State aid and Competition

Updated in 11-05-2020

During this moment of crisis and national emergency the immediate and obvious concern of the national legislature does not seem to lie in Competition Law. Nevertheless, the truth is that previous experience and the status quo itself reveal that Competition Law (and the transitory regime to which its application may potentially be subject) will and shall not be a variable absent from the general equation.

Firstly, the importance of economic incentives and support measures for companies – from which much is demanded, in terms of maintaining certain salary levels – combined with the clear insufficiency of the European Union budget to simultaneously respond to the emergency scenario which has engulfed all of Europe, mean that State Aid takes on the central role to help economic operators affected by the crisis caused by COVID-19.

It is, then, through Competition Law that States and companies will be able to find support regarding (i) the possible financing, given the controls to which State Aid is subject, and (ii) the existing opportunities, to which companies will have to remain alert so that they can avoid or overcome the effects of the present crisis.

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