Brussels investigates French PSB reform

Pascale Paoli Lebailly

Brussels’ European Commission has given its blessing to the €450 million compensation for the public service advertising ban that the French State is about to pour into France Télévisions. But the way the way the reform will be financed in the long term will be placed under investigation, the EC announced on Tuesday.

The Commission wants to check whether it is compatible with the European rules in terms of competition and state funding. France’s prime time ad ban is based on a reform that intends to compensate FTV for the loss of ad revenues by raising money through a rise in the licence fee, public aid and new taxes levied from private networks’ ad revenues and telcos’ turnover.

The Commission has expresses its concern over the way taxes will really be used, and a potential “over-compensation” of PSB costs by years 2011-2012.