Foreign subsidies

As it concerns both notification-based toolsthe parties must notify ex ante financial contributions received from non-EU public authorities before the conclusion of a concentration or a public procurement procedure exceeding the applicable thresholds. The Commission can also request ad hoc notifications for small mergers and public procurement procedures if it suspects the existence of distorting subsidies. Pending the Commission’s review, the concentration in question cannot be completed and the bidder under investigation cannot be awarded the contract.

The general investigation tool would allow the Commission to open investigations on its own initiative (systematically). This would cover other types of market situations, such as greenfield investments or concentrations and procurement below thresholds.

If the Commission finds that a foreign subsidy exists and creates distortions, it balance the negative effects of the subsidy, in terms of distortion, with positive effects of the grant to determine appropriate remedial action or to accept undertakings.

About the recovery measures and commitments, the regulation provides for a series of structural or non-structural corrective measures, such as the disposal of certain assets or access to infrastructure. In the event of notified transactions, the Commission may also prohibit the subsidized concentration or the award of the public contract to the subsidized tenderer.

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