Ever-deepening and widening European economic integration as well as the changing nature and role of European broadcast media have forced attention on the role and regulation of broadcasters in the European market. Tensions have arisen between the media's traditional role in preserving national culture and identity and its new role in promoting a European identity, underpinning economic integration and complementing the achievements of the free market. The increasing commercialisation of what was traditionally viewed as a public service has generated a debate on the application of competition law to European broadcasting. Content regulation and a corporatist broadcasting structure have traditionally prevailed against a more market-oriented approach. Many states thus view with suspicion the qualification of television broadcasting as a service within the meaning of the EU Treaty and the application to it of competition law and state aid rules.
Broadcasting in the European Union: The Role of Public Interest in Competition Analysis explores whether and to what extent EC Competition law promotes media pluralism and how broadcasting's public service and commercial interests can be reconciled in Europe, where public and economic competition have traditionally been defined as distinct concepts. It employs a multi-disciplinary approach to identify how the term 'public interest' is used by different actors. Publicists, it is believed, compete on words, not on products or prices. Against the background of increased commercialisation, this book takes a different point of view. It identifies how EC law and the case law of the European Courts balance public interest considerations with economic competition on media markets. The work contrasts various policy options and examines issues from EC merger control to the marketing of sports rights.
Addressed to lawyers, economists and businesses dealing with EC broadcasting regulations, this book offers the first comprehensive application of competition analysis to European broadcasting and is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the challenges facing European broadcasters as they seek to redefine their role in an open market while at the same time retaining their public interest function.