Europe’s top court sends alumina aid case back to lower court

Europe’s highest court on Tuesday told a lower court to re-examine a long-running dispute between France, Italy and Ireland and EU competition regulators over whether millions of euros in state aid granted to the alumina sector was legal. The European Commission, the EU executive in charge of ensuring a level playing field in the 28-country European Union, in its 2005 finding said tax exemptions given by the three authorities to the industry distorted the market. The case later went to the General Court, Europe’s second-highest, which overturned the Commission’s decision twice. The ECJ said it could not rule “since the General Court examined only some of a number of pleas in law put forward by the parties” and referred the case back to the lower court.


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