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Extension of Formal Investigation Procedure and Obligation to State Reasons · Case T-388/11 Deutsche Post · Annotation by Alessandra Fratini

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court (First Chamber, Extended Composition) of 10 April 2019 in Case T-388/11 Deutsche Post v European Commission

Alessandra Fratini


Keywords: Challengeable act, Independent effects of the Decision extending a formal investigation, Interest in bringing an action, Advantage, Duty to state reasons, Incomparable position of the beneficiary

On 10 April 2019, the General Court handed down yet another judgment in the long-lasting Deutsche Post saga, this time addressing the challenges brought against the Commission Decision extending the formal investigation procedure with regard to the pension subsidies granted to Deutsche Post for the employees with civil servant status. While it may not be the end of the story, the judgment provides interesting insights on the binding legal effects of a Decision to extend an ongoing formal investigation, for the purposes of it constituting an act open to challenge under Article 263 TFEU. It also sheds light on the Commission’s obligation to state reasons concerning the existence of a selective economic advantage, pursuant to Article 107(1) TFEU, when the beneficiary is in a situation which cannot be compared with the one of its competitors due to the peculiar legal regime that is applicable to it.
Keywords: Challengeable act; Independent effects of the Decision extending a formal investigation; Interest in bringing an action; Advantage; Duty to state reasons; Incomparable position of the beneficiary.

Alessandra Fratini is Partner at FratiniVergano, European Lawyers (Brussels). The author would like to thank Francesca Serafini, junior lawyer at FratiniVergano, for her valuable help in the preparation of this annotation.


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