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Economic Continuity in State Aid Recovery Cases · Case C-890/19 P Fortischem a.s. v European Commission · Annotation by Sami Hartikainen

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (Ninth Chamber) of 29 April 2021 in Case C-890/19 P Fortischem a.s. v European Commission

Sami Hartikainen

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/estal/2022/3/10

Keywords: recovery of incompatible aid, asset deal, economic continuity, recovery extended to a new owner

In State aid law, the question of economic continuity often arises when assets of a failing company are sold to a third party. The crucial question is whether the recovery of illegal aid shall be extended to the new owner, if the latter has paid market price for the assets. While the answer still depends on the actual circumstances of a case, the latest judgment in case Fortischem suggests that economic continuity is rather rule than an exception and that a new owner can not easily avoid the obligation to repay illegal aid, especially if the assets are used in a similar manner as by the previous owner. However, the Court of Justice does not go as far as the General Court in ignoring the significance of market price in the assessment.

Sami Hartikainen is a Counsel at the law firm Waselius & Wist, Helsinki, Finland who specialises in State aid and EU law. For correspondence: <mailto:sami.hartikainen@ww.fi>.


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