State aid - Case 7

State aid to Progroup, a corrugated board producer

Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG), a competitor of the corrugated board producer Prowell, filed a complaint against the Commission decision to allow State aid for a new paper mill of Prowell. In the context of proceedings in front of the Court of First Instance, we wrote an expert opinion that focussed on the claims made by SKG. In particular, SKG argued that only container board traded on a merchant market as opposed to self-supplied container board by vertically integrated firms should be considered for product market definition. We put forth arguments for why traded and self-supplied container board interact directly and indirectly in numerous ways. Therefore, we concluded that price formation on the merchant market cannot be considered without taking the volume of self-supplied container board into account.