EU regulators to probe French tax caps for large energy users

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 27, 2014 6:53 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators opened an investigation on Thursday into tax reductions granted by French authorities to large energy users, concerned that these may give the companies an unfair advantage.

France levies a surcharge on all electricity consumers to finance its drive for wind power. Large industrial companies which use at least 7 GWh per year however pay a reduced rate capped at 0.5 percent of their annual value added.

"The possibility of such reductions is not foreseen under the 2008 Guidelines on Environmental Aid which are currently applicable. The Commission therefore has doubts about their compatibility with EU state aid rules," the European Commission said in a statement.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Justyna Pawlak)