Competition weekly news summary
3 May 2013


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State aid

  • Commission approves liquidation aid for Greek ATE Bank
    3 May 2013
    The Commission has concluded that liquidation aid granted by Greece in favour of Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE Bank) was in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission found that the aid was limited to the minimum necessary to ensure an orderly resolution. In addition, the market exit of ATE Bank limits the distortions of competition brought about by the aid.
    Read more >
  • Commission orders France to recover incompatible aid received by SNCM
    2 May 2013
    Following an in-depth investigation, the Commission has concluded that public service compensation which Société nationale Corse-Méditerranée (SNCM) and Compagnie Maritime de Navigation (CMN) have been receiving since 1 July 2007 for “basic” shipping services between Corsica and Marseille to ensure territorial continuity is in line with EU state aid rules. However, the aid received by SNCM for an “additional service” to cover peak periods during the holiday season does not compensate a real public service need. These grants have given an unjustified advantage to SNCM, which should therefore hand back the money to the taxpayers.
    Read more >
    Frequently asked questions >
  • Commission reopens inquiry into the tax aid awarded to EDF following Court judgment
    2 May 2013
    The Commission has reopened an inquiry into certain tax measures for Electricité de France (EDF) related to the electricity grid. This follows a judgment handed down by the EU Court of Justice in June 2012 upholding the annulment of the Commission’s initial decision. The Court confirmed that the Commission should have checked whether a prudent private investor would have acted in the same way as the French authorities. As a result, the Commission has reopened the inquiry and extended its scope in order to cover this aspect.
    Read more >
  • Commission invites the Netherlands to end selective tax exemption for public companies
    2 May 2013
    The Commission has formally proposed to the Netherlands to abolish the exemption from corporate tax granted to Dutch public undertakings. The Commission considers that public companies that carry out economic activities in competition with private companies should likewise be subject to corporate tax – just as private companies are. Exempting certain companies merely because they are publicly owned gives them a competitive advantage which cannot be justified under EU state aid rules.
    Read more >
  • Commission endorses public service compensation for Belgian post
    2 May 2013
    The Commission has authorised Belgian plans to compensate the Belgian postal incumbent bpost for discharging a series of public service obligations between 2013 and 2015. The Commission found the measures to be in line with EU state aid rules on services of general economic interest (SGEI), in particular because the aid does not exceed the net cost for providing the public service mission entrusted to bpost.
    Read more >
  • Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the restructuring of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group
    2 May 2013
    The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to determine whether the PSA group’s restructuring plan is compatible with EU state aid rules. The opening of an investigation in no way prejudges its final outcome. It allows interested third parties to submit their comments and increases legal certainty for the aid beneficiary when the Commission adopts its decision.
    Read more >
  • Commission authorises public co-financing of Uppsala arena in Sweden
    2 May 2013
    The Commission has concluded that the proposed public co-financing of a new multi-purpose arena in Uppsala, Sweden was in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission found that the public funding was both proportional to the objective pursued and limited to the minimum necessary to attain that objective.
    Read more >
  • Updated guide on services of general economic interest (SGEI) now available in all official languages
    2 May 2013
    The Commission services have published new language versions of a guide to explain how EU rules in the fields of state aid, public procurement and the internal market apply to services of general economic interest (SGEI). The guide provides answers to the most frequent questions asked by public authorities, service users and providers and other stakeholders. Originally published in 2010, the guide has been revised to take account of the new state aid rules on SGEI that the Commission adopted in December 2011 and April 2012 (the so-called "Almunia package"). The up-dated guide is now available in all official EU languages.
    Go to SGEI page >
  • Commission consults on new film support rules
    30 April 2013
    The Commission has launched the third and final public consultation in its review of the state aid criteria it uses to assess Member States' support schemes for films and other audiovisual works. The criteria are set out in a draft Communication, on which the Commission invites comments by 28 May 2013. The final Communication is due to be adopted by the Commission in July 2013.
    Read more >
  • Feedback on Commission workshop on modernising state aid control through better evaluations
    29 April 2013
    On 23 April the Commission held a workshop on the introduction of ex-post evaluation in the field of state aid. The workshop was a first opportunity to gather the views of Member States, EPC delegates, academics and other stakeholders based on an issues paper. The first part of the workshop focused on the merits of evaluation, while the second part concentrated on practical and methodological issues. The presentations showed how the evaluation practice of national authorities and academics has developed over the last years and how evaluation can support better policy-making. A broad consensus emerged on the importance and merits of (ex-post) evaluation for modernising state aid control. A number of issues were also identified for further work, such as the definition of the scope of the exercise, the importance of adequate access to data, the need for a specific methodological guidance setting basic requirements, and the diffusion of results. Interested stakeholders are invited to submit their comments on the issues paper until 31/5/2013.
    Go to issues paper >
    Presentations made during the workshop >

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Published by the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use which might be made of the above information.

© European Union, 2013. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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