Fiscal state aid: are US companies being unfairly targeted?

Global Competition Review, January 5, 2018

In recent years, a number of high-profile investigations by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition into state aid given to prominent US companies has raised questions about whether the agency may be targeting such companies unfairly. Since 2014, the Commission has found that unlawful state aid was provided to Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon, and it continues to investigate McDonald's. In a recent article, "Fiscal state aid: are US companies being unfairly targeted?" published in Global Competition Review, Analysis Group President Pierre Cremieux, Managing Principal Marc Van Audenrode, and affiliate David Mishol examine whether there is any evidence to support this claim.

In the article, the authors report on their analysis of the nearly 1,600 state aid-related cases brought to the Commission's attention between January 1, 1999 and June 30, 2017, and assess whether the Commission's state aid investigations disproportionately target US companies. The authors find that, rather than disproportionately acting against US companies, the Commission appears to have become more aggressive across the board in its investigations relative to state aid.

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Cremieux P, Van Audenrode M, Mishol D