Willkie Assists France Télévisions in Obtaining European Commission Approval for New Long-Term Financing Plan

July 22, 2010

EC upholds law that created financing plan to help France Télévisions cover public service costs, taking into consideration the progressive removal of advertising.

On July 20, the European Commission handed down a decision approving France Télévisions’ long-term financing plan, which was implemented with the passage of the March 5, 2009 law on audiovisual communication. The law created a financing plan to help France Télévisions cover public service costs, taking into consideration the progressive removal of advertising, which accounted for 25 to 30 percent of its revenue. In its September 1, 2009 decision, the European Commission approved a subsidy of €450 million for 2009 and opened a formal investigation into the financing plan for the subsequent years. Applying its new Communication on state aid for the funding of public service broadcasters, the European Commission concluded that the definition and the control of the public broadcasting mission vested in France Télévisions was sufficiently precise and that the subsidies awarded to the French public broadcaster would not over-compensate its public service costs. The matter was handled by partners Jacques-Philippe Gunther and David Tayar, and associates Adrien Giraud and Dounia Ababou.