Clearance of State aid to reduce adverts on French State TV

DG Competition decision (12 pages in French, PDF) allowing the French Government to give EUR 150 million of additional capital to the State television broadcaster France Télévisions. The decision was made on 16 July 2008, five weeks after the French Government's formal notification on 11 June 2008.

The transaction is found to amount to State aid under Article 87(1), as the Altmark criteria are not satisfied, and the additional capital would not have provided by a private investor.

The clearance is on the basis of Article 86(2). The aid was found to be justified by a French Government's plan (announced in January 2008) to reduce the amount of advertising on State television, eventually down to zero. The aid is to be used to produce programming to replacing airtime formerly used for advertising, and to plug the gap left by lost advertising revenue in 2008. The Commission's view appears to have been that the EUR 150 million injection does not exceed the total net cost of the advertising reduction plan in 2008 (but the data underpinning this view are redacted from the published decision).

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under France, Media, State aid.

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