Action brought on 5 September 2016 – Starbucks and Starbucks Manufacturing Emea v Commission

(Case T-636/16)

Language of the case: English

Parties

Applicants: Starbucks Corp. (Seattle, Washington, United States) and Starbucks Manufacturing Emea BV (Amsterdam, Netherlands) (represented by: S. Verschuur, M. Petite and M-A. Stroungi, lawyers)

Defendants: European Commission

Form of order sought

The applicants claim that the Court should:

annul Articles 1-4 of the Commission’s decision of 21 October 2015 on State Aid SA.38374 (2014/C ex 2014/NN) implemented by the Netherlands to Starbucks (“the contested decision”) ;

in the alternative, annul Article 2(1) of the contested decision ; and

order the Commission to pay the costs of this procedure.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of the action, the applicant relies on three pleas in law.

First plea in law, alleging that the Commission violated Article 107(1) TFEU by committing a material error of law and a manifest error of assessment when interpreting and applying the reference framework for purposes of assessing whether the APA confers a selective advantage.

Second plea in law, alleging that the Commission violated Article 107(1) TFEU by incorrectly establishing that the APA conferred an advantage, thereby committing various manifest errors of fact and assessment, failing to conduct a diligent and impartial examination and giving an inadequate statement of reasons.

Third plea in law, alleging that the Commission violated Article 16 of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/15891 by wrongly quantifying the alleged aid, thereby committing a material error of law and a manifest error of assessment.

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1 Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1589 of 13 July 2015 laying down detailed rules for the application of Article 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (OJ 2015, L248, p.9).