On March 4, 2021, the Court of Justice (‘CJEU’) delivered a judgment in the State aid case Fútbol Club Barcelona (C-362/19 P), quashing the ruling of the General Court of February 26, 2019 (T-865/16) and upholding the Commission’s Decision of July 3, 2016 (SA.29769). In its judgment, the CJEU provided helpful guidance to assess the…

In the last decade, the EU scene has been characterised by a more flexible application of State aid rules, partially due to the persistent emergencies across the continent. But this trend has not significantly affected the application of Art. 106(2) TFEU or, more generally, the rules governing the financing of services of general economic interest…

Amidst a never-ending stream of news related to COVID-19, it went somewhat under the radar that another European flag carrier airline has been grounded – Montenegro Airlines. The halt of operations of the airline up came as a result of the inability of the government to further subsidize the loss-making carrier, due to state aid…

It is the same old story which we have heard many times before: Ryanair boss O’Leary is currently using strong words to complain about Corona subsidies granted to his competitors. His cursing is neither original nor surprising, but a variation on his favourite theme: Ryanair sees itself at a competitive disadvantage with other players that…

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…