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The Application of State Aid Rules to Markets Subject to Legal Monopolies · Case C-385/18 P Arriva Italia · Annotation by Federica Maldari

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Second Chamber) of 19 December 2019 in Case C-385/18 P Arriva Italia Srl and Others v Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti

Federica Maldari


Keywords: Legal Monopolies, Exclusive Rights, Transport Sector, State-Owned Operator

The Case at issue provides a guidance on the notions of advantage and distortion of competition for the purpose of classifying a State intervention as State aid, and a clarification on the application of the State aid rules to markets which are subject to legal monopolies. The Case arises from the Italian government’s intervention for the benefit of a State-owned operator in a serious financial situation, active in the railway and transport services sectors. In particular, the intervention concerns (i) the statutory allocation of € 70 million for the benefit of the operator and (ii) the transfer of the entire shareholding of the government in that operator, for no consideration, to another State-owned operator of the national railway infrastructure to restore the financial viability of the transferred company. Other public providers having an interest in the transferred company challenged the legality of those measures, arguing that they constitute State aid. Therefore, the Italian Council of State asked the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Articles 107 and 108(3) TFEU in respect to the afore-mentioned measures.
Keywords: Legal Monopolies; Exclusive Rights; Transport Sector; State-Owned Operator.

Federica Maldari is a Qualified Lawyer. She holds a Second Level University Master’s Degree in Competition and Innovation Law from the LUISS Guido Carli University – Rome (Italy) and a Law Degree from the same University.


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