EU Court Backs France in TV License Fee Dispute

     (CN) – A French television network failed to convince the Court of First Instance that the French government had not properly modified its audiovisual license system to meet the European Commission’s requirements. TF1 first complained in 1993 that France was using its license fees to pay France 2 and France 3, a pair of public stations.




     Ten years later, the Commission recommended ways for France to modify its license fee system to bring it into line with market conditions. In 2005, the Commission found that France had complied with those recommendations.
     TF1 disagreed with that analysis, but the court denied the challenge, citing France’s efforts to make its public stations “carry on their commercial activities under market conditions.”
     “Furthermore, since the Commission did not fail to fulfill its obligation to give a statement of reasons and complied with the procedure for the examination of aid,” the court ruled, “the Commission’s decision is well-founded.”

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