Dispute resolution powers of European regulators in charge of audiovisual media services 13 June 22 Jerome Dheur

Cullen International has just published a new benchmark on the dispute resolution powers of media regulators in nine European countries. The benchmark addresses in particular the powers of regulators to intervene in disputes involving respectively distributors of audiovisual media services, producers and press publishers.

Dispute resolution refers to any system (mediation, conciliation, arbitration, negotiation…) giving national media regulators the power to solve conflicts.

There are no rules at EU level which set out powers for media regulators in the resolution of disputes, which explains why the situation is very different among the countries surveyed. In particular, the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive does not include any requirements on this matter, and the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market only requires member states to provide for voluntary, alternative dispute resolution procedures to address authors and performers' claims on transparency and remuneration rights. Where rules exist, they are sector-specific, such as for the telecoms sector. 

The research shows that in five countries out the nine surveyed, media regulators have some powers to solve disputes between distributors and AVMS (linear and non-linear) providers. In these five countries, a single system is in place in Belgium (conciliation) and Germany (mediation), whereas two systems apply in France (conciliation and dispute resolution) and Spain (dispute resolution and arbitration). In Italy, the regulator, AGCOM, is empowered to set rules on extra-judicial resolution of conflicts but no rules have been adopted in practice.

It also shows that in only three countries, media regulators have the power to solve disputes between producers and linear and non-linear media service providers.

Lastly, the benchmark indicates that Italy is the only country (among those covered) where so far legislation has granted arbitration powers to AGCOM to solve conflicts between press publishers and online platforms.

For more information and to access the full benchlmark, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our European Media service.


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