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The Legal Framework for Public Service Broadcasting after the German State Aid Case: Procrustean Bed or Hammock?

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The article discusses the compromise agreed upon between the European Commission and Germany in 2007 (Beihilfekompromiss) to solve the conflict about the qualification of licence fees for public service broadcasting as state aid according to Article 87 (1) EC Treaty.

The material provisions of the compromise have been implemented in German Law by an amendment of the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting 2009. According to the new rules, new or changed online-services must pass a Three-Step-Test in order to verify whether the service in question falls within the public service remit. On the national level, the compromise triggered a necessary debate on the public service remit. On the European level, the European Commission used the experience of the Beihilfekompromiss for drafting the amended communication on broadcasting. After outlining the particularities of the German broadcasting system the article analyses both of the before mentioned implications.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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