FT wins appeal in USD11.3bn state aid case

24 May 2010

France Telecom (FT) has won a legal appeal against a European Union (EU) ruling that it had been illegally offered EUR9 billion (USD11.3 billion) in state aid by the government. The EU’s second-highest court, the General Court, ruled that statements made by the national government to reassure FT of its support when the telco was reportedly close to bankruptcy did not in fact constitute state aid. ‘Although those statements conferred a financial advantage on France Telecom, they did not commit any state resources,’ the ruling read. The General Court’s ruling follows FT’s failure in the same court last year to overturn a separate state aid decision forcing it to pay as much as EUR1.1 billion in back taxes to the French government.

France, Orange Group