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State Aid

State Aid: Production grant scheme for news and current media approved

12.3.2014

PR(14)15

Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority decided not to raise objections to a new production grant scheme for news and current media in Norway.

“Today's decision paves the way for a significant reform of the Norwegian system of production grants for newspapers, which has remained largely unchanged for the past 30 years. The changes should facilitate the publication of news in electronic form, which is particularly relevant for the large number of small local publications in Norway.” Ms Oda Helen Sletnes, the President of the Authority, said.

The new scheme opens up the possibility for certain news media published in electronic form to be eligible for production grants. It replaces the current aid scheme for newspapers. Transitional rules apply for media that will no longer be eligible for support under the new scheme.

In its decision, the Authority considered that plurality in the media market is an objective of common interest that can justify the granting of state aid. Given the developments in the media market the system of production grants remain an appropriate way of supporting the news media sector in Norway.

Under the scheme, different grant levels apply depending on the size and the competitive position of news media in their respective markets. Furthermore, there are safeguards in place to ensure that grants are limited and will actually be used for the production of news media. On that basis, the Authority considered that the new scheme is proportionate. 

The Authority has concluded that the new production grant scheme is compatible with the state aid rules of the EEA Agreement.  

 

A public version of today's decision will be published on the Authority's website, normally within a month.

 

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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