A February 4 conference on competition policy and the Green Deal sponsored by the European Commission’s (the Commission’s) Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) highlighted the divergences of opinions among antitrust officials and other stakeholders on how competition policy should support sustainability objectives.  DG COMP aims to take a leading role on sustainability issues; its October-November…

On 13 October 2020, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted a fourth amendment to the Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 (“Temporary Framework”). This amendment builds on the previous three amendments to the Temporary Framework of 3 April 2020 (see our blog post), 8 May 2020 (see our blog post) and 29 June 2020 (see our blog post). The…

Background On July 15, 2020, the General Court annulled the 2016 Commission Decision ordering Ireland to recover EUR 13 billion of illegal State aid from Apple,[1] chiefly, because the Commission had not demonstrated to the requisite legal standard that an advantage had been granted.[2] On the same day, the Commission’s Executive Vice-President M. Vestager released…

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 Point C“ case (Case C-594/18 P Austria v Commission) is a farewell gift to the remaining…

The General Court’s awaited ruling in the Apple[1] case contains some surprising parts, and it is not easily reconciled with case law from this Court and from the Court of Justice. But as in the Fiat[2] and Starbucks[3] cases, it reveals an impressive effort to analyse the issues at depth. The facts are described in…

Some cases just have it all; the Apple case is one of them. First, size: at more than thirteen billion euros, the recovery order Ireland had to enforce dwarfed the previously biggest one (EDF, at around one billion euros). Second, international political implications: the case ignited transatlantic tensions between the EU and the USA, both…

On 29 June 2020, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted a third amendment to the Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 (“Temporary Framework”) to extend the options available to Member State governments seeking to support their economies further. Specifically, the assistance covers aid for smaller companies as well as means of encouraging additional investment from the…

The EU Commission (“EC”) has, for the second time, expanded its Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 (“Temporary Framework”) to provide national governments with further guidance and additional tools to support distressed companies amidst the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. As noted in our last blog post covering the first amendment to the Temporary…

On 31 March 2020, the Ukrainian Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court“) upheld the first decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the “AMC“) on the unlawfulness of state aid. In November 2018, the AMC recognised as unlawful state aid in the form of subsidies granted by the local government authority to the public utility company…

Our previous blog post covered the EU Commission’s (“EC”) Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 (“Temporary Framework”), which aims at enabling national governments to use the full flexibility of State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the adoption of the Temporary Framework a number of Member States…