Intermills v Commission: ECJ 14 Nov 1984

ECJ 1. In connection with state aid and for the purposes of the application of article 92 of the eec treaty. A pre-existing company and three companies newly constituted. Under the restructuring plan financed by the aid in question. To operate the first company’s plant. May be regarded as a single group. Where it is established that the first has an interest in the other three and all four are controlled by the same public authority.

2. For the purposes of article 93(2) of the EEC Treaty. Which provides that the commission is to take a decision in relation to aid granted ‘after giving notice to the parties concerned to submit their comments’. The ‘parties concerned’ are not only the undertaking or undertakings receiving aid but equally the persons. Undertakings or associations whose interests might be affected by the grant of aid. In particular competing undertakings and trade associations. In other words. There is an indeterminate group of persons to whom notice must be given.
It follows that article 93(2) does not require individual notice to be given to particular persons. Its sole purpose is to oblige the commission to take steps to ensure that all persons who may be concerned are notified and given an opportunity of putting forward their arguments. Under those circumstances. The publication of a notice in the official journal is an appropriate means of informing all the parties concerned that a procedure has been initiated.

3. The treaty applies to aid granted by a state or through state resources ‘in any form whatsoever’. It follows that no distinction can be drawn between aid granted in the form of loans and aid granted in the form of a holding acquired in the capital of an undertaking. Aid taking either form falls within the prohibition laid down in article 92 where the conditions set out in that provision are fulfilled.

The granting of aid. Especially in the form of capital holdings acquired by the state or by public authorities. Cannot be regarded as being automatically contrary to the provisions of the treaty. Thus. Irrespective of the form in which aid is granted. It is the commission’s task to examine whether it is contrary to article 92(1) and, if so,. To assess whether there is any possibility of its being exempt under article 92(3), giving the grounds on which its decision is based accordingly.


C-323/82, [1984] EUECJ C-323/82




EEC Treaty 93(2)


Updated: 21 May 2022; Ref: scu.133554