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IP/10/787

Brussels, 23 June 2010

State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into aid granted to SEA Handling

The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into compensation for losses incurred by SEA Handling, an Italian groundhandling company operating at airports in Milan. The losses have been absorbed by the Italian authorities since 2002 through the public airport operator at Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate airports. At this stage, the Commission doubts whether the compensation is compatible with EU state aid rules. The opening of the inquiry allows other interested parties to comment on the measures under scrutiny. It in no way prejudges the outcome of the investigation.

The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into compensation for losses incurred by SEA Handling since 2002. The losses have been covered by the public airport operator at Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate. The investigation follows a complaint.

At this stage, the Commission doubts whether the compensation is compatible with EU state aid rules because it may create a serious distortion of competition on the groundhandling market, which is open to competition. In particular, the aid granted could prevent competitors from entering the groundhandling market at the major airports of Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.

The opening of an inquiry allows other interested parties to comment on the measures under scrutiny. It in no way prejudges the outcome of the investigation.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under case number NN 24/2010 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. The electronic newsletter State aid Weekly e-News lists the most recent decisions on state aid published in the Official Journal and on the website.


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