Cases & Deals

French oil institute IFP wins favorable EU General Court ruling in State aid case

Client(s) Institut Français du Pétrole

For several years Jones Day's client Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP), the French oil institute, has defended claims by the European Commission that it has benefitted from illegal State aids. After approximately four years of proceedings, the Commission concluded in July 2008 that the measure implemented by the French Republic for IFP and its subsidiaries Axens and Prosernat constituted aid, but that such aid was compatible with the provisions of the 1996 European Community framework for State aid used for research and development.

UOP Ltd, a UK based competitor of IFP, challenged the Commission's decision in an appeal to the General Court in May 2009, contending that the aid should have been considered incompatible with the Common Market and applicable EU State aid rules. While this case was directed against the Commission (as Defendant), IFP obtained permission to intervene in support of the European Commission's position. Jones Day assisted IFP for the duration of the written proceedings and submitted to the Commission all appropriate technical arguments regarding the complex and technical markets involved in the case.

On March 7, 2013, the General Court rendered its judgment (without oral hearing) in an order declaring the UOP Ltd claim inadmissible and ordering UOP to pay its own costs, together with those incurred by the European Commission and IFP. UOP has two months to file an appeal with the Court of Justice of the European Union.

UOP Ltd v European Commission, Case T-198/09