EU Court: Bulgaria Breached Antitrust Law during Digital Transition

Bulgaria in EU | April 24, 2015, Friday // 09:13|  views

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) convicted Bulgaria of having breached antitrust rules during its transition to digital broadcasting.

According to the court, Bulgaria breached three European directives on competition by limiting the enterprises capable of working as multiplex operators to two.

The ruling is available on the ECJ's website [BG].

It suggests Bulgaria failed to meeto some of its obligations under EU directives relating to its transition to digital broadcasting. Apart from restricting the number of companies working as multiplex operators, it also barred digital services providers whose programs are not aired in Bulgaria from entering the competition that granted frequencies for radio broadcasting services.

It also prohibited winners of the competition to use broadcast frequencies to build their own communication networks to air their programs.

At present Bulgaria is charged with only covering the judicial expenses, but the country is threatened to pay a daily fine amounting to between BGN 40 000 and 400 000 in case it does not take measures to address the infringements.

The verdict of the court stated no concrete measures, which Bulgaria should take in order to address the breaches.

The European Commission filed a lawsuit against Bulgaria due to the discriminatory way in which the competitions for selecting the two multiplexes were held.

According to jurists, the licenses of the multiplexes might be revoked or the competitions will be cancelled and new ones will be held.




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Tags: infringement, fine, multiplex, competition, digital broadcasting, antitrust, ECJ, EU, Bulgaria, European Commission


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