EU court orders Italian state to recover Alcoa aid


BRUSSELS, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Europe's highest court orderedItaly on Thursday to take back about 295 million euros ($398million) of state aid given to U.S. aluminium producer Alcoa Inc.

The judgment upholds a decision by the European Commissionfour years ago, when it said Italy's preferential electricitytariff for Alcoa's Italian arm was illegal because it gave thecompany an unfair advantage over rivals.

The EU competition authority took legal action against Italyafter it failed to claw back the aid. In its ruling on Thursday,the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice (ECJ)agreed with the European Commission.

"Italy has failed to fulfil its obligation to recover stateaid granted to Alcoa in the form of a preferential electricitytariff," judges wrote in their decision.

The ECJ's decision is final and cannot be appealed. The caseis C-344/12, Commission vs Italy.

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