SIDE v Commission: ECFI 28 Feb 2002

ECFI In order to establish whether, in the course of assessing whether an export aid in the book sector may be regarded as compatible with the common market, competition is affected to an extent that is contrary to the common interest for the purposes of Article 92(3)(d)of the Treaty (now, after amendment, Article 87(3)(d)EC), it is necessary to define the market on which the aid takes effect. So far as concerns the material definition of the market, in order to be considered the subject of a sufficiently distinct market, it must be possible to distinguish the service or the good in question by virtue of particular characteristics that so differentiate it from other services or other goods that it is only to a small degree interchangeable with those alternatives and affected by competition from them. In that context, the degree of interchangeability between products or services must be assessed in terms of their objective characteristics, as well as the structure of supply and demand on the market, and competitive conditions.
The Commission must examine the effects of a State aid on competition and trade between the other operators carrying on the same activity as that for which the aid was granted, so as to carry out an assessment of the true impact of such an aid on competition. Unless it carries out such an assessment, the Commission commits a manifest error of assessment as regards the definition of the market.


T-155/98, [2002] EUECJ T-155/98






Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.173570