ANNOUNCEMENT 01 Jul 2009In July 2009, the government of Slovenia announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the EC to Slovenia - Brussels, 19.10.2009 C(2009)8127 - http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N172_2009
The objective of the measure in the context of a national broadband strategy is to accelerate the construction of broadband networks where these services are not adequately developed.
The measure targets areas where no broadband services are available and where operators have no incentives to provide such services on commercial terms. The aid takes the form of grants. The overall amount of the measure is approximately EUR92.5 million. The last date until aid can be granted under the current measure is 31 December 2013.
The direct beneficiaries of the aid will be electronic communications operators offering broadband services. Indirect beneficiaries will be electronic communication operators utilising the new network for offering retail services to end users or electronic communications operators able to build broadband infrastructure and provide broadband services due to the presence of a publicly funded infrastructure.
The EC gave the following assessment of the measure:
"The measure is financed by the resources of the Slovenian authorities and EU funds. Hence, state resources are involved. The selected operators will receive financial support which will enable them to enter the market and provide broadband services on conditions not otherwise available on the market. The measure supporting the deployment of a broadband network is selective in nature in that it targets undertakings that are active only in certain regions or in certain segments of the overall electronic communications services market. Moreover, the intervention of the state tends to alter existing market conditions, in that a number of undertakings would now choose to subscribe to the services provided by the selected suppliers instead of existing, possibly more expensive alternative market-based solutions (e.g. leased lines). Insofar as the intervention is liable to affect service providers from other Member States, the measure has an effect on trade. The markets for electronic communications services (including the wholesale markets and the retail broadband markets) are open to competition between operators and service providers, which generally engage in activities that are subject to trade between Member States. " (par. 19-24 of the letter from the EC to Slovenia - Brussels, 19.10.2009 C(2009)8127)
The Commission concluded that the compatibility criteria set out in the Broadband Guidelines are met, hence the aid involved in the notified measure is compatible with Article 87(3)(c) of the EC Treaty.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.