Wednesday, 5 November 2008

State aid: Public service broadcasting

With practically every media company active on-line, the Communication from the Commission on the application of state aid rules to public service broadcasting (4 November 2008) is going to be read closely.

In addition, the European Commission wants to incorporate its own decisions and relevant European Court decisions into its coming guideline in order to add legal certainty to complex questions, and to give member states added guidance.

Member states have broad discretion to decide on the type of public broadcasting they want, if any, but the Commission monitors that state aid given to public broadcasters does not harm commercial competitors. The number of complaints from private operators has been rising.

The Communication is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/consultations/broadcasting_communication_en.pdf

Stakeholders are invited to make their observations by 15 January 2009.

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There are at least three interesting papers accompanying the Broadcasting Communication.

Press release

The press release presents a quick overview of the matter:

State aid: Commission consults on revised rules for state funding of public service broadcasting (4 November 2008)

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1626&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en


FACs

Frequently asked questions offer a bit more on interesting or controversial details.

State aid: Commission consults on revised rules for state funding of public service broadcasting - frequently asked questions (4 November 2008)

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/08/671&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en


Summary of broadcasting decisions

The Commission’s Competition Directorate-General has compiled a convenient list of broadcasting decisions: Commission decisions on State aid to public service broadcasting (1999-2008).

The list is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/sectors/media/decisions_psb.pdf



Ralf Grahn