Europäisches Beihilfenrecht Blog

State Aid Uncovered Blog/Guest State Aid Blog

On a weekly basis Phedon Nicolaides posts critical analysis pieces on the latest State aid judgments and decisions on his blog State Aid Uncovered. Each article presents the main points of a court ruling or Commission‘s decision, places them in the context of similar case law or practice, assesses the underlying reasoning, and identifies any inconsistencies or contradictions.
Occasional guest blog posts by other State aid experts complement the State aid knowledge hub.

Join the debate now!

- private investor ×

Private Investor and Preferential Regulatory Treatment

pills on money
The existence of an advantage has to be proven, not presumed just because its absence cannot be confirmed. Preferential treatment may distort competition but it is not necessarily State aid if there is no transfer of state resources. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 5 June 2020: 148* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 13; Article 107(3)(b): 125; Article […]

Advantage Must be Proven, Not Assumed

Road sign "Wrong Way"
The European Commission has to consider whether the private investor principle is applicable in cases of state investments. It is for Member States to prove that their investments conform with the private investor principle. Temporary Framework As of 9 May 2020, the European Commission had approved 113 State aid measures to combat covid-19. Their legal basis was: Article 107(2)(b): 10; […]

Attempting to Minimise Past State aid Is of No Interest to a Private Investor

A public authority acting as a private investor ignores past State aid. Introduction It is now a settled principle that when a public authority intends or pretends to act as a private investor it must not take into account any past aid it has granted to the company in which it wants to invest. On 19 September 2019, the General Court […]

How to Value Land in Complex Land Swaps

A private investor assesses all components of a complex transaction and takes into account not just profit, but also the legal implications of the prospective transaction and possible future liability.   Introduction   When a public authority sells land, it should either auction it through a competitive and unconditional process or have it valued beforehand by an independent expert.Sometimes, public […]

What Does a Private Investor Take into Account before Investing?

A private investor may invest in a troubled company that is restructuring is order to increase its future profitability.   Introduction   The answer to the question posed above is short and simple: everything relevant. A private investor does not ignore anything that can affect the profitability of the prospective investment.This implies that the other side of the coin is […]

Private Creditor v Private Investor

A private investor never agrees to an unprofitable transaction while a private creditor may agree to a loss in order to avoid a bigger loss from non-recovery of debt owed to it. A public authority acting as a private operator must disregard any losses it may incur from State aid it granted in the past.   Introduction   A question […]

How a Private Investor Behaves: EDF v Commission

A private investor carries out an assessment of the prospective profitability of a company before it invests in it. Ex post assessment is not sufficient. Evidence that the investment is likely to be profitable is not enough. The return must be high enough to satisfy a private investor in a similar situation (by compensating it for the risk it assumes). […]

Sale, Liquidation and Other Options for Private Investors

A private investor chooses the less costly option between selling a company at a loss and liquidating it. In addition to avoiding losses, a private investor also cares for its image, quantifies its value and factors it in the sale or liquidation option.   Introduction On 6 July 2017, the General Court ruled in two closely related cases: T-74/14, France […]

Pensions, Public Statements and Private Investors

The normal costs of an undertaking include all the costs of compliance with the obligations imposed by law. A private investor takes into account all the relevant information at the point in time it decides to invest.     Introduction This article reviews two court judgments both of which concern Orange, the French incumbent telecoms operator. The first judgment finds […]

Private Investor v Private Creditor

When the state, acting as a private investor, seeks to recover past public investments, it must aim to maximise the recoverable amount. However, public funds that were granted as State aid must be ignored when the recoverable amount of past investments is calculated.   Introduction On 15 September 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment in case T‑386/14, FIH Holding v […]

How Reasonable The Private Investor May Be Assumed To Be? Corsica Ferries France

steel construction
The following article summary is a contributory piece by Gian Marco Galletti. The full piece was published in the Common Market Law Review. Galletti is working as a researcher at the Dickson Poon School of Law since 2013. He is currently working on a PhD in European law under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Biondi. He holds an LLB with […]

- private investor ×

Private Investor and Preferential Regulatory Treatment

pills on money
The existence of an advantage has to be proven, not presumed just because its absence cannot be confirmed. Preferential treatment may distort competition but it is not necessarily State aid if there is no transfer of state resources. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 5 June 2020: 148* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 13; Article 107(3)(b): 125; Article […]

Advantage Must be Proven, Not Assumed

Road sign "Wrong Way"
The European Commission has to consider whether the private investor principle is applicable in cases of state investments. It is for Member States to prove that their investments conform with the private investor principle. Temporary Framework As of 9 May 2020, the European Commission had approved 113 State aid measures to combat covid-19. Their legal basis was: Article 107(2)(b): 10; […]

Attempting to Minimise Past State aid Is of No Interest to a Private Investor

A public authority acting as a private investor ignores past State aid. Introduction It is now a settled principle that when a public authority intends or pretends to act as a private investor it must not take into account any past aid it has granted to the company in which it wants to invest. On 19 September 2019, the General Court […]

How to Value Land in Complex Land Swaps

A private investor assesses all components of a complex transaction and takes into account not just profit, but also the legal implications of the prospective transaction and possible future liability.   Introduction   When a public authority sells land, it should either auction it through a competitive and unconditional process or have it valued beforehand by an independent expert.Sometimes, public […]

What Does a Private Investor Take into Account before Investing?

A private investor may invest in a troubled company that is restructuring is order to increase its future profitability.   Introduction   The answer to the question posed above is short and simple: everything relevant. A private investor does not ignore anything that can affect the profitability of the prospective investment.This implies that the other side of the coin is […]

Private Creditor v Private Investor

A private investor never agrees to an unprofitable transaction while a private creditor may agree to a loss in order to avoid a bigger loss from non-recovery of debt owed to it. A public authority acting as a private operator must disregard any losses it may incur from State aid it granted in the past.   Introduction   A question […]

How a Private Investor Behaves: EDF v Commission

A private investor carries out an assessment of the prospective profitability of a company before it invests in it. Ex post assessment is not sufficient. Evidence that the investment is likely to be profitable is not enough. The return must be high enough to satisfy a private investor in a similar situation (by compensating it for the risk it assumes). […]

Sale, Liquidation and Other Options for Private Investors

A private investor chooses the less costly option between selling a company at a loss and liquidating it. In addition to avoiding losses, a private investor also cares for its image, quantifies its value and factors it in the sale or liquidation option.   Introduction On 6 July 2017, the General Court ruled in two closely related cases: T-74/14, France […]

Pensions, Public Statements and Private Investors

The normal costs of an undertaking include all the costs of compliance with the obligations imposed by law. A private investor takes into account all the relevant information at the point in time it decides to invest.     Introduction This article reviews two court judgments both of which concern Orange, the French incumbent telecoms operator. The first judgment finds […]

Private Investor v Private Creditor

When the state, acting as a private investor, seeks to recover past public investments, it must aim to maximise the recoverable amount. However, public funds that were granted as State aid must be ignored when the recoverable amount of past investments is calculated.   Introduction On 15 September 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment in case T‑386/14, FIH Holding v […]

How Reasonable The Private Investor May Be Assumed To Be? Corsica Ferries France

steel construction
The following article summary is a contributory piece by Gian Marco Galletti. The full piece was published in the Common Market Law Review. Galletti is working as a researcher at the Dickson Poon School of Law since 2013. He is currently working on a PhD in European law under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Biondi. He holds an LLB with […]

- private investor ×

Private Investor and Preferential Regulatory Treatment

pills on money
The existence of an advantage has to be proven, not presumed just because its absence cannot be confirmed. Preferential treatment may distort competition but it is not necessarily State aid if there is no transfer of state resources. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 5 June 2020: 148* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 13; Article 107(3)(b): 125; Article […]

Advantage Must be Proven, Not Assumed

Road sign "Wrong Way"
The European Commission has to consider whether the private investor principle is applicable in cases of state investments. It is for Member States to prove that their investments conform with the private investor principle. Temporary Framework As of 9 May 2020, the European Commission had approved 113 State aid measures to combat covid-19. Their legal basis was: Article 107(2)(b): 10; […]

Attempting to Minimise Past State aid Is of No Interest to a Private Investor

A public authority acting as a private investor ignores past State aid. Introduction It is now a settled principle that when a public authority intends or pretends to act as a private investor it must not take into account any past aid it has granted to the company in which it wants to invest. On 19 September 2019, the General Court […]

How to Value Land in Complex Land Swaps

A private investor assesses all components of a complex transaction and takes into account not just profit, but also the legal implications of the prospective transaction and possible future liability.   Introduction   When a public authority sells land, it should either auction it through a competitive and unconditional process or have it valued beforehand by an independent expert.Sometimes, public […]

What Does a Private Investor Take into Account before Investing?

A private investor may invest in a troubled company that is restructuring is order to increase its future profitability.   Introduction   The answer to the question posed above is short and simple: everything relevant. A private investor does not ignore anything that can affect the profitability of the prospective investment.This implies that the other side of the coin is […]

Private Creditor v Private Investor

A private investor never agrees to an unprofitable transaction while a private creditor may agree to a loss in order to avoid a bigger loss from non-recovery of debt owed to it. A public authority acting as a private operator must disregard any losses it may incur from State aid it granted in the past.   Introduction   A question […]

How a Private Investor Behaves: EDF v Commission

A private investor carries out an assessment of the prospective profitability of a company before it invests in it. Ex post assessment is not sufficient. Evidence that the investment is likely to be profitable is not enough. The return must be high enough to satisfy a private investor in a similar situation (by compensating it for the risk it assumes). […]

Sale, Liquidation and Other Options for Private Investors

A private investor chooses the less costly option between selling a company at a loss and liquidating it. In addition to avoiding losses, a private investor also cares for its image, quantifies its value and factors it in the sale or liquidation option.   Introduction On 6 July 2017, the General Court ruled in two closely related cases: T-74/14, France […]

Pensions, Public Statements and Private Investors

The normal costs of an undertaking include all the costs of compliance with the obligations imposed by law. A private investor takes into account all the relevant information at the point in time it decides to invest.     Introduction This article reviews two court judgments both of which concern Orange, the French incumbent telecoms operator. The first judgment finds […]

Private Investor v Private Creditor

When the state, acting as a private investor, seeks to recover past public investments, it must aim to maximise the recoverable amount. However, public funds that were granted as State aid must be ignored when the recoverable amount of past investments is calculated.   Introduction On 15 September 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment in case T‑386/14, FIH Holding v […]

How Reasonable The Private Investor May Be Assumed To Be? Corsica Ferries France

steel construction
The following article summary is a contributory piece by Gian Marco Galletti. The full piece was published in the Common Market Law Review. Galletti is working as a researcher at the Dickson Poon School of Law since 2013. He is currently working on a PhD in European law under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Biondi. He holds an LLB with […]

How to Submit a Blog Post

Do you want to share your analysis of a State aid law topic? We invite you to submit your post on, for example: recent European, national or international judgments or legislation with relevance to EU State aid law; new developments, publications, hot topics in EU State aid law. The recommended length of the post is 500-2,000 words incl. references (endnotes). Your analysis will be published under the category ‘Guest State Aid Blog’.

Here’s how you can publish a post on as a guest author:

Step 1: Submit your draft post as a Word file to stateaidhub[a]lexxion.eu.

Step 2: The StateAidHub team will review your draft to make sure its content and quality fit the blog. If needed, they will suggest what improvements you should make.

Step 3: Once your draft has been finalised and accepted, we will send you a link to register and log-in to the State aid blog as a guest author.

Step 4: Once you have logged-in to the blog, you can upload and publish your post.

Step 5: Enjoy the fame!

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