Electricite de France should return 1.37 billion EUR government aids

Noam Stiekema

The French energy supplier Electricite de France SA should return the billion EUR government aids. The European Commission decided that the company has benefited from illegal tax practices and requested the French government to get back the 1.37 billion EUR financial aid given to the concern. At bottom of the investigation is a decision of […]

Electricite de France finance

Electricite de France financeThe French energy supplier Electricite de France SA should return the billion EUR government aids. The European Commission decided that the company has benefited from illegal tax practices and requested the French government to get back the 1.37 billion EUR financial aid given to the concern. At bottom of the investigation is a decision of the French tax authorities from 1997, which provides for the company to be exempted from income tax for a decade due to the high investments of the Group in the high-voltage transmission network in the country. This tax relief has provided the group an unfair advantage over other market participants and thereby distorts competition.

According to the European Commission the tax relief, which is generally available for each company, was unjustified since no private company would not have made such extremely unprofitable investment. The French government commented that the EC decision in no way make pressure on EDF finances.

In 1997, Electricite de France SA is owned by the French government and has no significant competitor in the French market. Today the company is a publicly traded, which competes on the international energy market, but 85% of it remain the property of the French government.

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