Work Area: State Aid

When industrial subsidies threaten trade trouble, competition enforcement can help

The row between Brussels and Washington over green energy funding shows how even desirable subsidies can have undesirable effects. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development senior policy analyst Ruben Maximiano and competition expert Wouter Meester examine the role competition authorities have in tackling distortive subsidies through merger and antitrust enforcement.

12 May 2023

General Court annuls covid-19 airline aid approvals

The European Commission incorrectly assessed the competitive effect of Germany’s €6 billion recapitalisation of Lufthansa, the EU’s General Court has ruled in a decision annulling state aid granted under the bloc’s covid-19 temporary framework for the first time.

11 May 2023

AG Kokott urges ECJ to side with Engie in EU state aid fight

EU institutions cannot use state aid law to shape an “ideal” tax regime, advocate general Juliane Kokott has said in calling to annul the European Commission’s finding that Luxembourg granted Engie unlawful aid through tax decisions.

04 May 2023

CAT allows appeal against costs cap in first subsidy challenge

The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal will allow Durham County Council to challenge its costs cap in the first-ever subsidy challenge under the country’s new regime, but warned the appeal does not have “a real prospect of success”.

12 April 2023

Vestager: more state aid tax probes incoming

The European Commission plans to launch new investigations into apparently unfair tax deals between member states and powerful companies, despite recent court rulings going against the enforcer, Margrethe Vestager has said.

20 March 2023

EU doubles down on Amazon tax claims as it seeks to revive state aid fiscal policy

An internal restructuring that fundamentally reorganised Amazon’s global business was solely intended to help the technology company avoid paying tax on certain profits, the European Commission has told the EU’s highest court.

16 March 2023

CAT to hear first-ever subsidy challenge under new regime

A waste collection company has filed the first challenge under the UK’s new subsidies regime before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, accusing Durham County Council of unlawfully funding its commercial waste collection business.

13 February 2023

CMA addresses confidentiality concerns in new subsidy regime guidance

The UK’s antitrust watchdog has amended its draft guidance on the functions of its Subsidy Advice Unit to further clarify the treatment of confidential information and the contents of its advisory reports.

14 November 2022

ECJ overturns Fiat Chrysler state aid ruling

The EU’s highest court has annulled the European Commission’s finding that Luxembourg granted Fiat Chrysler an illegal tax break, ruling that the General Court was wrong to endorse the enforcer’s use of the “arm’s length principle” since it is not part of the country’s tax law.

08 November 2022

EU wary of creating “legislative monster” with new foreign subsidy rules

The head of the European Commission’s taskforce on foreign subsidies has pushed back against criticisms from practitioners that the incoming regulation creates uncertainty, arguing the bloc would have created a “legislative monster” if the new rules were too prescriptive.

12 July 2022

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