Thu. Oct 6th, 2022
Brussels, 16 August 2022
See question(s) : E-002590/2022
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Vestager
on behalf of the European Commission
In its decision of 27. February 20081, the Commission concluded that the system of public financing of the Flemish public-service broadcaster ‘Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie’ (VRT) is compatible with the internal market. Neither this decision, nor the State aid rules applicable to public service broadcasting2, limit the amounts the public broadcaster may pay to its collaborators or oblige it to pay less than commercial operators do.
Therefore, based on the information supplied by the Honourable Member, the Commission cannot conclude that the contracts with television personalities infringe the EU’s State aid rules. Depending on the circumstances of a case, exclusive dealings by dominant undertakings may amount to an infringement of antitrust rules. In the present case, however, it is not clear from the information provided by the Honourable Member whether the public-service broadcaster VRT holds a dominant position in a relevant market. Moreover, the conclusion of exclusive contracts with a limited number of Flemish television personalities appears prima facie unlikely to raise competition law concerns that would require the application of the EU competition rules.

2 Communication from the Commission on the application of State aid rules to public service broadcasting, OJC 257 of 27.10.2009, p.1.
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