IRIS Special - Converged Markets – Converged Power? Regulation and Case Law

This IRIS Special issue is a milestone on the way towards greater transparency in the audiovisual sector concerning the regulation of market power. It also highlights the challenges of regulating converged markets and related market power.

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Pages : 187
Place : Strasbourg
Date of publication : March 2013
Editor : European Audiovisual Observatory

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The electronic file of the IRIS Special publication is free on line. We propose you the print copy for a cost price.


Market power becomes an issue for European and national law makers whenever market players acquire a degree of power which severely disturbs the market balance. In this sense, the audiovisual sector is no exception. But this sector is different in that too much market power may not onlyendanger the competitive parameters of the sector but may also become a threat to the freedom of information. It is this latter aspect which turns market power into a particularly sensitive issue for the audiovisual sector. National legislators and regulators backed by national courts seek solutions adapted to this problem.

This IRIS Special issue is deals with the regulation of market power in the audiovisual sector in Europe


Press release of this publication


The first part of this IRIS Special explores the European Union's approach to limiting media power, an approach still dominated by the application of competition law. This IRISSpecial explains the general functioning of competition law and other regulatory instruments. It specifically shows how the various services provided in the audiovisual sector are regulated and what markets are to be distinguished.


The second part contains a description of the legal frameworks of 11 European countries used to address media power. For each of these countries you will find in particular information on the regulation of audiovisual media services and enabling services, platforms and converged services, and finally distribution services. 
The eleven countries were selected for this study because they either represented major markets for audiovisual media services in Europe, or because they developed outside the constraints of the internal market, or because they had some interesting unique feature, for example the ability to attract major market players despite lacking an adequately sized market.


The third part brings in the economic background in the form of different overviews concerning audience market shares for television and video online. This data puts the legal information into an everyday context.


The fourth and final part seeks to tie together the common threads in state regulation of media power, to work out the main differences and to hint to some unusual solutions. Here and there it will weave in aspects of EU law that have influenced the national legal frameworks.

Online Services

IRIS e-Newsletter

Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory

> Database IRIS Merlin 

Database on legal information relevant to the audiovisual sector in Europe

> AVMSDatabase

Database on the transposition of the AVMS Directive into national legislation

Database LUMIERE

Database on admissions to films released in Europe


The European film directory on European films available on VOD services in Europe

> Database MAVISE

Database on TV and on-demand audiovisual services and companies in Europe