Infrastructure financing does fall within the scope of European Union state aid rules
The Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed that the financing of infrastructure projects is subject to the European State aid rules. The judgment concerns the financing of airport infrastructure, but the underlying legal point extends far beyond this sector. Repercussions can be expected for all companies that build, maintain and operate infrastructure with public support.
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In a speech delivered at the College of Europe in Bruges on 14 January 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Commissioner responsible for Competition, stated that the Commission hopes to settle around half of its outstanding cartel investigations in 2013, using the settlement procedure instituted in July 2008.
On 24 January 2013, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee of the European Parliament endorsed a new Regulation setting out customs procedures for goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights.
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Shanghai’s ground-breaking Pilot Free Trade Zone could mark the beginning of the long-awaited liberalisation of China’s legal services sector.