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Austria’s agricultural marketing body being probed for State aid violations

 |  June 13, 2012

The European Commission has opened an in-depth state aid investigation into Agrarmarkt Austria’s marketing measures. Agrarmarkt is a public body controlled by the Austrian state. It oversees the use of quality and organic labels, and its subsidiary AMA Marketing implements promotional measures for the AMA’s activities. The Commission believes that the marketing from 1995 and 2008 may be illegal state aid, as well as the financing of the marketing.

In 2002, internal directives on AMA labels changed. The Commission had previously found that AMA measures after the change in directives substantially complied with state aid rules. However, on appeal, the General Court held that the Commission should have opened a formal investigation “because of the existence of a contradiction between (i) the wording of the basic AMA Act and (ii) the new internal AMA directives and the assurances provided by Austrian authorities.” The current investigation will address the Court’s concerns.

Full content: EC Press Release


Related content: Some Reflections on the European Commission’s State Aid Policy (Philip Lowe, European Commission)


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