The EU Court of Justice annuls two judgments of the General Court which dismissed the appeals of two airlines against the Commission’s decision concerning State aid granted by Italy to Sardinian airports (Volotea / EasyJet)

A public authority may act as a market operator and acquire services through a private third party without conferring an advantage to the provider of those services. Introduction When a public authority buys a service and pays the market price it does not confer an advantage to the seller in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. Even if it pursues a public policy objective, the decisive element is whether it pays a market price. However, when it buys that service through a private third party it may attempt to evade State aid rules. But, on 17 November 2022, the Court of Justice ruled, in joined cases C331/20 P, Volotea v European Commission & C343/20 P, easyJet v European Commission, that it would be wrong to presume that state purchasing of services through private third parties

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