The Court first went to answer the first and second questions. It quoted well-established case law principles prescribing that the concept of aid embraces not only positive benefits, such as subsidies, but also measures which, in various forms, mitigate the charges which are normally included in the budget of an undertaking and which, therefore, without being subsidies in the strict sense of the word, are similar in character and have the same effect (the judgment in Frucona Košice v Commission, C‑73/11 P, EU:C:2013:32, paragraph 69 and case-law cited). It also recalled that for the purposes of determining the existence of State aid, it is necessary to establish a sufficiently direct link between, on the one hand, the advantage given to the beneficiary and, on the other, a reduction of the State budget or a sufficiently concrete economic risk of burdens on that budget (see, to that effect, the judgment in Bouygues and Bouygues Télécom v Commission and Others and Commission v France and Others, C‑399/10 P and C‑401/10 P, EU:C:2013:175, paragraph 109). The Court moved on to assess the plaintiff’s point (in essence the first part of the preliminary question) that the bus lane policy implies budgetary burdens on public authorities by way of i) acceding preferential and exclusive use of public infrastructure without being levying any charges and ii) exempting that category of transport vehicles from any accountability to pay fines when they enter those bus lanes. The second leg was easily denied by the Court based on the reasonable and succinct observation that it is inherent in any legal system that conduct previously defined as being lawful and permitted does not expose individuals to penalties. Furthermore, it also dismissed the first leg of Eventech’s argument. It reaffirmed the well-settled finding of previous case law that State aid issues can only arise in similar situations only when a) there exists discretionary access to State-funded transport infrastructure for the use of which no payment is sought from the beneficiary, b) public authorities have made capital contributions as a shareholder for the construction of the infrastructure, and c) the infrastructure is to be commercially operated. Therefore, so far as it was undisputed that the traffic routes at issue, and the bus lanes as a part of them, were not operated commercially in any way, the allegation about preferential access to a State asset was unsuccessful as well. The Court then turned its attention to whether an economic advantage, which had an economic value payable by its beneficiaries, was conferred. However, using the same reasoning on the absence of commercial exploitation of the public road network of London, ruled that no economic advantage was actually present. It further stressed that the imposition of any access charge to Black Cabs would discourage some of them to enter the bus lanes and could put in danger the public policy goal of ensuring a safe and efficient transport system. The next issue under review was the selective nature of the alleged aid measure. The Court reiterated that Article 107(1) TFEU both prohibits State aid ‘favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods’, that is to say, selective aid and requires an assessment of whether, under a particular legal regime, a national measure is such as to favour ‘certain undertakings or the production of certain goods’ in comparison with others which, in the light of the objective pursued by that regime, are in a comparable factual and legal situation (the judgment in Mediaset v Commission, EU:C:2011:533, paragraph 36). To give a definitive answer to the above question, the degree to which the factual and legal situation of Black Cabs and minicabs was comparable should be examined in detail. Thus, the Court, after pointing out that it was matter to be resolved by the referring court itself, offered useful guidance to that direction. It opined according to available information deriving from the case facts that their factual and legal situation was distinguishable. It reached that conclusion because each category of taxi operators was autonomously regulated, enjoyed different professional rights and carried a different set of regulatory responsibilities. It then came to the crucial conclusion that the bus lane policy at hand does not appear to involve any commitment of State resources or to confer on Black Cabs a selective economic advantage for the purpose of Article 107 (1) TFEU. Last, the Court confirmed its settled case law stance on the matter of trade distortion between Member States within the meaning of Article 107 (1) TFEU(third part of the preliminary reference). It found that although the bus lane policy was local in character, it was still capable of affecting intra-community trade by rendering less attractive the provision of minicab services in London, with the result that the opportunities for undertakings established in other Member States to penetrate that market are thereby reduced.
As the title of the article suggests, Eventech attempted to establish a State aid violation on the assumption that the essentials of the concept of State aid are generally construed in a dilating way. It is common ground that State resources as a legal concept has been maybe the most controversial and usually fluctuating condition of Article 107 TFEU in terms of its interpretation. In the beginning, an open-ended interpretation of State resources had been adopted. In the seminal ‘aid to farmers’ case, the Court pointed out that aid need not necessarily be financed from State resources to be classified as State aid. In case Nord-deutsches Vieh und Fleischkontor, the Advocate General in its opinion also shared the same understanding of the scope of State resources condition, although the Court eventually reached the opposite conclusion. He asserted that according to the distinction between aid by a Member State and aid through State resources, it is conceivable to accept that the independent grant of a financial advantage not given by the State could be captured by article 107 TFEU (then 87 EC). Even in the milestone judgment Sloman Neptun the Commission and Advocate General Darmon sustained the same view on State resources. Specifically, the Commission argued that a measure of whatever nature which brings about a relief for a particular sector that is not part of a comprehensive system, and thus entails an exemption from it, can be State aid even if it is not financed from public funds. Advocate General maintained in the same vein that the origin of the financing of an aid measure was not relevant. He enhanced his view by further arguing that Article 107 (1) TFEU (then 87 (1) EC) required only that the aid measure was the result of conduct for which a Member State was responsible and conferred an advantage on certain undertakings by derogating from the relevant (general) system. However, the Court moved to the opposite direction by favouring a narrow approach to the reading of State resources condition. It decided that the origin of financing from the State coffers is to be regarded as an indispensable condition to the State aid review and even further that the distinction between aid granted by the State and aid granted through State resources serves to bring within the definition of aid not only aid granted directly by the State, but also aid granted by public or private bodies designated or established by the State. Irrespective of some ups and downs of case law that reading was upheld in following judgments and came to be the prevailing reading of State resources even today.
The main failure of Eventech was to produce convincing evidence on the financing of the alleged aid through State resources. However, in the author’s opinion there is an even bigger failure in this judgment. The latter does not consist in the evidentiary shortcoming of the plaintiff but rather on the inefficiency of the judgment’s reasoning while deciding on the interference or not of State resources.
The awkwardness of paragraph 40 of the judgment at hand is monumental. Paragraphs 38 to 41 read as follows:
38 To the extent that Eventech bases its argument on the alleged similarity of the factual and legal circumstances of this case to those of the case which gave rise to the judgment in Commission v Netherlands (C‑279/08 P, EU:C:2011:551), it is clear that the circumstances of that case are distinguishable from those of the main proceedings.
39 In paragraph 106 of the judgment in Commission v Netherlands (EU:C:2011:551), the Court held that the measure at issue could entail an additional burden for the public authorities in the form of an exemption from the obligation to pay fines or other pecuniary penalties because the Kingdom of the Netherlands had given to the undertakings covered by the measure in question the possibility of buying emission allowances in order to avoid the payment of fines which, if such allowances had not been available, would have been payable because the undertaking concerned had exceeded the statutory limits on their emissions of nitrogen oxide.
40 However, in the main proceedings, it is undisputed that each unauthorised use of the bus lanes constitutes an offence punishable by a fine and that the competent public authorities have not put in place any means of evading payment of such fines. Further, it follows from the finding made in paragraph 37 of this judgment that the reason why Black Cabs can use those bus lanes without being subject to fines is not that the public authorities have made a decision not to collect fines which are payable, but that taxis are permitted to use those bus lanes.
41 Accordingly, the fact that Black Cabs are not obliged to pay fines because of their use of bus lanes does not involve additional burdens on the public authorities which might entail a commitment of State resources.
The Court made use of an unintelligible language which renders no neat explanation on why the normally expected but forgone revenue of fines does not constitute State resources. In essence, what the Court claims –and is of unconsidered weight- is that in general there are in place provisions dictating fines for unauthorised use of lanes while Black Cabs obtained a special permission to enter the bus lanes. Leniently speaking, it is a very unfortunate wording. The Court fails to delve into the heart of the complaint and offer a sound and thorough reasoning on why the relief of fines and the permission to use bus lanes which Black Cabs enjoyed as a result of laying down specific traffic rules did not constitute State aid.
It is inarguable that the local public authorities in the present case acted in the pursuit of a concrete public policy objective, that of ensuring a safe and efficient transport network. That point in combination with the argument that the bus lane policy constitutes a mere regulatory measure, as opposed to pure financing measures, serve as a safe indicator that the aid measure under review is not State aid. What is more, the system at issue could be said that does not seek to create an advantage which would constitute an additional burden for the State but instead consists in a practical expression of the governmental prerogatives to regulate the economic and social life of a local community. Case law has shown that mere regulatory measures in the sense of introduction or removal of rules (and restrictions) are not liable for State aid violations because of their natural remoteness from State financing procedures. Such legislative measures mainly satisfy the role of the State as the incumbent regulator and belong to its public powers that remain intact by State aid restrictions. It could be also claimed that even if budgetary losses could be proved, those losses are inherent in the system. Most of the above considerations imply sort of a US-style rule of reason at the level of State aid definition which is systematically elaborated at theoretical-academic level but avoided in the decisional practice. Upon the above basis, the Court could build a more unambiguous line of reasoning to frame its finding on non-existence of State aid (more specifically of State resources) instead of such a skin-deep reasoning.
Moreover, another inference made out of the judgment is that the Court seems not to treat, for State aid purposes, pecuniary penalties and fines at large, as a regular type of revenue such as taxes, charges, contributions etc., due to their exceptional nature and contingent eventuality of imposition.
The present judgment represents a paradigmatic instance of a public intervention into the market not by a genuine financial aid but rather by a regulatory measure which could potentially have some economic implications to both the beneficiary and its competitors but also to the State’s budget itself. There are numerous cases in which financial assistance involved a regulatory component (Van Tiggele case, Sloman Neptun case, Kirsammer case, Viscido case, Ecotrade case, Piaggio Case, Cigliola case) and they were deemed not raise State aid concerns. That kind of cases also pursue policy objectives along with and due to their regulatory attribute. Our case at hand falls into that group of companies. After reviewing the progress of case law on the State resources definition, it is my personal view that State resources would be preferable to be construed pursuant to their initial reading, that is to say regardless of their origin as public money. That’s the most efficient and safe way to protect competition, guarantee level playing field for undertakings and optimize State intervention to private economy only when there is a market failure to correct, a funding gap to cover or some lack of investment incentive to be substituted.
 For a detailed description of the different regulatory regimes of each of them please see paragraphs 3-11 of the judgment
 See paragraph 33
 See paragraph 34
 See paragraph 36
, Case 288/11 P, Mitteldeutsche Flughafen and Flughafen Leipzig-Halle v Commission, EU:C:2012:821, paragraphs 43 and 44
 See paragraphs 54-55 of the judgment
 See paragraphs 65-69 of the judgement and case law mentioned there
 Case 290/83, Commission v France (1985) ECR 445
 Paragraphs 13-14 of the above judgment
 Joined Cases 213-215/81, Nord-deutsches Vieh und Fleischkontor v BALM (1982) ECR 3583
 Luca Rubini, The ‘Elusive Frontier’: Regulation under EC State Aid Law, EStAL 3/2009, p.287
 Joined Cases 72-73/91, Sloman Neptun (1993) ECR I-887, par 19
 Case 189/91, Petra Kirsammer-Hack v Nurhan Sidal (1993) ECR I-6185 & Joined Cases 52-54/97, Epifanio Viscido (1998) ECR I-3949
 See paragraph 44 of the judgment