Dutch public service broadcaster ordered to pay back State aid

European Commission press release reporting that Dutch public service broadcaster NOS has been ordered to pay back €76.3 million of State funding following a State aid investigation. NOS acts, in part, as the management and coordination organisation of various other PSBs. Between 1994 and 2005 several individual PSBs received "ad hoc" financing from the Dutch State which, according to the Commission, was more than that necessary to enable these broadcasters to perform the public services they were entrusted with. The surpluses from these PSBs were transferred to NOS. The Commission found that NOS had then receieved State aid that could not be justified under Article 86(2) of the EC Treaty. NOS is to repay the aid (plus interest), and the Dutch authorities have committed to monitor the reserves of the individual PSBs and to recover the excess if these pass a certain threshold in the future. The Commission continues a separate State aid investigation into the licence fee resources granted to Dutch public service broadcasters.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under DG Competition, Media, State aid.

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