)
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 Brussels Court of Appeal rejects State aid pleas in the context of a bank rescue plan (Fortis)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 Belgian Supreme Court applies the ruling of the EU Court of Justice and holds that the tax on slaughterhouses does not constitute unlawful State aid as it is part of an aid scheme declared compatible (Slachthuis Swaegers)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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, (...)

The Finnish Administrative Supreme 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 UK Lands Tribunal rules that the application of a different valuation method between undertakings is not evidence and to assess the value of telecommunications network has resulted in an advantage likely to confer unlawful State aid (Kingston / British Telecom)
United Kingdom’s 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. (...)

The Lithuanian Administrative Supreme Court states that a municipality is not entitled to grant interest-free credits without applying State aid rules (Kedainiai District Municipality Council)
Cobalt Legal (Vilnius)
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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 Spanish Supreme Court of the Basque Country clarifies the scope on the application of the special tax regime (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 EU Court of Justice clarifies the criteria for assessing selectivity of regional tax measures (Unión General de Trabajadores de la Rioja)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 11 September 2008, the European Court of Justice (hereinafter the ‘ECJ’) clarified the criteria for determining whether tax measures adopted by a regional authority are to be considered as selective and thus amounting to State aid. This judgment relates to a tax measure adopted (...)

The Slovakian Constitutional Court issues a formal decision where it rejects a complaint for the review of the Ministry of Economy’s decision on refusal to grant State aid based on the act on investment incentives (X / Ministry of Economy)
Nedelka Kubáč advokáti (Bratislava)
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Ružička Csekes (Bratislava)
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Ružička Csekes (Bratislava)
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)
Adyen (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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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)
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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 (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms that State aid should be considered as company debt payable to the Central Government and autorised the recovery (Mediterráneo Técnica Textil)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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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 of Bordeaux rejects the plea of the appellant based on the violation of State aid finding that the contract of public service could include clauses allowing the compensation for the provision of the public service to be actualised or revised (Syndicat mixte de transports en commun de l’agglomération de Bayonne)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 EU Court of Justice annuls General Court’s judgment on State aid in the postal sector (Chronopost / La Poste)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2008, the European Court of Justice (hereinafter ‘the ECJ’) annulled a judgment of the Court of First Instance (hereinafter ‘the CFI’) which annulled a 1997 Commission decision in so far as the Commission had found that the logistical and commercial assistance provided by the French Post (...)

The EU General Court annuls a Commission decision in a State aid case, holding that the Commission failed to examine whether the State measures exceeded the costs incurred by the postal incumbent in performing services of general economic interest (Deutsche Post)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2008, the Court of First Instance (hereinafter ‘the CFI’) annulled the Commission decision which had found that certain measures of the German authorities in favour of Deutsche Post amounted to State aid incompatible with the common market. The CFI held, in particular, that the (...)

The EU General Court partly annuls Commission’s decision declaring State aid for air transport losses connected with the New York terrorist attacks incompatible with the common market (Olympiaki Aeroporia Ypiresies)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 June 2008, the Court of First Instance (hereinafter the “CFI”) annulled in part the Commission decision declaring certain aid granted to a Greek airline as compensation for losses resulting from the events of 11 September 2001 incompatible with the common market. The CFI held, in (...)

The French Court of Appeal for 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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 Austrian Supreme Court rules that an advantage is qualified as an existing State aid measure under a Art. 87 EC would be considered permissible as long as the EU Commission agreed (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 Austrian Supreme Court rules that a system of official inserts in a newspaper is not subject to prohibition of implementation and does not violate the national act against unfair competition (Die Presse)
Universität Wien
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Peter Thyri Competition Counseling Research (Vienna)
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 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)
Adyen (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 Administrative Court’s decision and rules that a small-scale activity 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 German Higher Regional Court of Schleswig-Holstein quashes a lower regional court’s decision and rejects an air carrier claims on the grounds of inadmissibility and on the merits (Ryanair 2)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 constituting unlawful State aid and orders its recovery (Amato Law on public banking system)
Eujus (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 (...)

The German Administrative Court of Appeal for Baden-Württemberg rules that a tax payer who refuses to pay cannot base its claim upon an alleged infringement of EC State aid rules (Rundfunkgebühr 1)
Delegation of the European Union to the United States (Washington D.C.)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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 Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court rejects the applicant’s claims without examining the issue under State aid rules and rules that the Ministry of Agriculture’s actions could not engage its liability (Arvi Cukrus UAB)
Cobalt Legal (Vilnius)
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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 French Administrative Court of Nancy annuls a judgement which declared the admissibility of a repayment order for the tax on advertisement expenses constituting unlawful State aid (Fagnières Distribution / Pierrydis / Chamdis / Sodichamp / Eperdis)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 dismisses a State aid claim filed by economic operators seeking the annulment of a law imposing reusable packages more heavily than "one way" packages (Fédération royale de l’industrie des Eaux et boissons rafraichissantes)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that Greece had failed to comply with a Commission State aid decision issued in 2005 by not taking necessary measures to recover illegal aid granted to airline company (Olympic Airways Services / Olympic Airlines)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 February 2008, the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) ruled that Greece had failed to comply with a Commission State aid decision issued in 2005 by not taking necessary measures to recover illegal aid granted to Olympic Airways Services and Olympic Airlines. The public financial (...)

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)
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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 (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules that a Member State is not required to recover aid that has initially been found unlawful as a result of a failure to notify the aid package to the Commission when this aid has subsequently been declared compatible with the common market (CELF)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 February 2008, the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) ruled that a Member State is not required to recover aid that has initially been found unlawful as a result of a failure to notify the aid package to the Commission when this aid has subsequently been declared compatible with the (...)

A Dutch Court of Appeals annuls the Competition’s Authority decision on the application of competition rules in the sphere of State aid (Blovo)
Urgenda (Basel)
Introduction In this case the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal of the Netherlands (Tribunal) made a principal judgement on the application of competition rules to behaviour that could be regarded as granting of State Aid. The Tribunal decided that qualification of behaviour as granting of (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court confirms the annulment of a provision which had not been included in the notification of a State aid scheme to the EU 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 Administrative Court of Appeal of Marseille dismisses the appeal of tax payers claiming the refund of the tax on meat purchases judging an absence of hypothecation of the levy to aid measure (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 French Administrative Court of Appeal of Marseille dismisses the appeal of tax payers claiming the refund of the tax on meat purchases judging an absence of hypothecation of the levy to aid measure (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 finds that alterations to an existing State aid scheme are modifications of the system itself to constitute an aid and for the scheme to be notifiable to the EU Commission (Belgacom)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 Court of Appeal of Paris dismisses the appeal of tax payers claiming the refund of the tax on meat purchases judging an absence of hypothecation of the levy to aid measure (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 French Administrative Court of Appeal of Lyon rules that a claim questioning the validity of an EU Commission’s decision not to raise objection against alleged State aid measures, raised serious difficulties requiring a preliminary ruling (Régie Networks)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 Court of Appeal 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, Richter & Hampton (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 French Administrative Court of Appeal 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, Richter & Hampton (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 (...)

The French Supreme Court 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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 of Göteborg rules that financial support from local government to a regional film production company infringes national State aid law (Uddevalla kommun)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés (Stockholm)
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 Greek Administrative Court of Appeal rules that interests due in the case of recovery for 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)
Queen Mary University (London)
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 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)
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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 (...)

The Stockholm County Administrative Court rules on alleged illegal State aid from the City of Stockholm to promote local broadband infrastructure (Thomas Svensson)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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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 (...)

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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 system user (Public Power Corporation)
Queen Mary University (London)
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 EU Court of Justice on State aid issue relating to obligatory investments 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 Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court holds that an exclusive operator has not been granted any advantage within the meaning of State aid provisions when operating beyond the boundaries of the secure network and rules (TEO LT / Omnitel / Bite Lietuva)
Cobalt Legal (Vilnius)
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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 (TRA.IN)
Eujus (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 (...)

The French Supreme Court applies the EU Court of Justice 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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 (...)

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)
Djungo (Stockholm)
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General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
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Öberg & Associés (Stockholm)
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 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)
Honoré & Fallesen (Copenhagen)
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 Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court upholds the decision of the lower court finding that the applicant did not meet the requirement for the ownership of the capital necessary to qualify the measure as State aid (Selos Parkas)
Cobalt Legal (Vilnius)
,
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)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
UPC is an undertaking which provides telecommunications services, such as television, telephony and broadband services, within the Netherlands. For several years, UPC has exploited the Municipality of Amsterdam’s cable network. In 2004, the Municipality of Amsterdam decided to build in certain (...)

The Dutch Court of Appeal allows a municipality to continue its investment in a local telecommunications network, despite the EU Commission having commenced an Art 88.2 EC procedure (UPC Nederland)
Adyen (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 aimed at subsidizing a construction project by an undertaking majority-owned by the national authority granting the aid until the Commission takes its final decision on the matter (Dalbo Affärsfastigheter)
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, Richter & Hampton (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 unlawful State aid concerning a tax on publicity expenses allocated to finance the press sector (Damart Serviposte)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 Administrative Supreme Court holds that aid to the daily press financed by a tax levied on advertising expenses affects trade between Member States and consequently amounts to State aid (Auchan)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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 used for the financing of a fund dedicated to the modernization of the daily press. Fund subsidies were granted to undertakings (...)

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)
Cobalt Legal (Vilnius)
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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 French Council of State upholds the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Douai on unlawful State aid concerning a tax on publicity expenses allocated to finance the press sector (Atac)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 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)
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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 actions regarding State aid measures in the private medical insurance sector to which the EU Commission did not object can not be brought before the national courts, as they fall under Art. 86(2) of the EC treaty (Bupa Ireland)
United Kingdom’s 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 reimbursements)
Universität Wien
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Peter Thyri Competition Counseling Research (Vienna)
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 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)
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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 EU Court of Justice issues a judgment constituting a major step forward for State aid recovery policy (Scott Paper / Kimberly Clar)
DG COMP (Brussels)
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DG COMP (Brussels)
"ECJ Judgement of 5 October 2006 Commission v. France: A major step forward for the recovery policy"* On 5 October 2006, the Court of Justice issued an important judgement for the State aid recovery policy. The article below summarises the facts that gave rise to the case before the Court and (...)

The French Administrative Appeal Court of Marseille dismisses the appeal of a taxpayer claiming a refund on the tax on meat purchase (Tax on meat purchases)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 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 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)
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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 (...)

The Greek Court of Audit 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)
Queen Mary University (London)
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 Paris Court of Appeal applies an EU Court of Justice 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, Richter & Hampton (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 EU Court of Justice rules that pharmaceutical laboratories liable to a tax on direct sales of medicines are entitled to claim the reimbursement of the tax where the exemption of wholesale distributors constitute an illegal State aid (Boiron)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
In a preliminary ruling requested by the French Civil Supreme Court in the Boiron case, the ECJ rules that pharmaceutical laboratories liable to a tax on direct sales of medicines are entitled to claim the reimbursement of the tax where the exemption of wholesale distributors constitute an (...)

The German District Court of Kiel holds that the difference of terms between two airlines operator concerning the use of Lübeck airport amounts to unlawful State aid (Ryanair 1)
European Commission (Brussels)
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 UK High Administrative Court rules that an element of the charging regime for track access rights was not unlawful State aid, as there was no advantage which threatened to distort competition by favouring open access operators as opposed to franchise operators (Great North Eastern Railway)
United Kingdom’s 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 EU Court of Justice Casino case law on State aid to dismiss the action of wholesalers claiming the unlawfulness of the tax to support the trade and craft sectors (Galerie de Lisieux)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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)
Queen Mary University (London)
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)
Adyen (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 (Kingdom of Belgium / Ryanair)
United Kingdom’s 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 to the EU Commission does not constitute a tortious act of the beneficiary of such aid (Baby Dan)
Adyen (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)
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European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Baby Dan is a company which produces security devices for babies, such as stair gates, i.e. gates impeding babies’ access to stairs. Before the first instance court of Utrecht, this company introduced an action in damages against two of its competitors, De Risse and WeDeKa, which had, according (...)

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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
,
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
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 persons concerned in the event of a possible breach by the national authorities of the prohibition on implementing State aid (...)

The French Council of State applies the EU Court of Justice State aid Casino case law to dismiss the action of wholesalers claiming the unlawfulness of the tax to support the trade and craft sectors (Fédération des entreprises du commerce et de la distribution et autres)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 (...)

The French Court of Appeal in Versailles dismisses a claim by a pharmaceutical producer that a tax exemption granted to wholesale distributors is State aid, finding that it failed to show the existence of an advantage arising from the exemption (Laboratoires Bristol Myers Squibb)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 (...)

The French Court of Appeal in Lyon applies the "Casino" case of the EU Court of Justice to dismiss the action of wholesalers claiming the unlawfulness of the tax to support the trade and craft sectors (Agence Organic de recouvrement)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 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 an aid and be notified pursuant to Art. 88 EC (Health and Animal Protection Funds)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 Belgian Court of Arbitration in Antwerp rules that taxation of insurance contracts is not contrary to Art. 87 EC (NV A.A.)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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.)
Adyen (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 Arbitration Court 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 EU Commission and national courts (Belgacom)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 EU Court of Justice for preliminary ruling on the extent of the recovery obligation of an unlawful aid later declared compatible by the Commission (CELF I)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 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)
Honoré & Fallesen (Copenhagen)
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 (...)

The Italian Regional Administrative Court of Lombardia does not exclude, 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 (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)
Universität Wien
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Peter Thyri Competition Counseling Research (Vienna)
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 EU funding (Agro Conserveros Extremeños Vegas Bajas)
Hogan Lovells (Madrid)
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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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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, Richter & Hampton (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 an airline company with the Strasbourg airport are State aids subjected to the obligation of prior notification to the EU Commission (Strasbourg Chamber of Commerce and Industry / Ryanair)
Schmitt Avocats (Paris)
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 EU Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling (Maricoltori Alto Adriatico)
Eujus (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 EU 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 clearance for State aid - to participate to a public tender for acquiring its competitor (AirOne / Alitalia)
Eujus (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 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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 State Council rules that a legislative provision introduced in compliance with a judgment of the EU Court of Justice, 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)
Queen Mary University (London)
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 (...)

The German Higher Regional Court of Thuringia 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 rationale of Article 87(1) EC (Insolvency procedure 3)
Delegation of the European Union to the United States (Washington D.C.)
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European Commission (Brussels)
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 Competition Authority (Fritvalg / Morsø Kommune)
Honoré & Fallesen (Copenhagen)
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 (...)

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)
Cobalt Legal (Vilnius)
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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 (...)

The French Council of State makes preliminary reference to the EU Court of Justice to confirm its interpretation of GEMO State aid ruling (Doux)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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 (...)

The French Supreme Court refers questions to the EU Court of Justice relating to social security exemptions for French laboratories (Laboratoires Boiron)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 EU Court of Justice Advocate General Tizzano supports the reimbursement of the tax on direct sales paid by French pharmaceutical laboratories in a preliminary ruling case (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 Supreme Court refers to the EU Court of Justice 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 (Paris)
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 French Supreme Court seeks preliminary reference on whether tax financing retirement benefits amount to State aid (Galeries de Lisieux)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds that State aid’s control is of the EU 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 (Bordeaux)
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, Richter & Hampton (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 (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the Commission’s appeal and confirms the General Court’s ruling concerning Germany’s restructuring aid for shipyards (Kvaerner Warnow Werft)
DG ENER (Brussels)
"Capacity limitations for shipyards in the context of the Court of Justice’ judgement on Kvaerner Warnow Werft (KWW)"* Introduction On 28 February 2002, the Court of First Instance annulled two Commission decisions concerning the East German shipyard Kvaerner Warnow Werft (KWW), which ruled (...)

The Belgian Commercial Court of Kortrijk suspends proceedings of recovery of State aid pending CFI judgment is challenged by the EU Commission (Walloon Region / Ter Lembeek International)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
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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 considers that a tax exemption for "private use" copyrights does not qualify as State aid (Syndicat des Industries de Matériels Audiovisuels Electroniques)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The French Intellectual Property Code (Code de la propriété intellectuelle), provides, inter alia, that intellectual property right holders benefit of copyright of “private copies”, i. e., copies by end-users for individual uses (“private use recording”). A dedicated Commission set the level of the (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal holds a bank liable in damages for its lack of diligence during EU Commission proceedings (CDR / FG Marine-Stardust)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 holds that the over-compensation paid to health establishments for medical equipment does not constitute State aid (Syndicat National de l’Industrie des Technologies Médicales)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
European States have been trying for years to reduce the expenses of their national health system. In that respect, the French Minister of Health has adopted a number of orders (arrêtés) aiming to encourage all actors in the French Social Security sector (Sécurité Sociale), and among others, public (...)

The EU Court of Justice delivers a judgment on the notion of State aid, addressing the issue of the compensation for services of general economic interest (Altmark)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG MOVE
"Compensation for services of general economic interest: some thoughts on the Altmark ruling"* 1. Introduction With the Altmark judgement, the European Court of Justice has uttered the last word in a longstanding dispute: is compensation for services of general economic interest (SGEI) a (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court rejects the direct effect of Art. 88.3 EC in the case of future contracts (EDF / SNE)
University of Aix-Marseille
Facts and proceedings Electricité de France (EDF) and the Société nationale d’électricité thermique (SNET) had concluded a contract on 1st July 1996 consisting in the provision by SNET of electricity to EDF, the SNET reserving the production capacities of some of its branches exclusively to EDF. (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court refuses 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 (Paris)
On the 10 February 2000, the French Parliament enacted an obligation to purchase electricity produced by installations of renewable energies not exceeding 12 megawatts while adopting the Law relating to the development and the modernization of the public service of the electricity. This Law (...)

The EU General Court issues its judgment in a case concerning transfer of capital to a German public law credit institution clarifying major policy issues concerning State aid rules (WestLB)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG ENER (Brussels)
"The judgement of the Court of First Instance concerning the transfer of capital to Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (WestLB)"* On 6 March 2003 the Court of First Instance (CFI) issued the long-awaited judgement in the WestLB case concerning the transfer of the Wohnungsbauförderungsanstalt (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the interpretation of the private investor principle in cases involving privatisations at a negative sales price (Gröditzer Stahlwerke)
PwC (Berlin)
"The market investor principle in privatisations – European Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s decision on Gröditzer Stahlwerke GmbH"* Introduction On 28 January 2003, the European Court of Justice (‘the Court’ or ‘the ECJ’) upheld (‘the judgement’) the Commission’s partially negative decision (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s decision concerning State aid implemented by the Netherlands for Dutch service stations located near the German border and clarifies the interpretation of the de minimis rule (Netherlands / Commission)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Clarification on the interpretation of the de minimis rule in State aid — the European Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s Dutch service station decision"* Introduction On 13 June 2002, the European Court of Justice (‘the Court’ or ‘the ECJ’) upheld (‘the Judgment’) the Commission’s (...)

The EU General Court rules that fiscal aid granted by a Spanish region to a company active in the manufacturing of tin capsules constitutes illegal State aid (Diputación Foral de Alava)
European Parliament (Brussels)
,
London School of Economics
"Business taxation distorting the Common market – An important ruling on State aid by the Court of First Instance"* 1. Introduction The question of state aids in form of tax measures has never been as pressing as in the present. After the completion of the single market and the liberalisation (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court rules that a tax aimed at replacing an unlawful State aid is not by itself an other unlawful State aid (Syndicat National de l’Industrie Pharmaceutique)
Schmitt Avocats (Paris)
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 law. In this ruling, the State’s Council established the supra-legislative value of the general principles resulting from EC law (see (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court rules that EU competition provisions do not prevent public institutions to act as services providers competing with private undertakings (Guiavarc’h)
University of Aix-Marseille
Gweltaz Guiavarc’h claimed that the provisions relating to the conditions in which the public universities and the public research agencies can provide research services on the market broke Community law, and in particular, State aid provisions. The French Administrative Supreme Court ruled : (...)

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 EU Commission as required by State aid provisions (Lianoudis)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 holds that a social tax exemption does not qualify as State aid (URSAFF de la Haute-Garonne)
University of Aix-Marseille
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 and family benefits) of the Haute-Garonne applied before the Conseil d’État for the annulment of decree n° 96-1123 of 30 December 1996. (...)

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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 the basis of Art. 86.2 EC (Nevers Viandes)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 (...)

The French Administrative Court of Caen confirms a lower court’s ruling denying State aid qualification to measures concerning carcass disposal service case (Uniservice and Honfleur Distribution)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 considers that a decree reducing the postal aid to the press is only a minor modification to an existing State aid scheme and not an aid (Syndicat de la presse périodique culturelle et scientifique...)
University of Aix-Marseille
This case deals with the specific postal tarif granted to the press in France. A reshuffling of the framework of the relations between the Post and the press took place in 1995 which lead to an increase of 50 % of the the postal tariffs. An agreement was concluded on 4 July 1996, and the (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court rules that the mere fact an undertaking may benefit from State aid can not interfere with the regularity of a tendering procedure (Bouygues)
University of Aix-Marseille
The French administrative supreme Court had already ruled in the Société Générale case (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 (...)

The French Civil Supreme Court rejects claim that State aid gave Italian competitor an unfair advantage during a call for tenders (Ducros)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 Commercial Supreme Court accepts, in principle, that violation of EU State aid provisions may constitute unfair competition, paving the way to State aid damages proceedings (Ducros / CMF Sud)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
Facts In 1990, the Etablissements Ducros participated in a tender procedure for a contract concerning the extension of the Marseille-Marignane airport. The contract was finally awarded to the Italian company Construzioni Metalliche Finsider Sud (CMF Sud). Ducros brought an action against CMF (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court declares void an aid running contrary to EU fishering policy objectives (Languedoc Roussillon / Serres)
University of Aix-Marseille
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 new - larger - one. The Prefect, in charge of the State interests in the department, challenged the (...)

The French Administrative Court of Melun rejects a claim that tax on carcass disposal service constitutes unlawful State aid (Picard Surgelés)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Brussels)
,
European Commission (Brussels)
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 EU Commission or not, notwithstanding a Commission’s note classifying the aid as an existing one (Établissements Friedrich / ANIVIT)
University of Aix-Marseille
Court of appeal, Caen, (Cour d’appel de Caen, Chambres réunies ), 21 November 2000, Société des Établissements Friedrich vs. Association nationale interprofessionnelle des vins de table (ANIVIT) , Case RG 99/00877, Decision n° 743, not published The Association nationale interprofessionnelle des (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court finds no State aid in case of an open and non-discriminatory tendering privatisation procedure (CIC / SG-BNP-CCF)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The liberalization of the bank sector in the European Union initiated various market restructuring, mergers and privatizations. In the case at hands, the French State decided to transfer to the private sector its majority participation in the bank “Compagnie Financière de C.I.C. et de l’Union (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court welcomes 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 of Aix-Marseille
Background It is settled case law that the implementation of the system of supervising State aid is a matter for both the Commission and, having regard to the direct effect of the last sentence of article 88 (3) EC, the national courts. The European Court of Justice ruled in two historical (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court rules 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)
University of Aix-Marseille
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 collection, treatment and elimination of wasted oils. Part of this tax was allocated to undertakings collecting and disposing of (...)

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, Richter & Hampton (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 rules that the claimants had not demonstrated that the tax constituted State aid and failed to submit argument on a possible existing aid (Huttepain Maine Aliments / Guyomarc’h Vertou / Nantes Sanders / Marcel Braud)
University of Aix-Marseille
Background The French State had levied a special tax for cereal storage during the 1986-1987 and 1987-1988 campaigns. Various agricultural companies claimed the reimbursement of the tax before the national first instances courts on the basis of Article 88 (3). Some of these first instance (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects the appeal of the Commission in a State aid case granted in favor of a subsidiary of the French postal services incumbent (Sytraval / Brink’s)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"Comment on the Judgment of the Court of 2 April 1998, Case C-367/95 P: Commission of the European Communities and French Republic v Chambre syndicale nationale des entreprises de transport de fonds et valeurs (Sytraval) and Brink’s France SARL"* 1. The Background With judgment of 28 September (...)

The French Administrative Supreme Court refers to the EU Court of Justice for preliminary ruling a case on tax deduction that is limited to expenditure for research carried out in the State of taxation (Baxter)
University of 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 Supreme Administrative Court considers that a copyright levy is not a State aid (Techni Import Professionnel / Syndicat des Industriels des Matériels Audiovisuels Electroniques)
Schmitt Avocats (Paris)
Since its inception, the principle of a copyright levy sitting on magnetic and numerical audio-visual supports into which copy works can be protected by copyright has confronted unions of performers, producers, copyrights owners and unions of manufacturers of these supports. One of the (...)

The French Commercial Supreme Court rejects an action against a tax allegedly qualified as a State aid measure ruling that the character of aid was not established (Guyomarc’h / Sanders Aliments / Rental Languedoc / Ralston Purina France / SNAA)
University of Aix-Marseille
Background All these cases concern claims for reimbursement of the parafiscal storage tax for cereals which the applicants considered incompatible with Community law, especially State aid provisions (see also the commentaries in the e-bulletin State Aids I on the Cour de cassation decisions of (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission decision rejecting a complaint concerning an alleged State aid in favor of a subsidiary of the French postal services incumbent (Sytraval)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"SYTRAVAL"* In its judgment of 28 September 1995 in case T-95/94 «SYTRAVAL« v. Commission the Court of First Instance (CFI) annulled the Commission’s decision of 31 December 1993 rejecting a complaint in respect of alleged state aid in favour of «Sécuripost«, a subsidairy of the state-owned French (...)

The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision to make its authorization of an aid package subject to a suspension of the payment of that aid until the incompatible aid had been recovered (TWD Textilwerke Deggendorf)
DG COMP (Brussels)
,
DG COMP (Brussels)
"TWD Textilwerke Deggendorf GmbH"* In May 1986 the Commission adopted a negative decision in respect of non-notified aid granted by the German authorities to the company TWD Textilwerke Deggendorf and imposed on the German authorities to recover the aid already paid to the company. In October (...)

The EU General Court confirms the Commission’s decision declaring illegal an aid granted by Spain to a textile company (General Textil España - ex Intelhorce)
DG COMP (Brussels)
"General Textil España S.A. (GTE)- ex Intelhorce S.A."* In 1992 the Commission took a negative Decision concerning aid to Intelhorce S.A. (currently General Textil España S.A.- GTE), a textile company located in Málaga (Spain - Commission Decision 92/321/EEC, OJ 1992 L 176/57). The company had (...)

The Paris Administrative Tribunal confirms the principle of restitution for an incompatible State aid following a decision of the EU Commission (Boussac Saint Frères)
Schmitt Avocats (Paris)
Between June 1982 and August 1984, the French State granted financial support to Boussac Saint Frères, a company active in the textile and clothing sector. These financial contributions took the form of (i) a participation in the capital of the company by the Institut de développement industriel (...)

The French Supreme Administrative Court implements the EU Court of Justice "Saumon" ruling while limiting the time-period of annulment of the un-notified aid (Saumon)
University of 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 rejects the direct effect of Art. 87 EC and excludes “automatic” notification to the EU Commission of situations likely to be regarded as State aid (Association “La vache à lait qui refuse de se laisser traire”)
CRDEI - Centre de Recherche et de Documentation Européennes et Internationales (Bordeaux)
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 (...)

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