The media sector, encompassing films, television broadcasting, music, publishing, and related advertising, plays a vital role in the continued advancement of information and communication technologies, as well as in the development and preservation of culture, information, education and democracy.
In recent years, the media sector has been characterised by technological convergence, with the various types of devices and networks used to deliver content to viewers becoming more and more integrated. Films, music and editorial content offered by different platforms are now available on TV screens, laptops, smartphones, and other devices running through fixed or mobile telecommunications networks. This continued technological innovation has created cross-border opportunities, led to the emergence of new business models and new business operators and, at times, posed challenges to established business practices. [ more details below ... ]
The Directorate-General for Competition works to ensure that the competition rules are respected in the media sector. The cases and policy initiatives it deals with are aimed at ensuring that consumers can benefit both from a wider choice of and unrestricted access to high quality content at competitive prices, and from increased technological innovation in the sector.
With this objective, the Commission addressed restrictions to the cross-border sale of TV content and licensed merchandise, thereby contributing to the functioning of the internal market. The Commission also conducted investigations into the distribution of e-books, with the aims of either defending innovation in the sector or ensuring the rapid restoration of competition in such a fast-moving digital market.