EU’s Vestager: Biden’s green subsidies could face probes in Brussels

Brussels’ new tool for cracking down on foreign subsidies could be used to keep Washington’s incentives in check, commissioner warns.

Companies benefitting from the United States’ $369 billion Inflation Reduction Act may be required to notify their subsidies to the European Union’s antitrust enforcers under new EU rules, the bloc's competition boss Margrethe Vestager said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Vestager said that with the EU’s new foreign subsidies regulation, “it is conceivable that subsidies that are given in the United States will be relevant to notify in the EU,” as part of Washington’s huge green subsidy package.

The foreign subsidies regulation gives Brussels powers to screen investments, takeovers or bids funded by foreign states. The European Commission will be able to potentially block firms from dealmaking with governments or public tenders, should they present threats to competition in the European Union.

“Once a subsidy is notified, we will have to do a balancing test: Is this overall good or bad for competition and markets in the European Union?” the EU commissioner said.

“If it's not so good, then we have a toolbox that we can use in order to mitigate the effects on competition,” Vestager added.

The foreign subsidies regulation entered the EU’s rulebooks in January this year. The Commission will be able to start its own investigations into distortive subsidies from July 12. Notification requirements for companies kick in from October 12.



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