The EU General Court upholds the Commission’s decision to approve a restructuring aid given to a financial institution conditional on divestment of public shareholdings (Westfälisch-Lippischer Sparkassen-und Giroverband / Commission)

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Restructuring Aid Approved on Condition that the Beneficiary Is Sold to Highest Bidder* The Commission has wide discretion in assessing the compatibility of State aid with the internal market. Each case is assessed on its own merits and, therefore, the Commission is not bound by precedents or decisions on previous cases. Sale of shares held by public authorities may be required if divestment is necessary for long-term viability of aid beneficiary. Introduction Article 345 TFEU stipulates that “the Treaties shall in no way prejudice the rules in Member States governing the system of property ownership.” This has been interpreted to mean that Member States may own wholly or partially undertakings, including banks. In a decision approving restructuring aid to WestLB, a large financial

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