EU ensures market competitiveness in digital broadcasting industry / 歐盟確保數碼電視業市場有效競爭 – 17/10/2013

The European Union has been trying to ensure a market competition in the telecommunication industry in order to boost EU’s competitiveness and enable consumers to obtain high-tech products with an affordable price. In 2005, the acceleration of switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting has been confirmed as one of the EU’s policy objectives . Not only does digital broadcasting improve the quality of audiovisual materials, its more efficient utilization of spectrum could free up spectrum capacity for other uses which will in turn stimulate innovation and growth in the TV and E-communications industries, at the same time providing wider choice of TV and radio channels to audiences .

In accordance with EU’s “competition”, “authorization” and “framework” Directives, the procedures of allocation of digital broadcasting spectrum should be carried out in the basis of open, transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria. These ensure that the assignment process would lead to the entry of new players capable of enlivening competition in the market and expanding viewer choice .

Here are some cases regarding infringement proceedings launched by the EU against several member states.

Country Year Case
Italy 2006 The Italian legislation allowed the incumbent analogue broadcasters to obtain the majority of digital broadcasting spectrum instead of an open, transparent and non-discriminatory manner.
Sweden 2006 The relevant Swedish legislation approved that all digital terrestrial broadcasting programming and services should be controlled by a single open system for the entire network in which the state-owned Boxer TV was the only service provider. The EU opened a proceeding against Sweden which allowed market monopoly. Facing the proceedings, Sweden agreed to abolish the previous legislation and allowed new competitor in the market.
France 2012 In order to speed up the process of switching-off analogue broadcasting, France assigned additional spectrum to incumbent commercial broadcasters as compensation. In 2012, France regulators reassigned the digital broadcast spectrum based on an open procedure without favoring the former analogue TV channels.
Bulgaria 2012 The Commission found that Bulgaria adopted a disproportionately restrictive award conditions over assignment of digital terrestrial broadcasting authorizations, leading to the exclusion of potential candidates. It will hinder the development of competition in the Bulgarian digital terrestrial television infrastructure market.

Nevertheless, the system of issuing licensing and regulating ownership of public broadcasting services remains in national level.



根據歐盟訂立有關電訊業的數項(”競爭”, “授權“及“框架”)指引中列明,會員國應秉持客觀、透明、非歧視及合理分配等原則進行頻譜分配 。頻譜必須以市場主導方式指配,以吸引更多新競爭者,讓公眾有更多選擇。


國家 年份 個案
意大利 2006 意大利立法當局容許現有模擬電視台取得大多數頻譜,違反頻譜分配必須符合的「客觀、透明、非歧視及合理分配」等原則。
瑞典 2006 瑞典立法當局批准國營的Boxer TV Access以市場上唯一服務供應商的身份,掌控所有數碼收費頻道的服務。歐盟委員會就是次壟斷行為對當局提出指控,提交歐洲法院審判。面對指控,最後瑞典同意取消其之前的立法,再次開放電視廣播市場,容許新競爭者加入。
法國 2012 為了加快國內由模擬電視更新至數碼電視的進度,法國決定分配額外的頻譜予現有的商業模擬電視台作為補償。此舉使歐盟對其提出指控。法國當局最後決定基於開放及公平的原則下,重新分配頻譜,而不再傾向現有模擬電視台一方。
保加利亞 2012 歐盟委員會發現保加利亞對業內的數碼電視頻譜分配上過分限制,以致某些潛在競爭者被排除在外,由此將事件提交歐洲法院審判。這做法會窒礙國內地面數碼電視業的市場競爭及發展。



Press Release (24 May 2005) Commission expects most broadcasting in the EU to be digital by 2010

European Union (2013) COMPETITION ISSUES IN TELEVISION AND BROADCASTING Contribution from the European Union to OECD

European Comission Press Release (24 January 2013) Antitrust: Commission takes Bulgaria to Court over assignment of digital terrestrial broadcasting authorisations

NTU Library (2002)〈第五章我國頻譜資源之管理與分配〉

李羏 (2008)〈瑞典數位頻譜重整規劃應用介紹〉