Feeds

Europe to probe state funding of new media

Keeping skewed markets on an even keel

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The European Commission will investigate public service broadcasting's use of new media to determine whether state aid to broadcasters is unfair to commercial competitors.

The commission has said it will look into a 2001 set of rules on what subsidies countries are allowed to give to public sector broadcasters. It said an update was needed because new media and digital technologies had changed the media landscape so much.

The commission said it would re-examine the rules in the light of its duty to preserve fair competition. "This implies in particular the need for a clearly defined public service mission as well as a limitation of state aid to what is necessary for the fulfilment of this mission, excluding overcompensation and possible cross-subsidies into commercial activities," a commission statement said.

"[The process] offers the opportunity to evaluate the extent to which developments that have occurred since the adoption of the 2001 Broadcasting Communication require further clarification or changes to the existing rules.

"In particular [it will look at] the implications for public service broadcasting of market developments in the delivery of audiovisual content and the emergence of new media services requires broad discussions with Member States and stakeholders."

State aid to all industries is limited by the commission in an attempt to foster free market competition both within and between nations. Countries can fund public service broadcasting, but commission rules are designed to stop that process skewing the market for commercial broadcasters.

A commission discussion paper said that one of the main changes that new rules would have to consider would be the new Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive. That law was passed last month, though EU member states have until 19 December 2009 to implement its provisions into their national laws.

The directive extends control of the broadcasting industry into some internet services.

"The commission's overall objective is to design an appropriate legal framework for the future financing of public service broadcasting in a new media environment," the commission paper said. "This should take into account the importance of public service broadcasting and the necessity for public support on the one hand and possible adverse effects on competition on the other.

"The rules should strike a balance between the necessity to have sufficiently clear and precise requirements at EU level and the freedom of Member States to design their system of public service broadcasting according to their legal traditions."

The consultation process ends in March, and the commission said if it needed to issue a new set of rules, a proposed set would be published later this year.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?