domingo, junho 22, 2008

State aid: Commission requests information about preferential tax regimes for retail distribution and banking cooperatives in Italy

The European Commission has asked Italy under EC Treaty state aid rules for information regarding preferential tax regimes for cooperatives operating in the retail, distribution and banking sectors in Italy. The Commission started reviewing the measures after receiving several complaints. The current investigation is designed to ensure that the measures are in line with the state aid rules in the future, as it appears that the measures existed before the EC Treaty entered into force and could therefore qualify as existing aid. In its analysis, the Commission is carefully balancing the equity and efficiency objectives pursued by the cooperative model against any possible distortions of competition that might derive from such measures. The Commission finds at this preliminary stage that the tax measures may not constitute state aid under some conditions and that if they do, that they are mostly compatible. For the measures concerning large cooperatives that might not be in line with EU state aid rules, Italy has the opportunity to comment on the Commission's analysis before any conclusions are reached. The initiation of the review process does not prejudge its outcome.(...)

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