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Tårnby Kommunes illegal state aid

22. juni 2011

The Danish Competition Council has on 22 June 2011 decided that Hellers Yachtværft shall repay DKK 800 000 to Tårnby Kommune.

Hellers Yachtværft (a shop that sells marine equipment, boats etc.) rents a property in the harbour of Kastrup from Tårnby Kommune (a municipality near Copenhagen). Hellers Yachtværft has rented the property since March 2004.

In June 2010 the Competition Council decided that Hellers Yachtværft had received illegal state aid from Tårnby Kommune, because the municipality had charged a rent that was lower than the market rent since March 2004. The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority hired an independent realtor to estimate the rent of the property. Based on the estimate the amount that could be repaid was set at minimum DKK 800 000. However, the Council found that there were mitigating facts and therefore set the amount to be repaid at DKK 80 000.

Hellers Yachtværft appealed the case to the Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal. The Tribunal found that Hellers Yachtværft had received illegal state aid. The Tribunal also found that the repayment of DKK 80 000 wasn’t enough to secure effective competition. The Tribunal therefore remitted the case to the Competition Council. After having reviewed the case, the Council has on 22 June 2011 decided that the amount to be repaid is DKK 800 000, which includes interests.