Government & Competition
The rationale of competition law is that the conditions of competition should be the same for all undertakings in the market. Thus, public authorities may also not (potentially) distort competition within the EU either by their own market behaviour or by favouring certain undertakings.
Article 107 TFEU contains a general prohibition on granting state aid. In principle, public authorities must notify all their planned aid measures to the European Commission. Although only the European Commission can formally approve aid measures, national courts can also declare a state aid measure unlawful and order its recovery. Interested third parties can challenge the Commission’s approval decision in some cases.
The competition lawyers of bureau Brandeis represent (potential) recipients of state aid, as well as (competing) third parties. In that regard, they regularly litigate before national and European courts.
Dutch Act on Government and Free Markets
The Dutch Act on Government and Free Markets (In Dutch: Wet Markt & Overheid, M&O) contains general rules of conduct for administrative bodies when pursuing economic activities (and compete with undertakings in that capacity). These relate to the passing on of integral costs, the provision of data, the prohibition of favouritism and the prohibition of mixing functions. The ACM monitors compliance with these rules. Read more about recent developments regarding the M&O Act here.
Do you have questions about the application of state aid law or the M&O Act? Please contact one of our specialists below.