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Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (“FRAND”) and therefore may breach EC competition rules (Article 82 EC).

  • 58.

    In the field of State aid the Commission adopted a final Decision approving the French tax credit in favour of the creation of video games76. This measure had been notified under Article 87(3)(d) EC77. It enables video games producers that are subject to taxation in France to deduct 20% of the eligible costs of production of certain video games. This is the first time that the cultural exception laid down in Article 87(3) (d) has been applied to video games.

    • 2.5.

      Media

60.

In the field of State aid the Commission continued to apply the approach adopted in earlier Decisions concerning State funding to support the digital switchover. The Commission approved three support schemes (two Italian81 and one Spanish82) for the acquisition of digital decoders with open API83 and for covering the costs of adapting existing collective analogue terrestrial antennas. The Commission adopted two negative Decisions regarding subsidy schemes in Italy84 and in the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia85.

61.

While the Commission recognises, in line with the Amsterdam Protocol on the system of public service broadcasting, that it is the prerogative of Member States to organise and fund public service broadcasting, it considers that the financing of public service broadcasters by means of budgetary contributions or licence fee financing constitutes State aid86. State aid to public service broadcasters may,

59.

The Commission continued to monitor the switchover from analogue to digital

broadcasting. In July it issued a reasoned opinion b y t h e I t a l i a n c o n s u m e r a s s o c i a t i o n A l t r o c o n s u m o 7 78 9 .

to Italy following a complaint The Commission considers that

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the Italian legislation Communications80.

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78 79 80

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86

Case C 47/2006, Crédit d’impôt mis en place par la France pour la création de jeux vidéo, Commission Decision of 11.12.2007. This provision states that “aid to promote culture and heritage conservation where such aid does not affect trading conditions and competition in the Community to an extent that is contrary to the common interest” may be declared compatible with the common market. The second stage of the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC. IP/07/1114, 18.7.2007. Notably, Commission Directive 2002/77/EC of 16 September 2002 on competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services (OJ L 249, 17.9.2002, p. 21). Cases N 270/2006 Subsidy to digital decoders with open API (OJ C 80, 13.4.2007) and N 107/2007 Subsidies to idTV Italy (OJ C 246, 20.10.2007). Case N 103/2007, Support for the acquisition of digital decoders and for the adaptation of antennas in Soria, Commission decision of 25.9.2007 (OJ C 262, 1.11.2007). Open API is a term used to describe advanced program interfaces (API) that facilitate interoperability, i.e. portability of interactive content between delivery mechanisms with full functionality of the content intact. Case C 52/2005 (ex NN 88/2005), Subsidy to digital decoders in Italy (OJ L 147 8.6.2007). Case C 34/2006 (ex N 29/2005), Introduction of digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) in North Rhine- Westphalia, Commission decision of 23.10.2007, not yet published. Under the conditions set out in the Altmark judgment: Case C-280/00 (Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Bundesverwaltungsgericht): Altmark Trans GmbH, Regierungspräsidium Magdeburg v Nahverkehrsgesellschaft Altmark GmbH [2003] ECR I-7747.

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