The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, a €70 million Italian scheme to support large shipping companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that Italy and other countries had to impose between 10 March and 30 June 2020 to limit the spread of the virus, shipping companies incurred significant operating losses and experienced a steep decline in traffic and profitability. This measure aims at compensating these companies for the damage suffered during the relevant period. The aid amount per beneficiary will be calculated by comparing its revenues between 10 March and 30 June 2020 to the average revenues recorded in the same timeframe of the previous two-year period. The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) TFEU, which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or sectors for the damages directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus pandemic. The Commission found that the measure will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus pandemic. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the envisaged compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is in line with EU State aid rules. More information on the actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.100553 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once confidentiality issues have been resolved.