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CJEU Case C-492/17 / Judgment

Südwestrundfunk v Tilo Rittinger and Others

Policy area:
Competition
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Fourth Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
13/12/2018

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — State aid — Article 107(1) TFEU — Article 108(3) TFEU — Public broadcasting institutions — Financing — Legislation of a Member State under which all adults possessing a dwelling within the country are required to pay a contribution to public broadcasters.

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (Fourth Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. Article 1(c) of Council Regulation (EC) No 659/1999 of 22 March 1999 laying down detailed rules for the application of Article [108 TFEU] must be interpreted as meaning that an alteration to the system of financing the public broadcasting of a Member State which, like that at issue in the main proceedings, consists in replacing a broadcasting fee payable on the basis of possession of a receiving device by a broadcasting contribution payable in particular on the basis of occupation of a dwelling or business premises does not constitute an alteration to existing aid within the meaning of that provision which should be notified to the Commission under Article 108(3) TFEU.
  2. Articles 107 and 108 TFEU must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which confers on public broadcasters powers, as exceptions to the general law, allowing those broadcasters themselves to enforce claims in respect of unpaid broadcasting contributions.