Opinion Statement ECJ-TF 2/2017 on the Cases C-20/15 P and C-21/15 P, concerning the requirements of selec-tive aid in the sense of Art. 107 TFEU

This is an Opinion Statement prepared by the CFE ECJ Task Force on Joined Cases C-20/15 P and C-21/15 P, World Duty Free Group (formerly Autogrill España); Banco Santander and Santusa Holding, in which the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) delivered its judgment on 21 December 2016, following judgments of the General Court of the European Union of 7 November 2014 in Autogrill España and of 7 November 2014 in Banco Santander and Santusa and the Opinion of Advocate General Wathelet of 28 July 2016. The case concerned Spanish tax rules which allowed Spanish enterprises tax amorti-zation of financial goodwill arising from the acquisition of shareholdings in foreign companies, but not fromthe acquisition of shareholdings in domestic companies. The Grand Chamber re-versed the judgments of the General Court and clarified the meaning of selective aid as the term is used in Art. 107 TFEU. It held that an aid can be regarded as selective if the national tax measure deviates from the reference framework: it is not necessary to show that the na-tional tax measure actually favours a specific group of undertakings or the production of spe-cific goods.