The European Commission has opened a second phase investigation into the compatibility of a subsidy, which the French authorities intend to grant to FagorBrandt, worth EUR 31 million, with the EC Treaty rules on State aid to firms in difficulties. The investigation will notably focus on the long term viability of the company and the limitation of aid to the minimum necessary. The Commission will also investigate whether this subsidy would be used to finance the repayment of EUR 22.5 million of illegal aid received in 2002. The Commission is concerned about the likely negative impact of the aid on trade between EU Member States, since FagorBrandt competes mainly with other European manufacturers. The opening of this in-depth investigation allows interested parties to submit their comments.