European Commission ‘very probably’ to appeal ING break-up ruling

European competition commissioner Joaquim Almunia is ‘very likely’ to appeal against a recent European Court ruling which said the Commission had been too tough on financial services group ING, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

The court said on March 1 that part of the European Commission’s decision to force ING to sell some operations in return for state aid were wrong.
The government allowed ING to repay €5bn of the debt early, at an interest rate of up to 22%. The Commission ruled this amounted to an extra €2bn in state aid and imposed extra conditions on the bank.
In the interview, Almunia said he is waiting for new documentation from the Netherlands about the support and the restructuring operation. Then he will take a formal decision whether or not to appeal.
The court did not rule the €2bn should not be considered as support, but said the motivation for regarding it as part of the bail-out was insufficient, Almunia told the paper.

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