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State Aid

State aid: New rules concerning the Icelandic National Broadcaster cleared



Today, the Authority closed its case concerning the financing of the Icelandic National Broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV). The closure comes after the Icelandic authorities  adopted changes to the legislative and regulatory framework of RÚV.

RÚV is the national public service broadcaster in Iceland. It provides a wide range of services in traditional radio and television broadcasting as well as in the Internet and teletext. It is currently financed by a special fee imposed on all individuals and legal persons in Iceland and by commercial revenues such as selling of advertising space or sponsorship.

In 2011 the Authority formally requested that the Icelandic authorities changed the financing regime of RÚV. The aim of the requested changes was to provide for greater transparency of public funding of RÚV and to minimalise possible distortions of competition on the markets on which RÚV is present. In practical terms, that meant bringing the financing regime in line with the Authority's guidelines on state aid to public service broadcasting sector adopted in the beginning of 2010. The Icelandic authorities agreed to the Authority's suggestions and assured the Authority of their full implementation.

The newly adopted legislative and regulatory amendments concerning the organisation of RÚV include inter alia the following changes:

  • RÚV has to seek the authorisation of the Minister of Education and Culture to provide any new media services falling under its public service remit. The Minister must then consult the Media Commission before deciding on the inclusion of a new service or a significant modification of an existing service.
  • There are now clear guidelines for the determination of remuneration for pay services within the public service remit of RÚV.
  • The Icelandic authorities have established clear principles for the treatment of overcompensation in line with the Broadcasting Guidelines.
  • RÚV is now obligated to set up and operate wholly-owned subsidiaries around any type of commercial activities.

In addition, the Icelandic authorities have ensured the Authority that they have complied with all other conditions laid down in the Authority's Broadcasting Guidelines.

In light of the above considerations the Authority has decided to close this case.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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