Court rules against digital experiments by public broadcasters
The district court in Amsterdam has ruled that the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Marja van Bijsterveldt, failed to investigate thoroughly the market effects of four new digital public broadcasting services that she recently approved. The court therefore upheld the objections of the trade associations of newspaper publishers NDP, commercial broadcasters VESTRA and commercial radio VCR.
The NDP, VESTRA and VCR objected to the decision of the minister to allow the public broadcasters to provide various new interactive TV services, content on mobile platforms and twelve themed radio channels. According to the objectors, the minister’s approval was in breach of an order of 26 January, 2010 by the European Commission. This obliges the minister to take into account the interests of the commercial media before approving new public broadcasting services.
The NDP, VESTRA and VCR have welcomed the court order. They say that commercial media have been subjected to increasingly more competition from public broadcasters, which they say inhibits new initiatives in the market.
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