EU High Court Calls Portugal's Golden Shares Illegal

Law360, New York (November 11, 2010, 2:43 PM EST) -- The European Union's highest court ruled Thursday that Portugal's decision to keep so-called golden shares in national energy firm Energias de Portugal SA violated antitrust law.

The golden shares – which allow Portugal veto power over all other common shareholders and the ability to appoint a third of EDP's directors – are “an unjustified restriction on the free movement of capital,” the European Court of Justice said in a statement accompanying its decision.

The European Commission brought the case against Portugal to challenge those special rights,...
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