Competition law and media
Produced in partnership with Professor Suzanne Rab of Serle Court

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with Professor Suzanne Rab of Serle Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Competition law and media
  • Market delineation and definition—what do we mean by the media?
  • Convergence and competition in the media
  • Multi-layered enforcement structure
  • Sector regulation v competition law
  • Interventions in media markets
  • Regulatory and market investigations
  • Antitrust investigations
  • Sports broadcasting
  • State aid
  • More...

Competition law and media

Competition and diversity in media and communications are fundamental to a competitive economy and healthy democracy. The application of competition law and regulation in the media sector is a policy priority in the EU and UK, yet it is fraught with challenges.

There are a number of key themes in the sector, including:

  1. trend towards consolidation: the media sector is consolidating. For example, there has been a notable trend towards vertical integration and this is a feature of commercial transactions that has been examined closely by the competition authorities in recent merger reviews (see: Media ownership regulation and merger control below)

  2. market entry: access to content or platforms is critical to sustain market entry and expansion. Although particular owners of content or infrastructure may occupy a gatekeeper role, that conclusion is not inevitable in changing markets. Among the critical questions that have arisen in debates about the application of competition law and regulation to the media have been whether the ‘gatekeepers’ over the networks or content may show preference for their own operations and discriminate against rivals

  3. market definition and analysis: the multiplicity in the range of devices over which media content may be consumed, or services delivered, has made the exercise of defining relevant markets and substitutes more complex. It may therefore be necessary to question and test traditional approaches to

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