EU Probes Legality of German TV Fees | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.01.2005
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EU Probes Legality of German TV Fees

The EU Competition Commission is looking into the legality of the two German public broadcasters, ARD and ZDF, receiving television and radio fees. The EU is investigating whether the fees, collected by Germany's Central Office for Licensing Fees (GEZ), are a kind of state subsidy. "We are looking to see if public broadcasters in Germany are possibly profiting from state support," said the speaker of the commissioner, Neelie Kroes. It is still uncertain if Kroes views the fees as a state subsidy. Should the commission find that the fees violate EU law, the commission could make sure the fees properly meet the demands of the broadcasters. ZDF's director-general, Markus Schächter, has already expressed fears that demands from Brussels could cause fundamental changes in Germany's broadcasting system.

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