Summary of the case:
Flaminio Costa, shareholder of the company Edison Volta, lost his rights to receive dividends when an Italian statute nationalising electricity companies to form a new one named Ente Nazionale per l'Energia Elettrica (ENEL). Dissatis ied, he no longer pays his electricity bills. The Giudice Conciliatore Court of Milan referred this question of priorities to the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ)(3) to rule on the lawfulness of the nationalization and de facto establishment of a commercial monopoly for the production and distribution of electricity under European competition law (ban on state aid except in the case of derogations submitted to the European Commission Art.102 and 93, progressive development of national monopolies, art. 37) and freedom of establishment of the common market (Art. 53)(4).