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In European Commission v World Duty Free Group, formerly Autogrill España SA, Banco Santander SA, Santusa Holding SL

In European Commission v World Duty Free Group formerly Autogrill España SA (Case C-20/15 P) Banco Santander SA Santusa Holding SL (Case C-21/15 P) (28 July 2016) the Advocate General recommended that the CJEU set aside decisions of the EU General Court thus confirming that Spanish goodwill amortisation provisions constituted unlawful state aid.

The European Commission had declared to be incompatible with the common market a tax advantage allowing undertakings taxable in Spain to amortise the financial goodwill resulting from the acquisition of shareholdings in ‘foreign companies’. It ordered the Kingdom of Spain to recover the aid granted under that scheme. The two decisions of the Commission had been annulled on appeal by the EU’s General Court and the Commission had in turn appealed to the CJEU.

TFEU art 107(1) prohibits aid ‘favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods’; selective aid. In the opinion of the...

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