AGCOM unanimously approved the final document concerning the phase of recognition of relevant markets in the audiovisual media services sector (so-called SMAV), thus confirming that audiovisual media services free-to-air and those for payment both constitute separate, distinct markets in the Italian territory.
This conclusive document is the outcome of the so-called “phase 1” of the proceedings initiated by the Authority with resolution n. 286/15/CONS of March 15, 2015 and aimed at the identification and analysis of the relevant market in the SMAV sector. Furthermore, an additional objective of these proceedings was to verify the possible existence of either dominant positions or positions that are harmful for market pluralism.
During these proceedings, the Authority decided that it was necessary to consult the principal operators of the sector by sending a questionnaire with the aim of collecting valuable information related to the SMAV sector. As a result of the findings that emerged from this investigation, the Authority issued a regulation framework, subject to consultation by resolution n. 342/16/CONS of July 13, 2016 and later approved in January of 2017.
At this point, we can begin with “Phase 2” of the proceedings, which is aimed at evaluating the existence of dominant positions or those harmful to pluralism in the audiovisual media services sector. “Phase 2” also covers the possible subsequent adoption of measures of intervention governed by article 43, paragraph 5 of the Consolidated Law which focuses on the removal of prohibited positions.
However, in light of the current operations involving important operators of the sector, the Authority decided to suspend the launch of “Phase 2” of the proceedings until April 21, 2017.