Draft amendments to Broadcasting Law put at risk activity of RO telco group RCS&RDS
The Social Democrat (PSD) minister of culture, Lucian Romașcanu, proposed a modification to the draft amendment to the Broadcasting Law, currently under debate in Parliament, whereby the cable operators with significant power in related markets might be compelled by the market regulator CNA to opt for maintaining the activity in only one of the markets.
Under another change of the draft amendment submitted by the Government, the minister wants the cable operator that reaches a dominant position of 40% to distribute free of charge all the new TV channels as well as those not already in the "must-carry" package - thus, virtually all the TV channels.
The initial goal of the project was to harmonize the Romanian legislation with a European directive in the broadcasting sector (Directive No 1808 of 14 November 2018 amending Directive 2010/13).
Telco group RCS&RDS, which operates Romania's largest cable network and several influential TV stations as well, has criticized the changes proposed by Romascanu, claiming that they diverge from the purpose of the document drafted by the Government.
RCS&RDS argues that it should not give up any of the activities, as there is no incompatibility between the two markets. In turn, the telco group suggested that the draft amendment should be passed by the lawmakers in the form proposed by the Government for rapid compliance with European law.
Any other amendments can be later discussed separately with all private players in the relevant markets.
"The interests of private companies, which are in direct competition and sometimes even in conflict, should not be arbitrated by Parliament," the telecom group's statement, quoted by Profit.ro, reads.