Brussels Daily
18 Oct 2018


Brussels Daily


Competition: EU and China further dialogue on competition policy at 17th Competition Week in Beijing
In the current international climate, there is a strong need for dialogue with our international partners to promote cooperation and find solutions for the challenges of globalisation. In this context officials and experts from the EU and China met in Beijing from 15 to 18 October to advance cooperation and exchange practical experiences on competition policy. The 17th EU-China Competition Week marked the beginning of a dialogue between the European Commission and China’s newly established State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). Participants discussed a wide range of topics, in particular State aid rules and fair competition review. This follows the Memorandum of Understanding that the EU and China signed on 1 June 2017 to start a dialogue on State aid control. The EU-China Competition Week is part of the Competition Cooperation project, a 5-year EU-funded programme offering technical cooperation to competition authorities in Asia. It builds on a longstanding practice of competition dialogue between the EU and anti-monopoly enforcement agencies in China. The objective is to exchange experiences and strengthen convergence in competition policy, to the benefit of citizens and businesses in both in the EU and in Asia. More information about the European Commission’s bilateral dialogue with China in the field of competition policy is available on the Commission’s website. More information here

State aid: Commission decides to withdraw Court action against Ireland for failure to recover illegal aid to Apple
Following the confirmation by Ireland that the full recovery of the illegal State aid granted to Apple has been finalised, the Commission has today decided to withdraw its Court action against Ireland. On 30 August 2016, the Commission adopted a State aid decision finding that Ireland had granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. The Commission concluded that these tax benefits were illegal under EU State aid rules as they allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax on profits recorded in Ireland than other companies subject to same national taxation laws and ordered Ireland to recover the amount of taxes that should have been paid by Apple. The deadline for Ireland to implement the Commission’s decision and recover the illegal State aid was 3 January 2017. In view of the delay in recovery, on 4 October 2017 the Commission referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failure to recover the illegal State aid granted to Apple. On 6 September 2018, Ireland completed the recovery of the aid. A total of €14.3 billion including interest was repaid by Apple into an escrow fund pending the final judgments of the EU courts in the actions for annulment of the Commission decision brought by Ireland (Case T-778/16) and Apple (Case T-892/16). Taking into account that the payment into the escrow fund of the illegal aid removed the distortion of competition caused by that aid, the Commission has today decided to withdraw the Court action.

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