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Baker Botts Comments on European Court of Justice Ruling on Application of EU State Aid Rules to National Tax Schemes

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BRUSSELS, 20 December 2016 - On 21 December, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) will issue its decision in case C-20/15 P - Commission v World Duty Free Group concerning an appeal by the European Commission (“Commission”) against several judgments by the General Court, setting aside two Commission decisions declaring that a Spanish tax scheme constituted state aid.  The case centres on the criterion of selectivity, which is one of the constituent elements of the definition of state aid in Article 107(1) TFEU.

Baker Botts’ Brussels partner, Dr. Georg M. Berrisch, who regularly represents companies in state aid investigations before the Commission and the EU Courts is available for comment.

“Specifically, tomorrow's judgment will clarify when an advantage conferred by national tax measures constitutes a selective advantage and thus may constitute state aid. The judgment is likely to impact the Commission's ongoing state aid investigations into tax rulings, such as Amazon, and pending litigation concerning the decisions already adopted, including Starbucks, McDonald's and Apple. The fact that the case has been assigned to the Grand Chamber is an indication of the importance of the ruling,” said Dr. Berrisch.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Berrisch, please contact Louisa Williams.


Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 12 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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