ANNOUNCEMENT 22 Apr 2015
On 30 June 2016, the European Commission decided not to raise objections against the prolongation of a state support measure for super-fast broadband by the Italian government. The maximum overall budget of the scheme is 4 billion EUR with an annual budget of over 660 million EUR for the years 2016-2022.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
European Commission case summary (SA.41647)
European Commission letter to Italy, 2016.07.06
According to Italy, the "Purpose of the measure is to promote the deployment of a passive access infrastructure enabling the development of NGA broadband networks in white NGA areas of Italy [...] The measure should enter into force after approval by the Commission and remain in force until 31 December 2022. [...] The overall estimated (maximum) budget of the measure is about EUR 4 billion [...] The current foreseen amount, which takes into consideration the private investment plan communicated to the government, is EUR 2,986,593,546 of which EUR 1,567,847,202 funded by the DCF, EUR 477,723,675 funded by the EAFRD, EUR 709,987,692 funded by the ERDF and EUR 231,034,978 funded by National Operational Programme on Enterprise and Competitiveness 2014-2020. [...] the measure will be implemented by means of a "direct intervention model"." The previous measure was implemented in 2012 and is valid until the end of 2015. (para. 13, 15, 16, 18, 19 and 25 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 06.07.2016)
Based on the findings of the European Commission, the "[...] state support may deter other operators in the region from setting up or developing their own networks under commercial conditions. The state support may also encourage local undertakings to take advantage of services offered in the subsidised network rather than more expensive market solutions. In so far as the intervention is (at least potentially) liable to affect providers of electronic communications services from other Member States, the measure has an effect on trade. The markets for electronic communications services are open to competition between operators and service providers, which generally engage in activities that are subject to trade between Member States. Therefore this support is also likely to affect trade between Member States." (para. 86 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 06.07.2016)
In the GTA database the determination of whether a policy instrument discriminates against foreign commercial interests turns on whether it creates or alters the relative treatment of domestic firms versus foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory because the state aid is not available to competing firms outside of the implementing jurisdiction.