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Fund Transfers to Authorities Owning a Company as State Aid? - Equal Fund-Distribution in the Case of ‘Double Roles’ · Case T-583/18 GVN · Annotation by Benjamin Linke

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court (Fifth Chamber) of 5 October 2020 in Case T-583/18 GVN

Benjamin Linke


Keywords: undertaking, domestic fund transfer, Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007, non-discrimination, equality principle

It is well enough understood that public authorities exercising official power are no undertakings and therefore cannot be recipients of State aid. What happens, however, if an authority receives funds for distribution in a sector (here: the transport sector) and at the same time owns or controls a company in given sector? Does the ‘dual role’ already lead to a classification as transfer of funds to a State aid relevant undertaking? The General Court had to decide on this question in connection with compensation means in local public transport that were transferred by the state to lower administrative authorities for distribution to transport companies. The local authorities were criticised of (allegedly) making the funds available to their own companies rather than private operators.

Dr Benjamin Linke works as a lawyer in the legal department of Deutsche Bahn AG in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). He is part of the unit for Public Commercial Law, State Aid Law and Public Transport Contract Law. For correspondence: <>.


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